Friday, April 03, 2009

Move over, Fellini

Last Sunday it rained. It was dreary and cold, and Rae was playing over at Kate's, so Leah was bored. Crafts soon palled, as did the TV, and for once Lemony Snicket failed to enchant. What to do with a bored nine-year-old? Why, introduce her to movie-making, that's what.

Inspired by XUP, and her sarcastically funny films An Evening at the XUPs and XUPs Go Shopping, I fired up the computer, went to Xtranormal, played around with it for a few minutes with Leah, figuring out how to work things, and then left her to it. She wrote, produced, and directed two short films.

The results speak for themselves.

Set in jarring juxtaposition against the disparate backdrops of a sterile suburban tract house and an idealized Japanese landscape of blooming cherry trees, these intertwined examples of her ouvre show clearly the existential angst of living in constant conflict with a younger sister.

In the first film, Me and Rae, the fact that Leah appears smaller than her younger sister demonstrates clearly the Jungian underpinnings of the eternal sibling rivalry. In the second film, Me and Rae II, the roundness and fuzzy amiability of the Leah and Rachel teddy bears and the beauty of the fairytale setting contrast with the harsh way the two characters treat each other. Both films, however, do show the sisters reconciling, perhaps indicating that peace is still attainable in a hostile and uncaring world.



Truly a cinematic tour de force. Of course, being her mother, I could just be biased.


  1. Ooh, will view the movies tomorrow when i can turn up the sound! And will have to check out Xtranormal.

  2. LOL poo face

    these are awesome.

    i am going to play there

  3. This is the hottest thing to hit the blogosphere since Toast. I was particulary moved by the morality lesson of the second film. The first film was hauntingly disturbing in its juxtapositon and confusion of puberty vs childhood and spoke dramatically to everyone who had ever experience either. (Rock on Rae!)

  4. I appreciated the moral lesson provided by the bears (especially the "then don't treat your friends that way").

    I'm wondering if this might be a tool to help the eldest child unit actually find motivation to do his homework! This could be fun.

  5. Those are hilarious! Was Rachel saying "Grrrrrr" there in the 1st one when it just said the letters? That made me giggle! Also LOL @ "You are a Poo Face Leah!"

  6. Briana - Yes, Leah typed Rachel saying "Grrrrr" in the first movie. They are pretty funny.

  7. It seems to me that perhaps you have a David Mammoth on your hands... just a hello kitty version of him. With fewer f-bombs

    Thought the second one had a nice bit of character development. LOL.

  8. Great. Fantastic. Your nine-year-old is more computer literate than I am. I'm so happy for her. Maybe I could hire her for tutoring?

  9. haha. if all hollywood plotlines could forgive and forget so easily, we wouldn't have to sit in the theatres for so long.
    well done!

  10. "You're a poo face Leah."

    I think that sums up the sisterly relationship nicely. :-)

  11. That's so great. I've never heard of this before. E will love to make a movie. Most likely her pounding on her little brother...