Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 14 minutes
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The tale of June Gloom is relatively straightforward. A released convict (William Stamey) makes his way home to confront his alcoholic mother (Loree Sobrito) and then hopes to reconcile with the mother (Phylicia Wissa) of his child. Nothing particularly spectacular happens, no major life revelations. Just a simple, short story.
And sometimes that works; slices of life presented as such have their place in film. Not everything has to have some fantastical, convoluted twist. The risk one runs with a short like this, however, is the audience questioning “why tell this story; why should I care?”
Which I think the filmmaker expected, for the film ends with some factoids about the California penal system and the number of convicts due to be released in 2013. The rub there, however, is now the audience is left to wonder how they’re supposed to connect the factoids with what they just saw. Are we to interpret that life is shit for convicts returning home, and the country is due for lots more suddenly free, yet discarded, people returning to society? What exactly is this film trying to say?
Attila Adam’s June Gloom is competently shot and acted, I just can’t seem to shake the questions of “why” and “what” it is trying to get across. Not that every film should be so painfully obvious and simple to interpret, but I can’t put a finger on what I, as an audience, am supposed to take away from this film, if anything.
Perhaps I’m missing the point; sometimes a filmmaker just needs to tell a certain story for a sake that isn’t clear to the likes of people like me, or maybe I’m over-thinking things, and I’m willing to optimistically hope that that’s the case here, but overall the film just was. A slice of a life from the get-go, for all the positive and negative that entails.
This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.
Posted on April 10, 2012 in Reviews by Mark Bell
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