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Junior high in a time of rotary phones. Cougars have been spotted in the area. Logan is 13, the odd kid, with an active imagination and few friends. His young, single mother seems stressed. Latency is giving way to puberty, and Logan, who keeps a tube of lipstick in his dresser, may be gay or, more mysterious, transgender. He stares at himself in the mirror. He becomes friends with Rodeo, older and more mature, good-looking, with girlfriends. They take walks. Logan calls Rodeo and pretends to be a girl. Will he disclose himself to Rodeo? The kids at school talk. The school wants to promote kindness and tolerance. There are stories of child suicide. How do we find our way? Written by
Ebert said something a while back that caught me...
"If you understand why the new 'Texas Chainsaw' was bad, but 'Kill Bill' was good; why 'Cat in the Hat' was bad, but 'Bad Santa' was good... Then you have freed yourself from the belief that subject matters. You instinctively understand that a film is not about WHAT it is about, but HOW it is about it." That said, it's not that gay teens haven't been done. They actually seem to be the latest trend. It's not even that there's much of a shock value to the film (a boy in lipstick? see 'L.I.E.' or 'The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things'). And I've seen this compared to 'Mysterious Skin' as well, a likening I wholeheartedly reject. Skin left me nauseous (I thought it was brilliant, but quite difficult to see). Tigers left me somewhat dumbstruck.
The entire film plays out like a haunting music video. Low rumbling, chimes, bells fill in the silence so there really isn't any. Each song seems it's own plot revelation, and if I see it again, I'm sure I'll find they are. In between the intentionally 'tape playback' narration, which reminded me in style of 'Gummo', and the music scenes, there are vignettes, almost, of moments in Logan's life.
I think this film tells it's story, not so much through dialogue and plot (though I don't discredit the story at all), but rather in tone. Sitting alone on my couch in the dark with the music and eerie noise and occasionally psychedelic visuals... I got lost for while. It's like a guided tour through how Logan FEELS, instead of what he does.
A must-see. (MAR '07 - See it in theaters or rent from Digital Cable's On Demand)
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