USA, 2007, 80 minutes
Thu, May 3 / 09:15 / Kabuki / REVO03K
Local filmmaker Miles Matthew Montalbano’s feature debut is the most open-hearted and open-minded political portrait to come down the pike in ages. Written under the influence of Bush’s Iraqatastrophe and the Vietnam War–era landmarks Medium Cool and Zabriskie Point, and directed with a nod to the French New Wave, this Bay Area DIY production imagines a trio of responses to the current repressive climate. Mackenzie Firgens gives a screen-melting, star-making performance as the aptly named Hope, a young woman with an undercurrent of vague idealism, an abundance of common sense and no real direction. Her best friend, Francine (a bold, brave turn by Lauren Fox), dismisses any discussion of philosophy and meaning in favor of a live-for-today frenzy of drugs, sex and more drugs. When Hope hooks up with Frankie, an earnest, likable fellow who’s signed on to a subversive plot to attack an unknown target, the stakes are kicked up a few notches. Brimming with restless energy and a palpable intelligence, and driven by Christian Bruno and K.C. Smith’s probing camerawork, Revolution Summer is an up-close and deeply personal meditation on individual responsibility in the modern age. A provocation spawned by an extraordinarily deep conviction, the film is nonetheless the antithesis of a self-indulgent screed. It abounds with countless small pleasures, from the tasty, spare soundtrack by Jonathan Richman to gritty glimpses of San Francisco and Oakland, to a tongue-in-cheek cameo by local rocker Chuck Prophet. With this sexy, dangerous drama that dances on the razor’s edge between anomie and violence, Montalbano announces himself as a filmmaker to watch.
World Premiere. Sponsored by the San Francisco Film Commission. Presented in association with Film Arts Foundation.