Michael Idemoto plays Michael, an introspective bookworm and mechanic. His tenant isEugenia Yuan, who has a boyfriend, but spends most of her evenings with Michael. Theirrelationship is platonic, but Michael clearly has strong feelings for her. Then he meets Darcy(Jacqueline Kim), a distant but alluring young woman. In fact, Darcy is Yuan’s sister Charlotte.Our protagonist is a man of few words, and the same can be said of the movie. The mostimportant elements are the thing… unsaid, and the perfectly judged performances speakvolumes.
The sound is only 2.0, but is still quite impressive within those bounds. The music, whichspeaks for the characters almost more than they do themselves, has a solid, sensitive mix. Thevoices are clear, undistorted, and always perfectly audible, low volume notwithstanding. Thesurround sound effects are solid too, doing good work in environmental creation.
The film was shot for $20,000.00 on DV, so, as you can imagine, the picture isn’t exactlySuperbit. The aspect is 1.85:1 widescreen, but not anamorphic, so on widescreen TVs thenecessary zoom accentuates the flaws further. These flaws consist of a soft, grainy image. Insome shots, faces become almost featureless.
There are two commentary tracks, both featuring writer/director Eric Byler. On the first, he isjoined by Idemoto and Yuan, and on the second by Kim and Matt Westmore (who plays Yuan’sboyfriend). Byler does try to avoid going over too much of the same ground, and the talks havethe same kind appealing understatement as the rest of the movie. There’s a recording of a filmfestival Q&A session conducted by Roger Ebert (the picture quality here is strictly home video,i.e. very very bad). Behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and bloopers are put together in afeaturette that is promotional, but less irritating than most of these things. And there’s the trailer.One more extra is a slam poetry short feature, “Writing Through,” directed by Joel Fendelman.The menu is basic.
Sure the picture is pretty raw, but what do you want for twenty grand? The film iscaptivating, and the features assembled are solid. A worthwhile package.
Special Features List
- 2 Audio Commentaries
- “Writing Through” Short Feature by Joel Fendelman
- Roger Ebert Moderated Q&A Session
- Behind-the-Scenes Footage, Bloopers and Interviews
- Theatrical Trailer