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
60s modness that can't be touched -- and which carries well
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
as to fashion and social cliques at her high
school and is delightfully naive. Nico is sultry, and
-- 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,
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.
When Sadie first met Nico as a new
arrival in her scene, she
is entranced by Nico's good looks and self-assuredness.
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.
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
an underlying theme that touches upon but does not involve group
would rather remain behind the lens of a camera, while
Nico is an unquiet exhibitionist. This is a classic introvert/extrovert
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
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,
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
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.
can't say I know much about the mod
scene in Los Angeles. It seemed to ring true, however, and I loved the
story unfolded. It could have gone the way of "Superbad." Instead it
went for sighs rather than guffaws.
is a good first effort by
writer Bruce Pavalon. Marie Elise Harden plays
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!
offfical website for the film
is at: http://wearethemods.com.
I hope to see other
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
worthy and would love to see them
Festival features films of interest to the Lesbian, Bi, Gay and
Transgendered communities, but not exclusively. Visit their website.
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