With found-footage films being the craze these days, I have to admit anything in the genre catches my attention. I lucked out on being offered a screening of My Name is A by Anonymous, directed by Shane Ryan, and honestly didn’t know what to expect. Sometimes it’s harder to appreciate movies shot with little to no budget but I have to say, with high praise, that this one hit the mark.
Four young girls with seemingly no connections to society, or each other, reveal themselves to the audience in their darkest colors. Filled with angst, self-hatred, and malice each one acts out their deepest ideas for us to witness. Smeared make-up, bulimia, cutting, are just some of the symptoms of a bigger battle. But what’s really brought to question is what these girls are going to do next? Will they stop at hurting themselves?
Considering what I’ve known of amateur style films, I expected a lack of substance when it came to the performances. To my surprise, the filmmakers ensured that every line felt natural and real, as if there were no script at all. And with the portrayals feeling so real, I was able to immerse myself in the puzzle that was the story. It was like watching twisted home movies of people that really exist. But, as the film went on, I grew increasingly impatient with the transitions. They were choppy, excessive, and most of the time unnecessary. On top of which, the use of dramatic camera effects and soundtrack music is either a nuisance or essential to creating the overall surrealism. I have yet to decide. While most of the movie is worth watching, the time spent between beginning and end was extensive. Most of the story hinges on the conclusion, and I wondered if I was going to be gravely disappointed. Though it took a lot to tell, the ending was a success. I congratulate Shane Ryan on their win and hope to see more of the same.
I offer this movie a Savage Score of 4 out of 5, but just barely. Despite a few discrepancies, I believe this was a great story and, like a poem, it was told beautifully. Gore Score comes in at a 3 out of 10. This is not a gory movie in the slightest. If you like shaky cam, black and white, and warped realities, this is an ideal choice.