New Movies -
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Old Movies -
Touki Bouki: The Journey of the Hyena
The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry
Recap: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 , 2005, 2006, 2007 , 2008 , 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012
The Myth of the American Sleepover (David Robert Mitchell, 2010)
Mitchell directs The Myth of the American Sleepover with a ponderous hand. Every moment is amplified and made to feel pregnant. Nostalgia permeates everything, to the point where it becomes portent. The film aims for a lyricism that lives in subtle gestures, but its sidelong glances and glancing brushes of skin contact start to feel like clichés. The gauzy, low-fi visuals and heavy use of color filters underscore every hint of mood. We seem to be looking at these teens through the eyes of someone much older and more cynical, which brings to mind Sofia Coppola’s similarly wistful and entirely more successful The Virgin Suicides. As this group of kids stalk one another across their small town, it becomes obvious that yearning is epidemic. That’s hardly a revelation to anyone who’s post-adolescent, and there’s little else connecting the various plot threads here. One begins to feel that Mitchell should aim for higher emotional highs than he does if he’s going to focus on the sensations of being a teen. It would take a master filmmaker to achieve the kind of low-key revelations that Mitchell tries for here (think Claire Denis’ Friday Night). Mitchell seems to be at best a promising talent with his heart in the right place. The narcoleptic, resigned tone that dominates The Myth of the American Sleepover doesn’t make us regret what we’ve lost. It mostly implies that being young is a major bummer.