In Frank Vitale's autobiographical study, he plays a photographer living among the assorted outcasts, junkies, and artists populating Montreal's Main. Quieter and more introspective than most of his friends, Frank becomes smitten by Johnny, a fourteen-year-old from the suburbs. But the relationship is doomed by the startling degree of hypocrisy and possessiveness that boils over among the group when they discover the intensity of Frank's feelings about the boy. Written by
Daniel Yates <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Maybe very few people will ever have a chance to watch this film. It's a very rare and forgotten film that may be in some forgotten vault in Montreal or New York, where Vitale worked about twenty five years ago! A film that is so seventyish that almost the smell of chips in Blvd. St-Laurent are there. I'd rather call this film a play where every character is depicted with his or her darkest and brightest sides throughout the story. Seventyish it is in the use of the camera: all the niceties of the moment are used and not so subtly: really long zoom shots, in-your-face close ups, where you can see every speck on the skin of the actors. Hairdo is quite ample in its 70's possibilities. Colours and cars, even many of the stores that we remember only by photographs from the time or word of mouth.
The basic plot has already been told in another post. I wouldn't put it so simple. This film deals with a lot of things, but, basically it deals with human frailty, with our secret emotions and explores the dark side of people who may seem bright, and the bright side of darker characters.
It goes deep, too, into the relentless fixations of a tightly knit society, where truths are told and lies are kept. Where the closeness of some people is sometimes unbearable and distance is painful.
This film is as intimate as it can be, even when it wasn't shot during winter. The atmospheres are as choking as in the first party depicted where everybody smokes pot or else, as it is at Frank's house, where everything is a mess and feels like it.
The way every character is interwoven in this incredible mesh is believable as are the central stories: two hate-love relationships that seem doomed.
Who knows what happened with all these actors. It's, by now, 35 years since it was shot. Even the boy (who may have been 12-13 during the shooting of the film) is now almost fifty! If I were any of them, I'd be truly proud of my work. It's a no-budget film with a lot of support from Canadian authorities and a bunch of friends.
Anyone who can see this film, please be forgiving for its seventies' look and feel, much better, enjoy its uniqueness and simply let yourself immerse in the vast richness and voids of humanity.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?