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A precocious boy and his jaded sister use their imaginative powers to escape a confining home-life, save their self-destructive mother from her charmingly manipulative boyfriend, and finally reinvent their world in a mind bending conclusion.Written by
I plucked Half-Life off the shelf at my local video store this weekend, popped it in the DVD player, and couldn't tear my eyes away. This film is for those who love their Donnie Darko, American Beauty, Lawn Dogs, The Fall, Paperhouse, and Where the Wild Things Are mixed together with 100% originality and vision by director Jennifer Phang. I've long been obsessed with stories -- books, movies, visual art -- that capture that magical place between reality and fantasy. Growing up, I was a nerdy bookworm who -- to deal with my parents' divorce, kids bullying me at school, my emerging sense of being gay -- lost himself in realms of the supernatural. At my own making. I think. What's so beautiful about this film is not only the stunning cinematography and editing, the tightly written and profoundly sad story, nor the naturally gifted cast whom work perfectly together as an ensemble, but this sense that sometimes we really don't know where reality ends and fantasy begins. We make up stories to capture meaning, to imbue everyday circumstances with mystery and a connect-the-dots way of thinking. But what if -- mixed somewhere in with all this -- is true magic? Whole other parallel universes and ideas that tie in with ours, that are maybe even drawn to our own realities because of the way we personally see the world? Half-Life -- a deeply spiritual film -- asks these kinds of questions. Tim, our young protagonist, seeks to understand why his father left and why his mother, Saura, has gotten involved with the handsome yet manipulative Wendell. Tim and his teenage sister, Pamela, struggle with loneliness, friendships, sexuality, trust, and the meaning of family as they fall more and more into the tangled web of Wendell's desire to control theirs. At once haunting, melancholy, hopeful, whimsical, bleak, fresh, and daring, Half-Life is the kind of film that not only tells an amazing story but captures that story through a revitalized and unique vision by its director. This movie is personal. It takes chances. It dares to let you inside Jennifer Phang's mind -- and even more importantly, her heart.
Here's a link to the film: www.halflifemovie.com You should watch this. Now.
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