Timing is everything. In life. In art. In film. It's the timing that really propels a film from one state of acceptance to another. A political commentary does worlds better, regarding audience opinion, when it touches on something happening in the "real" world at the time. That's probably the easiest way to explain it, but the truth is that how someone takes in a movie, has a lot to do with their personal feelings at that moment.
Sure. The story still has to be at least a decent one. Yes, having good technical support always helps but in the end, a great movie can still be received poorly. Happens all the time. Why am I even bringing this stuff up? It's because Linda Palmer's film "Passage" hit my eyes at just the right time. Maybe "the right time" is not the best use of words to describe my feelings regarding this film; yet there is no other way to put it. "Passage" was, to me, a very dramatic and powerful short flick. Perhaps it was because I just lost my pet, my pal, of the last sixteen years. Our family cat that was given to my wife, by myself, before she was my wife. Just before my beautiful daughter was born. Man - this film sure tugged at my heart. No question about that.
I should write that Palmer's film does not revolve around a dying cat... well... not really. There is a family cat. It does die, and it also serves as a tool to progress this film about growth. "Passage" uses this sad instance to further enhance a story that is about family. Differences. The eccentricities that form a family dynamic. Even a family that is by no means perfect. In this case, three generations of ladies. All seemingly completely different people on the surface - but only on the surface. Here the family ties can feel a little forced, but we all know what that's like. Especially during stressful times.
For me, "Passage" was a coming of age story of sorts. For two different people. Could it really be true? That thing we call "coming of age" can happen numerous times through life? And an even better question when talking about this film, is can one such passage occur simply from proximity? The truth is that this particular family could be any one of us. Swap out a really cool trailer for a three bedroom, two point five bathroom home and essentially, the same story could be told. Crushed dreams and rekindled possibilities. "Passage" in it's rawest form is a story about life. The real kicker here is that it's a great film to watch. Maybe the normal, not so normal family is so familiar that it's become entertaining. Now there's a thought.
Don't even get me started on the frustration this film has given me for it's technical aspects. I write that in the best possible way because quite frankly, this movie shows itself beautifully. I really have nothing to complain about - and that really sucks. For me that is. However, for the cast and crew of "Passage" I can think of no better compliment.
For any filmmakers reading this... have you ever heard that unintentionally obnoxious, six word sentence from friends or family? The one that goes a little something like... it looks like a real movie? Even though you know, those six words are meant in the best possible way, it still doesn't stop most filmmakers from wanting to rip their hair out - when hearing those words. It is a real movie! Blood, sweat, tears and money made this production work. It's as real as it gets dammit! My point is this. "Passage" not only looks like a real movie... it plays better than some blockbusters I've seen recently. Acting, camerawork, audio and screenplay all coming together to make a truly great twenty minutes. This was all no accident and as real as it gets.
At the end of the day, this film came at the perfect time to pull those heartstrings of mine. But even if the timing were off, if those personal elements didn't exist, there's really nothing not to like about this production - and I don't have much else to write on the subject. To the cast and crew? Excellent job. Standing ovation. I'm sure most would, and probably will agree.