Making a movie like Modern Classic requires film experience, and I’m not talking about knowing how to assemble a shot list. It’s a taxing process of compromises that pulls you through the ringer while you remain hopeful and eager. Modern Classic, a flippant film about this love/hate relationship, uses catharsis and dry humour to exhale.
On the surface, Modern Classic is a buddy comedy with J.M.B. Hunter and David C. Grimes (portraying exaggerated versions of themselves) at the forefront. The pair are determined to a produce their labour of love, but they’re strapped for financial backing. They receive output from potential collaborators, but director Jono (Hunter) realizes there’s a price to pay while leading man Dave (Grimes) loses himself in a straining role only he was born for.
Underneath this premise is anger and sarcasm which makes Modern Classic a tricky flick. I appreciate Hunter and Grimes using a movie to project their frustrations with the film industry. It takes guts and courage to hold a mirror up to your passion, and their bravery pays off. However, their heady emotions occasionally let the satire slip out from their grasp, resulting in arrogant tantrums disguised as art house cinephilia.
Modern Classic screens at Toronto’s Canadian Film Festival on Friday, March 24 at 7:00 pm at Scotiabank Theatre.
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