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Told in two parts- the first in the style of a documentary and the next in narrative form- "Buy It Now" tells the story of 16 year old Chelsea leading up to the sale of her virginity online and then the self destructive aftermath of this event. Written by
I saw this film at the Cannes Film Festival. Firstly, I am surprised that the running time here is listed as 60+ minutes. The cut that I saw, and the cut that won the Cinefondation award, was 34 minutes. Perhaps there's an extended version? Anyway. I didn't think the film was great, and I certainly didn't hate it. It was "okay". I usually have a strong opinion about what I watch, but with "Buy It Now" I looked at it more as a technical piece than anything else. Maybe it's because I knew the story that it was based on quite well (UK girl who sells her virginity on Ebay). To me, this adaptation of the real-life incident is joyless and heavy-going. The vertical framing techniques employed are quite good, as is the soft focus used on the mother and the deliberately slow pacing when Chelsea is waiting for "the man". But it all feels a little self-indulgent and pointless. What is the film trying to say? It looks heavy, and it feels heavy, but surprisingly the after-taste is faint and quick to vanish.
Having said that, the performances are excellent, some of the techniques used are interesting and the "direct cinema" photography is inspired. For what it is- a student film- it's strong.
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