generation Um... (2012)
|Articles:||Focus: 'generation Um...'|
Tagged 'generation Um...'
|Karen Olivo||Carrie Hines|
A drama that follows three adults during a single day in Los Angeles, one filled with sex, drugs, and indecision.
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|Ivy||Keanu at his character-driven best (2014-10-16 02:17:09)|
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|I've watched this film several times; as Luca says, it is a "multi-layered little gem." A human-sized gem, unadorned by beautiful suits, martial moves, romance or complex plot. |
I was indeed uncomfortable during my first viewing of "Um"; during my second viewing, my perspective shifted. It is the subversive presence of the video camera (a fourth character, as Luca observes) which suggests we abandon judgment of the central characters' lives. Morally neutral, the "film-making" elicits revelations and/or fantasies which the two women "stars" would never have shared without the protective screen of the camera lens. The camera also protects Reeves' character from having to engage with the stories related by his friends. In the end, it is he who seems the frailest of all three, able to look on but barely able to accept physical touch, much less affection. Yet, at first glance, he seems to hold most of the power in the form of the (digital!) video camera. Its filter separates and shields him from the messy, passionate narratives of the women's lives.
Keanu's critics will say that in "Um" he has created another male character of flat affect and opaque psyche. A friend and colleague said about Keanu the person that he has a calm exterior and a tumultuous inner life. (I apologize for forgetting the name of the colleague and the title of the interview in which this paraphrased quotation appears; if this were a review in a glossy mag or blog, I would dig for my source. However, this is a humbler project.) Reeves' character in this film reminds me of the above observation about Keanu himself. It is the inner tumult of all the characters in "Generation Um" which draws a viewer back to the film again and again.
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