Instead of sticking around for a fifth documentary at Docfest on Saturday, I had to go to Japantown to see this film. And since I just barely mistimed the bus route, I hoofed it from the Mission to Japantown (specifically, from the Roxie to the New People Center)--approximately 1.7 miles in 30 minutes. So I officially got my exercise. Anyway, on to the film.
By the time an actual female character shows up in Alejandro Adams (AROUND THE BAY, CANARY, BABNIK) newest film AMITY, the female presence is conspicuous through its absence. This is approximately at the 50 minute mark of the 80 minute film. So it's pretty remarkable that the central relationship in the film is actually between a father and his daughter. Or, to be more precise, it's between an absentee, divorced father and his estranged daughter, on the night of her graduation. He has decided to fly in and surprised her by renting a limo for the night for her to party in. But she blows him off and he's left alone with the limo driver. The limo driver happens to be a former military counselor, so he has some insight on the human condition and this guy in particular (who doesn't just have problems connecting with his daughter or ex-wife, he seems to have problems relating well to anyone.) And while the limo driver is an excellent source of insight for the audience, he still doesn't seem to be able to get through to the man.
Oh, and once the female presence is introduced, it sort of goes into overdrive with the limo filling up with drunk, kinda slutty (or at least slutty acting at the moment) women. It's like the movie wants to have just as bad of a relationship with women as its main character does. And it reminded me of something that happened to me on the BART a couple of years ago, that is probably an irrelevant tangent but possibly very relevant.
I was BARTing home (to Fremont, end of the BART line) and there were a couple of young ladies (maybe college students, but probably high schoolers. I'm old enough now that all you young 'uns look alike to me.) They were obviously tipsy and going on and on about how tired they were and how they still had to go to another party after they got off the BART at Fremont. I tend to carry Foosh energy mints on me (to help make it through the 5th movie in a marathon day.) And because I'm a fundamentally nice guy (don't let my Twitter feed fool you) and because I was tired of the girls complaining about how tired they were, I offered them some caffeine mints. One girl looked at it and said, "What are these, roofies!" Then she grabbed one, ate it, grabbed another, and forced it into her friends mouth. Now I am never, ever, ever one to say, "she was asking for it" but I suppose if I were consistently hanging out with women like this, I would probably have a low opinion of them. Maybe the point is I imagine the main character in the movie spending most of his time with women like this (when he's around women at all.)
Yeah, so anyway I'm not sure if that meant anything. And I'm pretty sure I got sidetracked from the movie. Maybe the point is I imagine the main character in the movie spending most of his time with women like that (when he's around women at all.) And I will say that thought bugs me because it feels like I'm blaming those women rather than blaming him for being an unlikable jerk. But I will say Alejandro's movies are consistently provocative, even if I can't always say they were fun to watch.
Running Time: 80 minutes
My Total Minutes: 303,336