Merrily, Merrily

Merrily, Merrily from James M. Johnston on Vimeo.

Merrily, Merrily (2008)
17 min.

Official Selection of Sidewalk Moving Pictures Festival, Austin Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, Tallahassee Film Festival, Naperville Independent Film Festival

“Johnston’s Merrily, Merrily goes off in its own unexpected directions, and I’d prefer not to spoil its central conceit, which adds several provocative shadings to this seemingly familiar tale of adolescent angst. Thirteen-year-old Merrilee (Emily Burgardt) moves through her awkward existence with a dour expression and gait, her perception of the world around her entirely, though quietly, introverted. A revelation from her father (Andy Sensenig) sheds some light on her feelings, but also fractures the boundaries of her reality—fact bleeds into fiction, and the whole thing closes out in the relative (dis)comfort of irresolution. Not simply a metaphorical treatment of growing pains, Merrily, Merrily also offers a subtle, striking portrait of a media-saturated age. As is made abundantly clear, Merrilee is starring in her own movie, but who controls her narrative, and at what point does it cease to be self-contained?” — Keith Uhlich, Slant Magazine (The House Next Door)

(Tech: Shot on Panasonic HVX-200a. Edited with Final Cut 5 on a MacBook Pro.)

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