Sunday, January 18, 2009

Even the kids these days are making movies.

Unmade Beds by director Alexis Dos Santos is so hipster chic that I’m not sure I qualified to be in the audience. The movie tells two stories that unfold simultaneously and only truly intersect at the end. From the music to the young actors, this movie felt more current than anything I’ve experienced in a long time. Even those Vogue trendsetters in The September Issue are behind compared to this film.

So maybe that’s why some of this movie was tedious from my point of view—I’m at least a generation past the moment captured in this film. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the movie. Dos Santos strikes me as the real deal, a genuine indie director set on creating art house movies. Unmade Beds is filled with intriguing visual themes that track intelligently
to the story. And the story lines weaved melancholy themes of losing things (like memories and relationships) with the pleasure of finding things. By the end of the movie, even the name of the hipster nightclub (Lost and Found) felt like an intentional thematic statement. I will say this, it seems like the cool kids these days are drinking a lot, listening to cutting-edge underground music, and having plenty of crazy hot sex.

The youthfulness of the cast and the director only added to the hipness of the movie. The male lead, Fernando Tielve, looks like he’s about 12 and delivered a fantastic performance. And he was surprisingly friendly in person. I ran into him before I saw the film so didn’t know who he was. He was more than happy to strike up a conversation without ever mentioning that he is the star of a Sundance movie.

One final note: While much of the music was not to my taste, it’s obvious that Dos Santos is passionate about music and he uses it to amazing effect in this film.

Sundance bonus: Katie Wolf’s short This is Her is excellent. With humor and emotion, the film tells a future story of sadness from a current story of great joy. I loved this 12-minute gem.

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