Thursday, July 21, 2011
David Robert Mitchell's THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER has the look, feel, sound and reality of found-footage of present-day high schoolers cobbled together into a kind of home movie. This is a compliment, by the way -- an enormous compli-ment. Captured here is the confusion of youth in all its crazy, delightful, upsetting variations: huge needs that seem all-important today but by next year will have melted into oblivion; the gnawing sense that things are expected from these kids, of which they barely have a clue; and maybe, if they're lucky, the dawning idea that not everything they've heard (or thought or even felt) may be true or end up serving them well.
Putty Hill, Myth/Sleepover shines, for its filmmaker, shown at left, while taking his time (97 minutes), slowly builds his characters until we feel strongly for every last one of them -- some, of course, more than others. Yet no one, in the end seems short-shrifted -- thanks to the wealth of smart situations, well-chosen small moments with dialog as real as you could want, and a well-cast acting ensemble that delivers the goods. What an accomplishment this movie is!
Sundance Selects, begins its theatrical run tomorrow, Friday, July 22, at the Angelika Film Center in New York. Unlike some Sundance Selects titles, this one will be available via VOD, starting Wednesday July 27.