Saturday, December 1, 2012

Andrew Neel's & Mike Roberts' KING KELLY -- shot on phone camera -- hits NYC & VOD

Narcissism unbound! If you've ever wondered just where the current trend toward "me-to-the-infinite-power" might lead us, look no farther than the bracing new film from Andrew Neel (shown below, of Darkon and Alice Neel, among other movies), KING KELLY, about a high school student and her various friends -- and fans. Fans? Yes: She's the number-one attraction on an internet porn site and is about to have her very own site make its debut.

Shot completely on phone-camera (several of them), the movie is about as low-budget/
down-and-dirty as you can technically get, and yet, compared to a number of multi-million-dollar mainstream movies currently playing theaters or on DVD, it's got twice the life and maybe ten times the pizzazz. TrustMovies admits that when he heard this film was shot on phone-camera, the idea didn't thrill him. But the genuinely clever tale that the filmmaker spins (his co-writer is Mike Roberts), the first-class performances he draws from his fine cast, together with his more-than-adept use of editing and sound turn the experience into something of a triumph on every level.

Why "King" Kelly, rather than "Queen"? Is this some high-school nod to feminism? Doubtful, as our leading lady (played with the kind of utter, self-absorbed conviction by Louisa Krause, above, that is by turns shocking and finally hilarious) is simply a character too overall dumb to have considered anything so far outside her immediate needs.

How she treats her family, above, and her best friend, Jordan, (a fine, subdued and finally drugged-out Libby Woodbridge below), is no better than she's treated her boyfriends, current or ex. If those around her also seem unduly selfish, she's the Queen Bee of conceited egomaniacs -- and a wonder to behold.

The plot, once kicked in motion after a very few minutes, rampages onwards like the crazed characters who are creating it. Pretty soon we're up to our ears in everything from porn sites to drug trafficking, car wrecks, state troopers and some heavy-duty sex and violence -- the latter served up so speedily and surprisingly that we're tempted to laugh at it, too.

Underneath it all, but never explicitly stated, is a call to alarm about -- oh, god, don't say it -- the younger generation, social media and personal responsibility -- and how all this has simply spun out of the control of the supposed guardians of today's youth. We parents and/or grandparents need to be as proficient technically as are the kids; instead, we're losing ground and losing touch.

Meanwhile, enjoy this trash-fest, which one character likens to Jerry Springer (but it's way more radical than that). With mini-budget and maxi-smarts, Mr. Neel outdoes even the rare, mainstream attempt at anarchy like the generally delightful Project X. He's used his smart phone as a mirror on youth and in the process has entertained, alarmed and informed us rather spectacularly.

King Kelly arrived theatrically yesterday in New York City at the Cinema Village, and will make its VOD debut this coming Tuesday, December 4.

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