Revolution Summer

For all the tumult the film's title suggests, things are pretty glumly angst-ridden among "Revolutionary Summer's" protagonists -- even those plotting to overthrow the government. Microbudget drama holds sporadic interest, but characters and situations aren't developed enough to reward patience in the end. Programmers looking for reflections of radical political discontent in current Amerindie cinema may want to give it a look.

With:
With: Mackenzie Firgens, Samuel Child, Lauren Fox, Zak Kilberg, Chuck Prophet, David Fine, Ari Gold, Gary Floyd, Amanda Foreman.

For all the tumult the film’s title suggests, things are pretty glumly angst-ridden among “Revolutionary Summer’s” protagonists — even those plotting to overthrow the government. Microbudget drama holds sporadic interest, but characters and situations aren’t developed enough to reward patience in the end. Programmers looking for reflections of radical political discontent in current Amerindie cinema may want to give it a look.

Using unfamiliar San Francisco and Oakland locations that put adepressed cast on the Bay Area, debuting feature writer-helmer Miles Montalbano focuses on four alienated Caucasian twentysomethings. Hope (Mackenzie Firgens) is looking for meaningful human connection, and potentially finds it with the secretive Frankie (Samuel Child). What he’s hiding are murky plans with excitable mate Charlie (Zak Kilberg) to pull off some violent act of protest. Meanwhile, Hope’s strip-club co-worker Francine (Lauren Fox) parties toward self-destruction. Pic touches on various promising themes, but script is alternately well-observed, vague and pretentious, thesping just OK, non-ending a turnoff. Established indie musicians Chuck Prophet and Gary Floyd have small roles, while alt-rock icon Jonathan Richman contributes the instrumental score.

Revolution Summer

Production: A Gray Eminence Films production. Produced by Miles Montalbano. Co-producer, Liz Ross. Directed, written, edited by Miles Montalbano.

Crew: Camera (color, DigiBeta), Christian Bruno, KC Smith; music, Jonathan Richman; production designer, Christine Rose Elle. Reviewed at San Francisco Intl. Film Festival, May 3, 2007. Running time: 80 MIN.

With: With: Mackenzie Firgens, Samuel Child, Lauren Fox, Zak Kilberg, Chuck Prophet, David Fine, Ari Gold, Gary Floyd, Amanda Foreman.

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