Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|You Are Alone|
Actors: Jessica Bohl, Richard Brundage, Keith Herron, Eric Deskin, Bruce Koken
Director: Gorman Bechard
Daphne a Yale bound high school senior with a blurred sense of reality, works as an escort, advertising her services online. All goes well until her next door neighbor catches her as the entertainment at his nephew?s bach... more »
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Lovely, Sad Film about Two Lonely People... Fine DVD from Ne
dooby | 03/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a tiny independent film. It is a talky. There is little action, minimal nudity and no sex. But it grabs your attention and holds you spellbound from beginning to end.
Daphne is a Yale-bound, high-school girl turning tricks, not so much for the cash, but for the company. Buddy is the middle-aged next-door neighbour who catches her at it and blackmails her into entertaining him instead. His motives however are slightly less sleazy than that. They are both lost and lonely souls trying to find someone to connect with. When he calls her over, he immediately hands her a suitcase full of cash but insists that he doesn't want to have sex with her. They just talk and that is pretty much all that happens throughout. The film is very well written and very well acted. Jessica Bohl deservedly won the Best Actress awards at several Indie festivals for this film. In fact, she ad-libbed so many of her lines and did it so naturally that director Gorman Bechard ended up giving her co-writing credit. Bit by bit, we learn why she turns tricks and why he's so lonely and depressed. We also get to hear about all the kinky things her clients ask her to do - like the priest who pays $500 for a golden shower, or Mr Chang who pays to "dine at the Y" and "toss her salad" and likens her taste to that of sweet-and-sour chicken. The dialogue gets bawdy and quite hilarious at times but as we learn from the commentary, most of the funniest lines were deleted because they made the film overly funny. And the director's aim was far from that. The resultant film is restrained, sombre, and ultimately very sad. The director uses the word depressing quite a few times, especially in his commentary over the deleted scenes. Personally I don't feel it is depressing. But I do agree with him that the film works best this way, shorn of its ribald humour. It is indeed a beautifully sad film about how painful, loneliness can be, and the lengths people will go to find relief. Fortunately, all those deleted scenes are preserved on this DVD.
The film was shot using just 2 Panasonic mini-DV cameras (AG-DVX100A) so don't expect brilliant picture quality. The transfer looks very good considering its source. It's presented in 1.78:1 widescreen (anamorphic). There is some lovely cinematography here, including some that ended up on the cutting room floor. However much I disliked the occasional shaky camerawork, Bechard explains on the commentary why he wanted them that way and what he wanted to convey by them. Colours are sombre and muted but accurate. Black levels are about what you'd expect of a mini-DV movie. Amazingly no colour-correction was done due to budget constraints. So what you see onscreen is the direct output of the mini-DV camera. Sound is in 2.0 Dolby Surround. Dialogue is always clear and the various music tracks are well presented. There are 16 music tracks in all, many previously unreleased, from the likes of Tywanna Jo Baskette, Matt Ryan and Crooked Fingers. No subtitles are provided.
There is an engaging and very informative full-length audio commentary from director Gorman Bechard. There are 13 minutes worth of deleted scenes with and without commentary which are definitely worth watching. My favourites were the mother's comic-relief sequences which were all deleted, especially her delivery of those 3 classic questions "that parents should never ask their daughters". There are two theatrical trailers and the music video of Strays Don't Sleep's "Cars and History". Another lovely track is Tywanna's "The Girl You Hate". Also included on the DVD is Bechard's earlier short film, "The Pretty Girl". However for some strange reason, this 6-minute film is not in standard DVD format but in Apple-Quicktime and AVI format so that it's only playable on a Mac or PC. The complete shooting script is also included in Adobe PDF format. A very cute inclusion was Jessica Bohl's resume (in PDF format), detailing her acting, sporting and school qualifications, including her GPA, her typing speed and her knowledge of computers, as well as the fact that she is knowledgeable in Swedish and Spanish and studied at both Wesleyan and Stockholm Universities, graduating with a B.A. in 2002. Sorry guys, no phone number.
PS. With her blonde hair dyed brown, Jessica Bohl bears more than a passing resemblance to the young Katie Holmes."
Dark, candid & beautiful with powerful performances and an e
Emily Evans | LA | 02/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You Are Alone is a beautiful, almost delicate film, smart directed, crisply written, with two complex and riveting performances, and a twist of an ending that no one will see coming, but will make you want to see the film a second time to go back and catch up on all the clues you misread.
The story, about a highschool girl who drowns her depression and awkwardness by working a few hours a week as a $500 an hour "schoolgirl" escort, and the depressed next-door neighbor who discovers her secret and hires her for an afternoon call in a downtown New Haven hotel, features breathtaking performances from both Jessica Bohl, as the girl, and Richard Brundage, as her neighbor.
Bohl as Daphne gives a breakthrough performance on par with Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary. She so captures a teenager's angst of growing into her own skin, and when she talks about always being in control, you start to realize she's not in control at all, but in danger of going over the deep end, which I guess in a way she does.
Brundage as Buddy is depressed, angry, heartbroken, a shell of a man. But it isn't until the film's startling conclusion that you grasp a full comprehension of his pain.
After a very brief opening segment, which will hook most independent film lovers, and have the religious right running towards the exits, we are brought into the hotel room. At first you're not sure about these people, or the film-making style. Shaky, annoying...like the characters. Until you realize their back story, told in short flashbacks. They're confrontational at first for a reason, and so is the camera. But as they open up, as the story settles down, likewise, so does the camera. And, I don't know, 20 minutes in, give or take, you find yourself unable to take your eyes away from the screen.
I first saw the film at its world premiere screening at the Brooklyn Film Fest -- where the director asked the audience if anyone expected the ending and not one person answered yes - I so wished back then the film were already on video so I could watch it again. Because thinking back now on some of the conversations in the film, particularly a very candid dialog regarding fantasy and climax, I really thought things were going in a very different direction. But I realize now so much of their conversation meant something completely different than what I imagined. I need to see it again!!! But as dark and sexual as much of the talk is, blunt to say the least, I found myself laughing more than I might have expected at some of its candor, which definitely falls into the "things we think, but lack the nerve to say out loud" category. It's very blunt, especially when you realize so much of it has a completely different meaning. Some of it will make you uncomfortable, especially if you're watching You Are Alone with a partner. You'll definitely have something to talk about - perhaps argue about - afterwards. Perhaps it should come with a warning: You SHOULD be alone when watching!
Also the music is amazing. I would be ordering the soundtrack if I could have. The film looks as good as anything shot on film. After the screening director Gorman Bechard was asked what sort of process he used to get the digital footage to look so good. His answer: none. They couldn't afford it.
I have to give Bechard credit. I am a big fan of his two shorts, The Pretty Girl and Objects in the Mirror, and his five novels, but even they could not have prepared me for the complexities and surprises of this film. (Well, okay UNWOUND is damn close.)
To everyone involved: bravo.
P.S. Can't wait for the director's commentary!!!"
A word from the director of YOU ARE ALONE
Gorman Bechard | New Haven, CT USA | 09/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
I just wanted to point out that the YOU ARE ALONE dvd has a bunch of extras, including a hard hitting director's commentary (I pull no punches, and call no one fabulous, and if you're a dog lover I'll probably make you cry), deleted scenes (also with commentary), two trailers, a music video, the original shooting script, my short film THE PRETTY GIRL, and bios. I promise you the director's commentary will teach you as much as any film class you're likely to take.
Enjoy my dark little film...but please don't give away the ending.
Thanks for watching!
Fantastic acting and direction but the ending ??????
D. F. Curran | Missoula, MT United States | 08/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had actually considered investing in this movie when Gorman was out
drumming up funding. I loved most of the script but did not like the
ending. Gorman insisted the ending was as it had to be.
Seeing the completed movie I have to say I am amazed. Reading the
script I had not imagined the acting (and Gorman's directing) would be
as powerful and moving as it is here. The two leads did an amazing job.
They were very believable and this movie is well worth watching just
for the performances of these two amazing stars.
Now, for the spoiler and if you have not seen the movie please don't
read further as you need to see the movie first. (I actually wish I had
never read the script just so I could have experienced the movie ending
WARNING: This is not a movie for young teenage girls as it makes prostitution look attractive.
I have two main problems with the movie. First off, and I'm sure I
mentioned this when I read the script, the wife should have died. If
she were dead the ending would be much more believable. As it is, we
have this guy who has been agonizing over a woman who left him 'years
ago.' If she left him and he is still in love after so long he'd have
to be seriously delusional. But he doesn't come across that way in the
movie. (There is also the problem of why he did not expend all this
energy going after the wife he still loves.)
Plus, if the wife were dead we would actually be able to believe that
they had a fulfilling, reciprocating love, and therefore believe that
the guy is devastated enough for the ending to be reasonable.
However, I don't buy Daphne doing what she does in the ending. I'd need
a heck of a lot of convincing to believe that this naive girl (very
naive for a whore but believable due to Bohl's performance) did what
she did. The character is simply not cold enough. And if she did this
out of some kind of love, or something else, then there is a whole
piece of the movie/story missing.
Much of this movie is reminiscent of "Sex, Lies, and Video Tape." I
think it could have been as popular if Gorman had chosen to give the
movie a more believable ending.
So watch the movie, enjoy the performance. And make up your own mind."