In Search of a Midnight Kiss
Scoot McNairy, Sara Simmonds, Brian McGuire, Katy Luong, Bret Roberts, Robert Murphy, Twink Caplan / Fiction / English
The American indie discovery of the year.
It’s been three months since Wilson (Scoot McNairy) moved to Los Angeles, and so far, things haven’t been going very well. On the drive out he flipped his car, and a few weeks later his laptop – containing the script that had come this close to actually selling – was stolen. Now jobless, depressed and with nothing but his bong to keep him warm at night, Wilson is realising the big move isn’t exactly panning out. Even worse, it’s New Year’s Eve. So, in a vain attempt to salvage the last remaining hours of the year, and to maybe have someone to kiss at midnight, he gives in to best friend Jacob’s nagging, and posts a personal ad on Craigslist. “Misanthrope seeks misanthrope...” he types into the subject line. Soon, and somewhat surprisingly, the phone rings. A date is made. When Wilson asks the voice how he will know it is her, she replies “I’m 300 lbs, into bondage and I like Hello Kitty.” Oh my.
That colourful self-description turns out to be a lie, told by the beautiful but abrasive Vivian (Sara Simmonds), another LA transplant with aspirations of making it as an actor. She gives Wilson five minutes before deciding whether or not to ditch him for the chance of something better. But five minutes becomes five hours, as the pair ramble through downtown LA, partaking in a distinctive discourse on life, love, and all things in between. As day creeps into night, Wilson and Vivian journey on a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, working through the dynamics of an entire relationship in the course of one night. From a starting point as two virtual strangers, they become eternally etched in each other’s hearts and minds.
This blend of spiky, funny, and flirty lends the film its likeable, naturalistic appeal – and steers it away from the stale, Hollywood-style predictablity that too often plagues big screen romantic comedy. Writer/director Alex Holdridge’s script flows beautifully, and flourishes against an LA beautifully evoked in black and white.
As laid bare in the title, this film explores the basic but overwhelming human desire for a genuine, lasting connection. But as the days of patient courting and finely crafted love letters are superseded by texting and IM chats, the film asks a question: is such a bond even possible? The answer – that nothing may be certain – is best illustrated in Vivian’s wise words to Wilson just before the clock strikes twelve. “Wilson, nobody has their shit together. We’re all hanging on by a thread. Life is a shitstorm but sometimes, you just gotta grab that umbrella, get out there and party.”
How She Slept at Night
Colour/B&W/HD-Cam//3 min 15 sec
A beautifully illustrated, quirky animation that traces memories of a partner with highly unpredictable personal habits.
Director: Lilli Carré Producer: Lilli Carré Scriptwriter: Lilli Carré Editor: Lilli Carré DoP: Lilli Carré Music: Lilli Carré Cast: Alexander Stewart
Production Company: Lilli Carré, USA.
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