Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Loving Annabelle

Katherine Brooks’s first major motion picture gives us a contemporary version of the genre classic “Madchen in Uniform” and she succeeds as a storyteller. This is a fantastic modern story that will titillate you until the main characters consummate their love. That is if you in real life really –and I mean really- enjoy the smooth seduction that usually comes after two women meet and feel attracted to each other; and in this movie, this moment covers almost all the picture. If you do not enjoy this situation, you will not like that much this story.

Miss Brooks also brilliantly succeeds in teasing you once and many more times. This is why it becomes so titillating and you just cannot stop watching what comes next. She succeeds so much, that you forget that this is a forbidden, legally liable, story of a teacher and a student; especially, in the country where the story is set. Well, the released end remembers you about this fact and then, you realize that what has kept your total attention for more than an hour, is an unconventional, not socially, nor legally accepted story.

Most of our reactions to the forbidden story are related to “who cares, as it happens in real life”. Yes, most of us are romantic and fall deep down into romance –and more when is a well-done romance. But, is Miss Brooks storyteller abilities that makes us feel this way and this is just genius. If this have been a man/woman affair and no good storyteller involved, the end product would have been disastrous, an often seen drama or latelly, regular news story.

Besides, lets be realistic, we do not have many good stories in this genre and less stories that become movies. So, we easily react to Miss Brooks intended stimuli with great pleasure.

Yes, I just loved the movie because of the way the story is shown; as a movie, it lacks many production values, even for an independent movie. Yeah, I know is a very low budget production, filmed in a very few days with many takes per day. Still, I think Miss Brooks is a very talented filmmaker and she will make sure that production values in future films will be taken in good care. Sometimes, it is not a matter of money; is making sure that with the few resources that you might have, you and your team make the best effort ever! Not just your best effort.

I know it is a long shot, but seeing Miss Brooks in the picture remind me of Hitchcock!! Probably it was done to save money, but the gimmick worked to the best advantage of the filmmaker and us fans that get to see her pictures.

I used to be in Advertising and it was easy for me to notice the good integrated campaign behind the marketing of this movie. Bravo Miss Brooks!!! But, be careful, a one-year plus campaign before having access to the actual product could backfire terribly. It was good the teasing in the movie but, not so good the teasing before being able to watch the movie.

Miss Brooks seems to know her main target group, not only because the outstanding story co-written by her, but also because her approval of a great and beautiful cast. Erin Kelly is just so credible in her “falling in love” process, even if I cannot say the same about the two times expelled from school rebellious teenager side of the character. But then, it may be that the filmmaker did not gave that much time to character development, at least more than Kelly’s acting abilities.

The story and Miss Brooks storytelling abilities are so powerful that I wish there would be a book. In the book, she can take time to explore more into her characters and go deep into their motivation, desires and emotions.

I believe this movie will become a classic in this genre and will be remembered and watched one and many times in the years to come. Suffice to say that I liked very much the original Madchen in Uniform –not so the Romy Schneider remake- but, Loving Annabelle is not a remake, it was probaly inspired by it, even do Miss Brooks says it was a little autobiographical.


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