I saw Ohio about a month ago. I quite liked it. This led me to wonder what other kinds of films this DeYoung guy had made. So naturally I clicked on Breasts. It utilizes obscure comedy, VHS as a canvas (a current fetish which I’m certainly into myself), and features something or other to do with the title. Point is, though about three years apart and very different in style, Ohio and Breasts had a common voice and perspective. Something interesting is happening.
During the summer/fall I’m a narrative shorts programmer for Slamdance. I have been binge-watching submissions the last couple of months (though I have no more presently) and tonight I am on an insane caffeine high due to my work’s needs from earlier in the day. So while I have no pile of Slamdance shorts to occupy my wired brain, I do have Andrew DeYoung’s Vimeo page of shorts.
I am finished with Breasts, wondering where to go next.
I could go to the next featured video, Santa Monica, but instead I go to his earliest posted film, Mom Bought a Drum Set, and decide to chronologically move forward from there. In the age of binge-watching a TV series, film franchises, youtube channels, (festival submissions), etc, it seems only fitting to tackle this newly discovered filmmaker in the same way. This adds a strange context to the individual works and the whole of the collective. A Clockwork Orange is a different experience when watched right after 2001: A Space Odyssey and right before Barry Lyndon, for example. Or how Ernest Saves Christmas works best between Ernest Goes to Camp and Ernest Goes to Jail.
DeYoung’s early works, from Mom Bought a Drum Set (rather primitive when compared to his later stuff, but with funny and heartfelt moments), through the Dyke Durst series, shows a filmmaker who has a voice and is learning to apply that to his movie-making. I am fine with rough production value, so long as the subjects on screen are interesting. Andrew’s very much are.
I laugh out loud several times during Bears, a film I took as a rather serious look at relationships and the wandering eye, and which is perhaps my favorite of his films from these earliest works.
Maria Blasucci = Miracle Baby makes me think maybe I feel asleep and am having one of those dreams again. Nope, it’s a movie! “Come on now, let’s get some cake in you.”
“But Scottie Pippen only, no Spud Webb.” I want to see everything Rebecca Tréhouse made before her tragic murder in 1992. I am obsessed.
“Now check out these dunks!” from Take a Knee (my new favorite film, with my favorite new TV personality, the late, great Rebecca Tréhouse) will be a new catchphrase that I talk at people. The dialogue in his movies, this short a prime example, is fucking brilliant. “I’m getting crucified!”
Bumpers. Watch it a few times. It’s great.
I finish watching Santa Monica around 3 am and it leaves me in a weird state. I’m genuinely tired now, but I really like this film and now am even more interested to re-watch Ohio because of it.
The arch from Mom Bought a Drum Set or even Bears to the Bumpers collection to Santa Monica and Ohio are really something. Andrew’s care more for letting story dictate style than trying to repeat himself again and again is really refreshing.
Santa Monica and Ohio feel like they could be part of a series. They are stylistically similar, they feature a woman/girl experiencing things seemingly new to them in and around Los Angeles, and they contain a constant sense of something being “off” in apparently real world they occupy. Subtly is not used in comedy enough and I’m glad to see it used to such great effect in Andrew’s work.
Ohio is great not only because of the ideas in it, but also because of how natural and defined the character that Maria Blasucci develops is (in the short 13 minute run time). “Oh, it’s an MGM sweater!” I exclaim to nobody about half-way through.
Todd Halloween is really the perfect film to end the night on. It is the combination of the realism of the handheld camera, the quick zooms, and the voyeuristic aspects of his last two films, but also injects the bananas comedy of the earlier works. If I were to suggest to people how wrap up (or begin, for that matter) a DeYoung binge-watch, it would certainly be this piece.
“I have an online class.” “In what, drinking?”
I am a better person for the experience of watching all of his movies tonight instead of sleeping. I am left moved by the genuine moments of his stuff, but also delighted with the smell of the whiskey I spit on myself while laughing at Take a Knee.
I need to go to bed so hard.