When I heard that Film Movement was starting a “genre film” off-shoot called Ram Releasing, of course, I was excited to see what they’re offering. If you play close attention to my blog posts you’ll see that Film Movement has had quite an impact on my year-end lists and awards as of late. Of course, it being Film Movement I should have known that even “genre film” has a loose definition. And I meant that in the best way possible. The first announced releases sound interesting, and the first I got to see, Forgetting the Girl, toes a few genre lines.
Forgetting the Girl concerns Kevin Wolfe (Christopher Denham) and his struggle to forget certain traumatic dating experiences and other painful memories. It does quite a few things such that not all are apparent right away. Firstly, and most recently coming to light, it slyly dabbles with found footage technique in the guise of confessional videos to be viewed if such and such occurs. However, conventional, and even unconventional cinematic technique are not abandoned and there are artful transitions in time and between scenes, parallel character structures and even implied off-screen occurrences.
Essentially, what you get are psychological self-examinations of two characters. Yes, two for Jamie, played brilliantly by Lindsay Beamish, comes into the fold and plays a significant role in the film and breaks the myopia of the film some.
Now, while the technique question is one thing, the genres are another. Clearly there is a dramatic tenor to the film as a whole with a serious and honest self-examination by two characters who acknowledge they have mental disturbances, but may not realize to what extent those issues pervade their being and activities. However, when the litany and history of Kevin’s relationships falls by the wayside and the narrative focuses more so on one relationship there will be slight mystery/thriller aspect added to the film.
The film impact ends up being not in surprising you, but in anticipating the culmination which you kind of see coming and how the characters deal with and discuss their fate. The film eschews simple explication scenes either quickly in montages or by excising them completely. This may create some holes, gaps and questions which are just merely niggling doubts and invite re-viewing. However, they do heighten the anticipated impact and serve the goal.
Forgetting the Girl is some ways experimental and its results will vary with viewers. I found myself somewhere in the middle range. However, I love the challenging and bravado that this flagship film offers. If it’s a harbinger for the kinds of films Ram Releasing will try and bring forth to winder North American viewership, I am all for it.