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It's a Soiree2012

  • 3.2
Seen through the voyeurism of glass pane, this is the story of 1960's coiffed etiquette gone awry. Dancing bodies reveal a meaty subtext as all protocol gets unhinged.

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2 members like this review

‘It’s a Soiree’ is my favorite Lily Baldwin video.

Like many of Lily Baldwin's short films, her use of the geometry of the screen is exquisite. The lines of architecture, pieces of furniture and body parts cleave the screen into triangles and rectangles so surprising and elegant they’re exhilarating.

The costumes, especially the women’s sixties-mod dresses, are dynamic with color, shape and style as if they are dancers themselves: as alive with movement as any of their human counterparts.

The music is jazzy as hell, even when it looms like a Kubrick horror soundtrack.

And Lily Baldwin herself resembles a young Lena Olin, but more beautiful. She leaves me longing for past eras when stars were truly luminous. Whenever the camera finds her, all else is eclipsed by her starlet‘s beauty-- and by my desire to fall in love with her.

But I don’t fall in love.

Instead, I am alienated.

And there’s the rub with all of these movies. What are they about?

Ultimately, I can’t find more meaning in any of them than a contemplation of the inscrutable anguish of hipster ennui.

I had hoped for a sense of awe.

But I’m left just feeling, “Feh.”

PS

An interesting footnote. I gave ‘It’s a Soiree’ to my 15 year old daughter thinking she’d love it, with all its style and dancing and jazzy music. In three minutes she came back to me almost in tears, complaining, “It makes me too uneasy. I can’t watch any more.”

PPS

If you're interested in seeing Lily Baldwin endeavor to high art, take a look at Sleepover LA. It is a harrowing and, at the same time, deeply human film.

Member Reviews (2)

‘It’s a Soiree’ is my favorite Lily Baldwin video.

Like many of Lily Baldwin's short films, her use of the geometry of the screen is exquisite. The lines of architecture, pieces of furniture and body parts cleave the screen into triangles and rectangles so surprising and elegant they’re exhilarating.

The costumes, especially the women’s sixties-mod dresses, are dynamic with color, shape and style as if they are dancers themselves: as alive with movement as any of their human counterparts.

The music is jazzy as hell, even when it looms like a Kubrick horror soundtrack.

And Lily Baldwin herself resembles a young Lena Olin, but more beautiful. She leaves me longing for past eras when stars were truly luminous. Whenever the camera finds her, all else is eclipsed by her starlet‘s beauty-- and by my desire to fall in love with her.

But I don’t fall in love.

Instead, I am alienated.

And there’s the rub with all of these movies. What are they about?

Ultimately, I can’t find more meaning in any of them than a contemplation of the inscrutable anguish of hipster ennui.

I had hoped for a sense of awe.

But I’m left just feeling, “Feh.”

PS

An interesting footnote. I gave ‘It’s a Soiree’ to my 15 year old daughter thinking she’d love it, with all its style and dancing and jazzy music. In three minutes she came back to me almost in tears, complaining, “It makes me too uneasy. I can’t watch any more.”

PPS

If you're interested in seeing Lily Baldwin endeavor to high art, take a look at Sleepover LA. It is a harrowing and, at the same time, deeply human film.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

Confession time: I didn't get it. Not at first. This one sailed right over my head (and how many of you out there in Fandor-Land will admit to the same about other films?), but therein lies the beauty of this site. I took a deep breath and simply hit play again. And the second time around, I was reminded about something. When we watch a film, it is not inherently about analysis, assessment, or critique. Film is visceral. It's about experience, rather than "understanding." It's about connecting with a primal, subconscious connection. Thus "Soiree" blossomed in the eye and in the mind. The choreography, the performance, the color, the cocktails. Mood, energy and ambience did did its nervous dance across the screen. "Soiree" is a good night gone bad...or maybe the evening wasn't all that great to begin with. And maybe that's all we really need to know, for end the end, we didn't just view it, we experienced it.