The film genre. So much more than a surface exploration of current hot trends. For the casual viewer, preference could be considered band wagon jumping. That latest, hottest horror flick that once completed, begins a wave of love for anything scary. That is of course, until the next big hit comes into play. Maybe an action or science fiction ditty, causing the crowds to love anything with a similar look. Many times styles are mixed, creating what could be considered really cool hybrids. Making movie styles a little difficult to discern for the casual viewer. The point is this. Only the die hard movie lovers of the world become passionate about a particular genre or two. By no means am I writing that the regular movie going Joe doesn't appreciate a good film - of any style. I'm just writing that more often than not, it's not so much the genre, rather what's trending at the moment. Only a true cinephile really appreciates a particular genre, even if they happen to love more than one.
In Matthew Tichnor's "Cinephiliac" we're treated to something a little different. Lisa, our excellently casted leading lady, just happens to be on a first date when we meet up with her. The discussion leads to the advantages and disadvantages of the first kiss. The possible futures based on one such inevitable act. In my mind the bells and whistles were going off... this was a romance flick. Not the worst thing in the world, but not always my cup of tea. A few minutes later, everything changed. Lisa's date had vanished and she was in hot pursuit. Tichnor's romance flick was suddenly an action movie - as our young starlet hopped in a car, and gave chase to save the life of her date. Whoah!
As it says on the box, or in this case the plot description, "Cinephiliac" is a trip through multiple genres of film. Literally. Much the same as physically watching a different movie, our star Lisa pursues her date through a barrage of different film styles. Starting with the softer romance visuals, and heading straight into a contrasting, quick, action setting and so on. I'm not going to spoil everything here, so let me just say the fun doesn't stop there. Multiple genres are given a nod and they all work fantastically - the major wraparound theme/genre may remain fixed as a romance - but you'd never guess. What a really cool idea for a film. Short or feature length.
The technicalities of "Cinephiliac" leave very little to nit-pick. This movie reeks of experience. Something I always truly appreciate in the world of indie and micro film. The transitions from genre to genre are cleverly done, and the different styles themselves look damn near perfect. Maybe even perfect.
When I write multiple genres, I'm not talking about slight shifts in story or wardrobe. I'm talking the whole nine yards. The pace. The edit. The coloring. Everything. It's like you're watching a totally different film - featuring the same actors. Yet it all works as a cohesive story. I have seen similar ideas put to film before, but not quite like this. When I have seen it done elsewhere, it's presented more as an insert. A dream for the movies character(s). With "Cinephiliac" it's the wheels that push the film forward. A fun ride all around.
The casting of Meredith Hama-Brown as Lisa was an excellent choice. It's really hard to write about, and continue to make sense - but she really embodies this unusual character. Once you see the film you'll get it. No use wasting more words trying to describe it. She just works in this role. But the movie doesn't start and end with her - well... I guess it literally does, but not figuratively. My point is that her co-star, Alex Patrick Wilson, really does seem to have a connection with her. Their chemistry is undeniable. I should also mention Emily Tennant. During that scene slightly before the final act... she was simply awesome. Overall? This film is the perfect example of great casting. Everyone just works - ensuring that the film did as well.
At the end of the day "Cinephiliac" is a great example of indie film. A cool idea put to screen. The fact that it shows so well... is a direct challenge to anyone who says indie film in today's world sucks. I was glad to have had the pleasure, and have no problem stating that in my humble opinion... this one deserves, and has earned, every single star I awarded. Well played cast and crew. Well played indeed.