A Wonderful Cloud
- English spoken
Can a movie be extremely lo-fi and still be visually ambitious? Absolutely, as the playfully filmed, sort-of-autobiographical hipster satire A Wonderful Cloud proves.
Even if you’re not familiar with the term ‘manic pixie dream girl’, most movie-lovers wil recognize the stereotype. You know: the impulsive, vivacious girl that drags the nerdy, schlubby protagonist out of his rut and takes him on wild adventures – starting with love, naturally. A good example is the blue-haired Clementine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (yes, many of the manic pixie dream girls have brightly dyed hair).
Director/writer/star Eugene Kotlyarenko reverses the gender roles of that trope in A Wonderful Cloud . Well, partially anyway. His character Eugene is still an unambitious dweeb, no change there. But here, he is the one manically running around trying to get a taste of everything life has to offer. The girl, his ex Katelyn (played by his ex, rising star Kate Lyn Sheil) who has come from New York to visit him for a few days, is the unemotional, reticent one.
A manic pixie dream boy turns out to be a lot more annoying than the female version, oddly enough. Or is it just that Eugene is also a bit of a jerk? Whatever the reason, Kotlyarenko’s wonderfully playful and mildly chaotic third feature film offers a pointed look at the lifestyle of the late-twenties Los Angeles crowd. It’s clearly a world he knows well, one that he might be a part of (almost all characters have (close to) the same name as the actors playing them), but which he also takes a sardonic pleasure in lampooning.
The film’s style seems just as much the product of the hipster culture he’s mocking: the playfully animated opening titles and the use of shots taken on a mobile phone are obvious products of the current age. There’s even an extra at one of the parties Eugene and Katelyn attend during their three-day saunter through L.A. who is listed in the credits with his Twitter handle instead of his real name. Hipster scum.