One of my very good friends, the talented photographer and art director Ashley Tarr of The Thinking Tank, (a beautifully curated blog) graciously agreed to do a guest post for me! Seeing as we are both cinephiles, I knew it would be fun and enlightening for her to share her ideas for Film of the Week:
Director Mike Mills loosely based this melancholic yet whimsical film on the lives of his parents and himself. After his mother’s death, his father came out as gay – only to lose his life to lung cancer five years later. The main character deals with this crisis along with his own romantic and artistic troubles. The simple narrative is a fragmented with stray moments and flashbacks, leaving the film in no certain chronological order.
The excellent cast is comprised of Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent and Goran Visnjic along with Cosmo the Jack Russell Terrier. One other important character in this film is the iconic Lovell House in Los Angeles, by architect Richard Neutra. Mills wanted to preserve the patina the house already had – clutter owned by the Topper family who have resided in the house for over four decades are scattered though out, along with objects from Mills’ family creating an authentic atmosphere with a personal touch.
The soundtrack to this film is constantly on rotation for me. Considering both of the prominent buildings used in the film – the Lovell House and the Millennium Biltmore Hotel were built in the 1920’s – its no surprise that the music was also from that era consisting of tracks by Josephine Baker, Jelly Roll Morton and Gene Austin.