I caught Michele Muzzi's "Tuba Girl" this year at the Toronto International Film Festival. It always struck me as one of the more interesting works in that it manages to blend such a blatently bizzarre and rediculous premise (the "personality" of a musical intrument) with the very real and touching subject of a young girl's personal struggle for self-affirmation.
"Tuba Girl" is, above all, a coming of age story, and though its target audience aims at the teen-preteen crowd, I think adults will appreciate the amount of care and artistic professionalism displayed.
Looking back, there are three aspects that stand-out. The first being Anton van Rooyen's brilliant cinematography, featuring some of the best lighting I've ever seen in a 35mm film. Also, the performances of the two leads, Angela Stewart and Andrew Martin-Smith, are remarkable. They show a amazing chemistry and constant awareness in their characters (one of the movies stand-out virtues). And finally, Michele Muzzis' direction, despite occasionally coming off as a little hokey (in the best "Dawsons Creek" tradtion), is notable in the delacey she handles her characters and her consistancy in the story telling. The movie flows beautifully.
The film is not perfect. There are screenplay problems (mostly dialogue issues) and some of Muzzi's directorial choices are questionable (like why hold the film in a 70s setting?). But, in the end, I found "Tuba Girl" to be a genuinally satisfying experience. Nice job.
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