~NORA DEMENUS REVIEWS: SPORK
SPORK – WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY J.B. GHUMAN
REVIEWED BY NORA DEMENUS. JUNE 2, 2011
SPORK is an electrically colorful and vibrant little movie about a young, outcast girl, played by the cute and clumsy SAVANNAH STEHLIN, brought up in a trailer park who happens to be a hermaphrodite. Without a mother and father, her older brother, a pot-smoking slacker has raised her in the family Airstream and as a result she knows little of femininity and seemingly even less about hair care. Much like a modern-day Williamsburg scenester, she rocks a fuzzy and wild ratsnest of a hairdo, wears giant Terry Richardson-esque glasses and has little to no fashion sense. Ridiculed in school for her publicly known confusing sexuality, she has no real friends. In the trailer across the way, her neighbor and classmate – an incredibly foul-mouthed fly-girl who is hip on the dance scene – takes her to a booty-shaking club for a night and inspires her to sign up for her middle school dance off.
As a first feature length film for Director J.B. Ghuman Jr., it came across a bit too much like the leader in films like these, Napoleon Dynamite. However, he makes very good use of all of the conventions of this recently popularized genre of ‘unpopular teen-life in the middle of nowhere’ flicks – everything from its bright colors, cartoony editing, cool 90’s soundtrack, on-screen doodles (the sun and clouds are cleverly drawn directly over the film with crayon), and awkwardly amusing characters that you sort of have to love out of pity – making it an enjoyable film to watch. The plot was remarkably similar though, and throughout the film I found myself feeling as if it was a Napoleon Dynamite for young girls!
I thought the most impressive aspects were the costumes and dance numbers which basically owned the hour and half long flick. One in particular was really cool, when Spork’s neighbor drags her along to watch her compete in a high energy krumping competition. Everyone in the club had awesome almost tribal-seeming red and white face paint on, complementing their shrunken jean jackets, denim leggings, shiny bras and converse hightops – the lights, colors, and the sick, high-energy dance moves were most entertaining! Another scene that stood out to me was where the mean girl posse at school (nicknamed “the Byotches”) gather in the hallway to show off their slick skills (and hilarious matching hairdos), dancing and lip synching to a fun, choreographed ‘Is It Cos I’m Cool’ by Mousse T. Spork’s final dance in the school dance-off where she busts loose some serious break dance moves with the help of a twister mat and UV lights, is also pretty sweet.
A big thumbs-up to all of the young talent in the film – the dancing was supreme and they really brought across a great and funny exaggeration of middle/high school life!
I would say, go see it, it was a real fun time for sure.
It’s not boring at all – and it’s sort of cool, too. Although I felt like I had seen a lot of it done before, there were a lot of fun, quirky things that had yet to be done in the quickly growing (and quickly running out of new things to amuse us with) world of hipster cinema.
NOW PLAYING AT THE QUAD CINEMA, NYC.
where there is also a video interview option – with the film’s director – J.B. GHUMAN (above).
there is also a very enlightening Q & A with Mr. Ghuman in the film’s ‘PRESS NOTES’ option, left of screen, that begins with these intriguing words . . . “My father is from India, and my mother is from North Carolina …. ” !!
artlovers has got a new movie page contributor !!
meet NORA DEMENUS – a recent grad of NYU FILM SCHOOL (CLASS OF 2008).
SPORK is her debut essay.