Logan (Malcolm Stumpf) is a lonely 13-year-old whose experience of junior high, already hellish, is made exponentially worse by his emerging homosexual identity. Smitten with Rodeo, an older rebel who is one of the only other students to spend time with him, Logan adopts the female identity of â€œLeahâ€ which he uses to seduce Rodeo over the phone, hoping to make his daydream a reality. Meanwhile, he identifies strongly with the mountain lions that have begun straying onto the campus and being shot.
The film is exec-produced by Gus Van Sant, and writer/editor/producer/director Cam Archer wears the influence of his mentor on his sleeve. There is too much precious cinematographical poetry and too many preposterously literal metaphors here, getting in the way of moments that, at other times, offer the possibility of an acutely sensitive look into the torment of early adolescence. As a result, the film is merely acutely sensitive â€“ in way that invites an atomic wedgie.
Archer dearly loves Silence, and I use that capital â€œSâ€ advisedly. Because Silence, you see, is loaded with Meaning. So that Silence is, Iâ€™m happy to report, nicely handled by the transfer, with no hiss whatsoever. The delicate, perhaps precious, certainly painstaking sound design is also well treated, with each sound meticulously placed. The dialogue, for the most part, sounds fine, too. So the audio is well done, even if very often you wonâ€™t be listening to anything at all. But when you do hear something, you will be enveloped by it.
There is some pixellation and grain going on here, perhaps a reflection of the filmâ€™s admittedly constrained budget. Otherwise, the colours are strong, varying from the very natural to the surreally rich for daydream sequences (but not only for those sequences â€“ Loganâ€™s nerdy friend has a room that looks like an SF Convention suite with colours by Dario Argento). The image is sharp, and the contrasts are fine, even during the dimly lit sequences.
Other than the filmâ€™s trailer (plus those for other, related DVD releases) thereâ€™s the title music video by Emily Jane White.
There is a lot of talent here, but it is still undisciplined, and still too caught up with being delicate and pretty at the expense of storytelling and insight.