Thursday, 22 January 2015

Briefly - I Fall Down

Say "indie film" in this day and age and you're not actually talking celluloid - you're messing with video... unless you happen to be Edmonton-based writer/director Christopher White, who raised $20,000 and decided to shoot a feature in Super 16mm (Robert Altman, wherever you are, we know you're smiling) called I Fall Down (2013).

After a prelude focusing on an abortion not going quite to plan, the storyline catches up years later to focus on the character of Annessa (played as a child by Jessica Hilbrecht and, in her teen phase throughout the rest of the tale, by Emma Houghton). Annessa suffers from many of the types (stereotypes?) of concerns that plague girls her age in films like these - picked on by her peer group at school, used as a sexual toy by both a boyfriend and someone at home, misunderstood and unappreciated by all, except for a fellow outcast - the man/child living in the woods (Tom Antoni). Friendship blossoms between Annessa and "Charlie", but the nasty world around intrudes, forcing an inevitable but poetic outcome upon them.



I Fall Down will be received best by those who buy into the descriptor of the film being "...a haunting character drama evocative of the tragic monster films from the Silent Age of Cinema." It could also be viewed as an adult fairy tale (due to the significant darker content - abortion, incest, etc.) displaying enough imaginative surrealistic elements and an ending that ties the elements together nicely to make for a satisfying experience. Others will simply roll their eyes, bothered by the sometimes stiff acting, a little too much predictability, and the fact that Charlie's make-up job is not the best (and that he doesn't sound convincingly "monstrous" and primal enough).

Emma Houghton
Most will agree that the (real deal film) camera adores Houghton and she does a commendable job of carrying the movie on her shoulders (her star may defiantly be rising) and that the story is fairly well paced. I Fall Down may not suit all viewing tastes (worked, for the most part, fine for me), but I think the majority will at least acknowledge White's back-to-the-cinematic-future effort as an admirable one. Thinking of taking that other film trip  "Into The Woods"? ...don't ignore this one.

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