If ever an example were needed of why freshman helmers shouldn’t also be producers, scripters, lensers and editors, it’s “Amy George.” Reveling in a wearisome grunge indie aesthetic, co-everythings Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas revisit a not-so-distant adolescence via their protag, 13, feeling a hormonal pull. Self-indulgent and underwritten, this mood piece struggles to evoke the sexual yearnings of the average teen, but emerges as another charmless Holden Caulfield knockoff. World preemed at the Wisconsin fest in April, the pic will likely play more fests before turning up on streaming sites.A class assignment to take a self-portrait without literally incorporating the self stumps Jesse (Gabriel del Castillo Mullally), but when he reads “You can never be a real artist until you’ve made love to a woman,” the sentiment ties in perfectly with his burgeoning randiness. He climbs a tree and snaps shots of new neighbor Amy (Emily Henry), who acts annoyed but enjoys the attention. Other interactions are less clear: Do Jesse’s parents (Claudia Dey and Don Kerr) have jobs? Muddy visuals reflect the low budget, though the shaky camera and insistent piano banging can’t be similarly excused.
A C & Y production. Produced by Yonah Lewis, Calvin Thomas. Executive producer, Connor Jessup. Directed, written edited by Yonah Lewis, Calvin Thomas.
Camera (color, HD), Yonah Lewis, Thomas; music, Lev Lewis, Michael Holt; production designer, Andrea Leigh Pelletier; costume designer, Maerin Hunting. Reviewed at Rome Film Festival (Alice in the City), Nov. 1, 2011. (Also in Toronto Film Festival -- Canada First.) Running time: 95 MIN.
Gabriel del Castillo Mullally, Claudia Dey, Don Kerr, Natasha Allan, Emily Henry, Candice Barkin, Yaari Magenheim, Brian Scott, Andrea Verginella, Ester Reyes.