In the interest of things being fully disclosed, co-star and Producer of Connect To, Wonder Russell, is a friend of mine. You may even know her as the Minister of Culture at Runic Games, makers of Torchlight and Torchlight II - suffice it to say, her qualifications for awesomeness run deep, and this is a plug. Still, when a friend invites you to support their movie, there remains that awkward concern: when it comes time to watch the darn thing, what if...it’s not good? Friendships have ended over one truly awful poem; bad film is a tangible risk. So it is with heartfelt gratitude to Wonder that I report: Connect To is great.
A dramedy costarring Russell as hygiene obsessed and “mentally childlike” Whitney and Lisa LeVan as Laurie, a woman escaping a cheating husband, Connect To is all about resolve, the dangers of people that worship Satan and eat kitten heads, and figuring out when we can be okay with finishing what we’ve started.
The short film runs about a quarter of an hour and is based on a scene written and performed for the Actorswork Showcase in LA. Both women are running away - from a mental insittution, from a wretched husband - with destinations pointedly nonspecific. Imagine if LOST took place on a bus that never crashed and was really about how public transportation can change lives. Initially thrown together by sparse seating options, the pair begin as incompatible travel mates whose compassion spawns friendship, and the connection they crave. Soon, Laurie is helping stowaway Whitney on her journey (while Whitney helps with hand wipes and nose blowing) as they both struggle to find out where they’re going.
Production values are strong and the story is sweet, which sounds more saccharine and trite than the quiet storytelling deserves. It’s unavoidable, Whitney’s own mild kindness gives off tiny fluttering butterflies of nice words like “charming” and “touching”. It’s all true, it just belies the undercurrent of hurt that drives both women to ride grimy buses for hours on end. After all, Whitney is a teensy tiny bit crazy, but Russell avoids giving her an air of “I may also murder you while you sleep”. Connect To is, of course, about the connection these women share, but more than that it’s a hope for starting something you never want to finish.
Other people think it’s neat, too! Film festivals so far:
Seattle True Independent Film Festival
Dances With Films Festival
Park City Film Music Festival
Mosaic LA Film Festival
If you live in those areas you can check it out, and of course get all FaceBook on it here: http://www.facebook.com/Fol...