Review by Cameron Maitland
In a world wrapped up in new media prospects like Youtube and various other internet clip sources one can often wonder film's place in this new world. Antonio Campos' Afterschool makes quite a case for both the failures of these new mediums and the strengths of true film.
The film follows Rob, a grade 10 student at a New England prep school who is obsessed with Internet clips and how they might show something 'real'. In the wake of a tragedy he's involved in, he is invited to make a video memorial and from there he begins to dredge up emotions and memories as he examines his state of personal isolation.
Though the film does often smack of 'first feature' in a few ham handed metaphors it does ultimately succeed. It is unique in its attempt to show the reality behind the so-called 'real' clips on the Internet and the inclusion of many already famous clips makes it seem fresh as well as visually eclectic.
Perhaps more laudable though is its depiction of modern private schools in America and the pressures, falsehood and isolation that creeps around every corner. There are a lot of films that examine private schools in history and in other countries. Afterschool's contemporary American location is just as unique, dramatic and rife for storytelling in America.
Afterschool is not a film without stumbling or preaching but if you are looking for something unique both in execution and theme, it's a hard piece to beat.
Antonio Campos | USA | 2007 | 106min
Thur. Oct. 9 | 6:20pm | Empire Granville Theatre 4
Fri. Oct. 10 | 1:00pm | Empire Granville Theatre 2