Lawrence’s wish to achieve his dreams becomes obsession in the film I LIKE MOVIES in the Generator +16’s competition

The second film in competition selected for Generator +16 is I LIKE MOVIES by Chandler Levack. In 2003, a very young Lawrence Kweller had a dream: to attend one of the top film schools, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In order to transform his dream into reality, the boy managed to get a job at a video rental store. Ever since he thinks of nothing else, not even the people who have always been close to him. As time passes, that desire becomes an obsession, leading him to experience intense moments of anxiety and self-harm. Lawrence is so wrapped up in himself that he does not realize what is happening around him. His best friend, Matt Macarchuck, and his single mother, Terri, are the people most affected by his change of character, which has become increasingly snooty and obnoxious. The store manager, Alana – an older woman whom he says he is in love with – brings him back on earth after a serious incident inside the store.

The script for the film I LIKE MOVIES dates back to 2018, when director Chandler Levack had only one belief: to make a film set in one place. Some of the difficult moments played out by Lawrence’s character were inspired by personal event of his adulthood. Like the main character, she also had a panic attack once, triggered by the uncertainty of what will happen in her imminent future.

I LIKE MOVIES is a film not predictable at all, especially in the ending. It can be defined as a feature film in which, many are the questions but few – if any – are the answers. This aspect recurs in several situations, such as the moment when Lawrence confesses to Alana that he loves her, and she does not answer. Or, when again Lawrence tells Matt that he loves him. The director’s intent was to subvert the classic rules of cinema, according to which is normal to see men writing about women and not vice versa. Lawrence’s character is constantly evolving throughout the film, but not always in a positive way. The interesting aspect of this film lies in the ending, which is like an proverbial slap in the young man’s face that no one had ever the courage to give and that makes him return to what he once was. It is right to follow dreams, to believe in them and to fight for them, but this does not mean forgetting life, friends, people who always support you. For Lawrence, life after graduation can be considered as a long solo swim in the open sea. The only rule is to keep swimming, until someone decides to extend their hand to share the effort and keep you from drowing.

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