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in Filmmaking
on May 20, 2006

Alison Murray’s feature Mouth to Mouth opened this weekend in New York at the Village East. I met Alison three or so years ago at the Rotterdam Cinemart and the IFP No Borders Lab where she was raising money for the feature, liked the script and her tough vision and tried to help her attach some American actors to the movie. In the end, Alison made the film in Europe with her own hand-picked cast of up-and-coming actors, one of whom, Ellen Page (Hard Candy, X3) is already a rising star.

The film tells the semi-autobiographical story of a young girl who runs away from home to join a youth cult. But just as she’s entangled with the group’s slippery leader as well as some of its more charismatic young members, her mother arrives not to take her home but to join the cult as well.

Here’s what the film’s executive producer, Atom Egoyan, has to say about the movie:

“This is a truly adventurous and original film. Alison Murray makes extraordinary shorts which combine her choreographic skills with a finely tuned sense of camera gesture and play. In her first feature, Murray extends this unique vision in a compelling story of a young woman’s experience with a modern cult. Mouth to Mouth urgently conveys the complex dynamics of an individual against the tribe, compassionately revealing both the seductions and the horrors of indoctrination and liberty. “

I remember when I read the script, I wondered if the film’s three short choreographic sequences would work, and when I saw the finished film, I thought Alison had totally pulled them off, that these sequences effectively plumb underneath the skins of the characters to reveal their unguarded yearnings for human contact. I really think some of the daily reviewers missed the point of these sequences — or, rather, didn’t even bother to properly think about them. In any case, the film is slated to play a week at the Village East, 2nd Avenue and 11th St., and I think it’s worth checking out.

Check out the trailer here.

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