Sunday, December 21, 2014

Linda, Linda, Linda

Linda, Linda, Linda starts with a scene that's intended to encapsulate the movie by way of three filmmakers who ineptly stumble their way towards "making an impact" as they shoot a piece about their school's festival. However it also serves to call attention to the process of film-making by laying bare their decision making process as they decide that a cut to a close-up will give their documentary more of a jolt than simply using one shot. From then on viewers can be expected to pay a little more attention to the film's visual grammar than they might have otherwise done.

Such simple but effective technique persists throughout the film. For example the next scene recalls the opening of Irma Verp or Serenity as the camera tracks to follow a single character in very long takes and in doing so introduces both the setting and most of the major characters in a concise, elegant manner. The film's narrative however is less tidy. Certain conflicts remain somewhat unresolved, back-story is hinted at but limited, "important" scenes are elided and the bass player suffers the indignity of bass players everywhere as she's mostly relegated to the background.

The result is something of a strange film. It's sweet and touching but subtly so - in stark contrast to contemporary Western teen films. Its tone can be summed up by its conclusion; it ends on a oddly melancholy note. Rather than finishing on the girls' triumphant performance of the title song it concludes on a montage of packed away festival equipment in the rain.

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