we are the mods poster
"Two teenagers come of age amidst the subculture of the British Mod scene of the 1960s, but in modern day Los Angeles
 in this compelling narrative of the usual teen thrills: sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll." -- from the Frameline catalogue

"We Are The Mods" is a slightly off-key teen romance that is set in the environs of Los Angeles and invigorated with a gleam of Brighton 60s modness that can't be touched -- and which carries well into the lives of the characters. Mainly it is about the relationship of Sadie and Nico, offset by Nico's boyfriend, Tregg, whose coolness only seems to cover his dorkiness.

Opposites start to attract and then glow warm. Sadie is clueless as to fashion and social cliques at her high school and is delightfully naive. Nico is sultry, and domineering -- an  ingenue more experienced in partying than finding her way home. Nico steals coke from her mother's stash, she flirts and teases whoever and whenever. Clubbing is part of her religion.

On the other hand, Sadie is shy, bashful, and somewhat dorky. She's an art nerd, with photography her idolized vocation.

Becoming modish and stylish, at the prompting of Nico,  Sadie  temporarily loses her way, and her intended college, her only choice really after high school, a prestigious art college in Vermont, turns her down, after Sadie, due to last night partying, shows up late for her admissions interview.
  • Sadie

When Sadie first met Nico as a new arrival in her scene, she is entranced by Nico's good looks and self-assuredness. 

Nico's only obvious liability is that she's suffering from Milroy’s disease -- which causes an obtuse swelling in one of her feet. A club foot that's not to stop her from dancing in the clubs.

Sadie never really says goodbye to her Betty Crocker home life with mom and her family,  as the two friends indulge each other, take  scooter rides, enjoy rowdty club scenes, do coke, and rumble along an underlying theme that touches upon but does not involve group sex. 

Still Sadie would rather remain behind the lens of a camera, while Nico is an unquiet exhibitionist. This is a classic introvert/extrovert matchup. 

In one over-the-top scene, Nico, and a woman who is selling a scooter to Sadie, engage in some nude scenes -- exactly how far they go is not shown -- while Sadie photographs them, for the benefit of the woman and her male partner. These photos eventually get out on the Internet, they were placed there by Nico, even though she told Sadie that what they did to get the scooter would remain unseen.

Sadie is shy but not prudish. She sleeps with Nico's boyfriend, and with Nico, though not at the same time. Eventually, however,the relationship comes to a hesitant conclusion. and Sadie walks out of the affair, ready to make a fresh start at an art school in Chicago that her photgraphy teacher suggests she attend.

This movie started out of the block a bit hapless. It but soon found its groove, and the storytelling stayed interesting. The club scenes are precious and the soundtrack was quite moving, filled with Northern Soul.

I can't say I know much about the mod scene in Los Angeles. It seemed to ring true, however, and I loved the way the story unfolded. It could have gone the way of "Superbad." Instead it went for sighs rather than guffaws. 

This is a good first effort by  E.E. Cassidy and writer Bruce Pavalon. Marie Elise Harden plays Nico, Melia Renee is Sadie and Lance Drake plays Tregg, Nico's boyfriend. They are all terrific. The movie keeps on puttering like a Vespa -- oh excuse me, a Lambretta! 

The offfical website  for the film is at: http://wearethemods.com.

I hope to see other films from the Frameline Festival. Of the other screeners I requested, two of them were not available -- the Morrissey movie, "Is It Really So Strange?" and  "Little Joe," the Joe Dallesandro picture. Both movies I have heard are worthy and would love to see them

This Festival features films of interest to the Lesbian, Bi, Gay and Transgendered communities, but not exclusively. Visit their website.

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