Creative collaboration is both uniter and divider, though not necessarily in that order, in Kevin Hamedani's Junk. Estranged friends and co-writers Kaveh and Raul get their low-rent horror movie Islama-rama 2: Mustafa Lives into the fictional Outsider Film Festival after not seeing each other for a year. Then, while rooming together, they're forced to reconcile while trying to pitch their latest project to a mysterious producer. Scenes from such pipe dreams as Gremlins 3 and Chucky POV are glimpsed briefly with Kaveh and Raul in key roles, a conceit that's initially cute but quickly grows tiresome -- the film is frequently amusing but indulges too often in flights of fancy. The rapport between the leads proves the strongest point even as their dialogue, steeped in movie references, demonstrates the fine line between naturalistic banter and overwritten back-and-forth. Junk lands on one side of that line as often as it does on the other, and though the result is uneven it also feels genuine, like maybe these guys do speak like this. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a film of its pedigree, Junk offers a caustically realistic take on the economic realities of the indie film world and just how much of a thrill it is for starving filmmakers to have their work accepted by a tiny regional fest (much less the prospect of theatrical distribution)-- you can imagine the look on Kaveh and Raul's faces when a self-described suit tells them, "You filmmaker types, you don't know shit about movies."
Kevin HamedaniKevin Hamedani, Brett Davern, Cooper Hopkins, Ramon Isao, George Hardy, Lynn Shelton, James Hong, Christina DeRosa, Kieran Mulroney, Nicholas JasenovecKevin Hamedani, Ramon IsaoBreaking Glass Pictures