Cinema by the Bay
USA, 2008, 105 minutes
Fri, May 1 / 6:00 / Kabuki / MYSU01K
Tue, May 5 / 1:00 / Kabuki / MYSU05K
Wed, May 6 / 9:00 / Kabuki / MYSU06K
“Have you ever felt like your life is just one big movie?” asks lost 17-year-old Archie Williams (played with moody madcap brilliance by multitalented Gabriel Sunday) near the beginning of My Suicide. The normally ignored Archie provokes a vortex of charged reactions in his suburban Southern California community when he announces his intention to commit suicide on camera. David Lee Miller and crew deftly capture the fragile psychic world of contemporary teens—its dancing demons of devouring angst, suffocating alienation, dysfunctional family dynamics, surging sexuality and dark narcissism—all within the maddening and accelerating swirl of media overload Archie’s generation endures. Born a “TV fetus,” Archie can only tolerate the life he perceives through his ever-present cameras. His voluminous digital video output is edited and regurgitated into a cacophonous suicide documentary comprised of hilarious skits, animation, clips from 1950s films, family movies and video game effects. Archie’s project brings unintended but devastating consequences, forcing everyone to confront the duplicitous chasm between fantasy and reality. The dizzying emotional pace of My Suicide is fed and enhanced by music from Bright Eyes, Radiohead, Joanna Newsom, My Morning Jacket, Devendra Banhart, The Eels, Daniel Johnston and the Pixies. David Carradine, Mariel Hemingway, Joe Mantegna and Nora Dunn all appear as characters ranging from the slightly disturbed to greatly tweaked. My Suicide breaks new ground in presenting a portrait of teen despair to which teens can actually relate and respond.
Presented in association with the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation. West Coast Premiere.