BLACKBIRD: THE REVIEW

BLACKBIRD is part of the that takes place in Sydney at Dendy Opera Quays and Dendy Newtown – it is a festival of independent American and Canadian film – running from the 8th to the 18th of August. It has a phenomenal line up of films and if you want your mind broadened and want to see some great films that are not Hollywood made then suss out this festival. You can get all the information you need from HERE and now enjoy my review of BLACKBIRD – Regards Salty.

 

Connor Jessup, Michael Buie, Alex Ozerov, Alexia Fast, Possible Worlds Film Festival, Possible Worlds, Blackbird, Blackbird Review, Blackbird Movie, Jason Buxton, Canadian Film, Jason King, Falling Skies
BLACKBIRD – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

As soon as I saw the program for Film Festival this one leapt at me. I tried to get screeners but none available – I did not care, I was going to buy tickets to this one and not miss it. It stars Connor Jessup – the easy standout performer in one of my TV show addictions produced by Spielberg, FALLING SKIES – must watch TV if you like some sci-fi apocalypse action 🙂 I was really keen to see if his acting was as good as I could judge from the TV show and the story looked amazing for this and it was a Canadian film, I love Canadian cinema – it was a win win already as far as I was concerned – and I was not disappointed in the slightest, if anything I was surprised at how impressed I was. I took bestie, Carrie with me, and while she said the acting was brilliant and we opened up debate after the film, this movie was not for her, it is dark, I mean, midnight dark, as Carrie said after the film, “please, next time a romcom” – so we are going to watch We’re The Millers in a couple of weeks. I digress, while this was not for Carrie, it was all for me, it was a mesmerising and hypnotic film to watch, tackling a story that has been done quite a few times, but this time made fresh, from a different angle and not concentrating on “the act” but more on the cause and effect of it, the emotion behind it and the prejudices and bullying associated. It is very powerful on its social commentary.

 

Connor Jessup, Michael Buie, Alex Ozerov, Alexia Fast, Possible Worlds Film Festival, Possible Worlds, Blackbird, Blackbird Review, Blackbird Movie, Jason Buxton, Canadian Film, Jason King, Falling Skies
BLACKBIRD – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

BLACKBIRD is a “school massacre” film, the Clayton’s version, the school massacre film you have when there is no school massacre. Sean Randall is a city boy goth, more heavy metal punk to me but you get the drift. Due to circumstances and being the moody, internal angry, introverted teenager that he is (and nearly everyone at that age is) he is sent to live with his dad as his mum has a new husband who doesn’t really like Sean. The problem is that a heavy metal punk goth does not fit in small redneck towns. At school he is bullied (to the point where I would have actually followed through with a massacre) and driven to further isolation and depression and internalised anger. How does he deal with it? He writes a “story of revenge”, a way of exorcising his anger out of him. It details how and by what means everyone would be killed. He basically does nothing wrong. But in the post Columbine era and the fact that Sean is so different – he is treated like a terrorist and treated accordingly.

 

Connor Jessup, Michael Buie, Alex Ozerov, Alexia Fast, Possible Worlds Film Festival, Possible Worlds, Blackbird, Blackbird Review, Blackbird Movie, Jason Buxton, Canadian Film, Jason King, Falling Skies
BLACKBIRD – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

In his feature debut, director, Jason Buxton, delivers us something different in this genre, how? He doesn’t make it menacing with abundant death and then leave the viewer with the question of why? He gives a valid response to that question in the film – in this story – it is bullying and pack mentality that could drive someone to do this. Sean is horrendously bullied for being different, by an entire hockey team, the one person he is actually close with denies his friendship in front of the hockey team and her friends. HIs father is a simple, but caring man, he is a redneck hunter that really cannot understand Sean’s universe, but he gives everything for his son. Sean, is a battling teenager who can’t find his place. The realism of this film is incredible. Sean is jailed in a violent youth home/ prison. And you thought the bullying at school was bad. Sean is pushed to break his beliefs and morals to escape the fright, debasement and trauma of being in prison. He is then returned to his hometown but has so many restrictions it is more debilitating than prison and like most teenagers he rebels and lashes out as he is being internally torn apart (I am having so many teenage flashbacks writing this haha). This causes him to question the meaning of freedom and he reverts to his core fibre and corrects his morals but this puts him back in the same prison where Sean must face all his demons and be crushed or become a man.

 

Connor Jessup, Michael Buie, Alex Ozerov, Alexia Fast, Possible Worlds Film Festival, Possible Worlds, Blackbird, Blackbird Review, Blackbird Movie, Jason Buxton, Canadian Film, Jason King, Falling Skies
BLACKBIRD – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

The direction and acting in this film is all Oscar worthy – it is being festival worshipped and is winning so many awards there is no more room on the poster for laurels 🙂 Jessup is just breathtaking in this role. HIs range and control is years ahead of his age – this character is incredibly internalised and every single scene has an emotional response from Sean – his life is being smashed to pieces by a naive and scared town. It is such a good example of this small town mentality, the jock hockey club guys are so sporty and always nice looking in their Abercrombie – surely butter wouldn’t melt in their mouthes – assholes – never judge a book by its cover. Everyone is just brilliant in the film and fills their roles wholly but Jessup shines.

There was one thing I noticed – the middle of the film slows right down – I liked what it did though – when Sean is back in town under restrictions from the court, he is pushed and bullied, not just by the hockey dicks but by an entire town that believes he was planning on killing abundant people – they look at him like a freak. This is where the film leaves you considering two options – will Sean be pushed to become the terrorist they all think he is? But this slowing down took away from the pace of the film and I clock watched in the middle of it – but then it picks up to a cracking pace and it was worth it.

 

Connor Jessup, Michael Buie, Alex Ozerov, Alexia Fast, Possible Worlds Film Festival, Possible Worlds, Blackbird, Blackbird Review, Blackbird Movie, Jason Buxton, Canadian Film, Jason King, Falling Skies
BLACKBIRD – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

I cannot rave enough about this film, it is incredibly powerful and original with stellar performances. I am loving the independent films at the moment from the festivals – it is good to see films with creativity in story and not just “safe” Hollywood studio films. Sadly, for you, for now, this film has finished at the  Possible Worlds Festival. It is so well made it would be crazy if this did not get distributed. If you are interested you can actually request a screening on their webpage HERE. If not, have no fear, if it becomes available I will update this post and notify – I will be buying it on Blu Ray as soon as I can. You can stalk, err, I mean follow the makers on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE. If you have a chance to see it do it – and mark the name Connor Jessup in your diaries – he will one day be a household name.

 

4 and a Half Pops