by Doug Duke
I had the honor of seeing one of my favorite films of the year so far at KCET’s Summer Series: The MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER. I’m pretty sure that statement says it all. Yeah, I LOVED this film! So universal, so real, so relatable. You get the picture. David Robert Mitchell, remember the name. First time director and what a way to come out of the gates!
As I was watching, my feeling was that I was watching some early David Gordon Green. Maybe it’s because I just watched ALL THE REAL GIRLS recently, but I got the same feeling for the love of characters and nature in this film.
Amanda Bauer, who was great and played Claudia in the film, joined the Q&A with David. It is a great ensemble of realistic characters. After my speculation and my thoughts of the film, I got to hear it straight from the director’s mouth which is always great. This film was inspired by the French New Wave and AMERICAN GRAFFITI. Makes perfect sense. He wanted to take the traditional conventions of a teenage high school film but slow it down and make it real. There is no doubt in my mind that he succeeded beyond expectations!
The film takes place in suburbs David grew up at in Michigan. After years of working in LA, he finally got to make it. He mentioned he had came up with the title of the film in 2002 (which his friend believed he would not be able to get away with) and they started shooting in 2008. The joy of filmmaking everybody; you just never know.
I grew up in Ohio which is not far from Michigan, and the movie resonated in my soul very much. I believe I was in that movie or at least I’ve lived that life. I’ve been there. Like I said, the film is just one amazing ensemble piece with a bunch of unknown actors who are ALL terrific. I think anyone would be great in David’s hands. I cannot wait to read the script and, more importantly, see the film again when it opens at the Nuart on July 29th. Mark it!
If you’re a human being and you were once in high school, I’m pretty sure this movie will speak to you. It will bring up old memories, good or bad. It will take you back in time or make you think of the present. With a summer filled with huge budgets, sequels galore and superheroes, why not take the time to go watch something worth your dollar and your time?
Again, Los Angeles, JULY 29th at the NUART. What are you waiting for? Go!
See ya there!