- Director: Jessie Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli
- Writer: Jessie Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli; Ronald M. Schernikau
- Producer: Anne Coburn; Bill Kirstein; Jessie Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli
Made by a niche demographic...for a niche demographic. Most definitely...not one for the hoi-polloi!
In these PC times, when the snowflakes are frantically searching for their own identities...be it fluid, non-binary, trans or cis...ad nauseam. It comes as an ironic surprise...So Pretty is a film that hasn't a clue what it is...it calls itself a drama, although it is [almost] devoid of a story...and, for the most part, it seems to be completely improvised. The aesthetic is part cinéma vérité, totally guerilla, too Dogme-95-ish for comfort...and, topped off with an obvious [and sycophantic] Warholian nod. In other words...this is low budget, home-made, artistically challenged fayre.
It veers from the [wholly] pseudo-intellectual to the mundane to the ooh-you-wouldn't-want-your-mother-to-watch-this...the [bewildering] ass-whipping scene will bring tears to your eyes! It screams: Hey, we're crazy queer kids, we do crazy things! This 'Queer Thang'...well, it's all rather reminiscent of the good ole Punk days...alas, without the humour, the style, the angst or the music! [C'mon Punk was funny!] So, just to be controversial...this kind of 'Queer' is merely the post-post-modern Punk for today...a poor photocopy of the original. Yip...subcultures [do] come and [do] go, leaving in their wake films like these. Perhaps, in years to come So Petty will be afforded the same kind of attention [and praise] Andy Warhol & Paul Morrissey continue to receive. For they did - indeed - definitively defined their subculture. Sadly, So Pretty is without definition.
The lovers are reunited at the airport and soon they’re together in the white bedroom. The camera glides through the space, passing by desk, wardrobe, window and two bodies entwined, the first wonderfully languid pan in a film full of them. One reads to the other, in German, from Ronald M. Schernikau’s novel “So schön” and the passage could almost be describing this very scene, although it’s New York in 2018 rather than West Berlin in the 80s, and Franz and Tonio have become Franz and Tonia. The rest of the adaptation is in English and exposition is provided by other sections of the text, delivered at a reading attended by the modest cast, put on in the park beside the river, below the metal bridge. Between those events written down, life consists of nights out, political demonstrations, hopeful couplings, conversations at home or on the street, talk of translation, transposition and transition, in character or otherwise. Today’s battleground is gender, not sexuality and the target of protest has shifted accordingly, even as the problem of organising love persists. “and when the prince danced with the coachman, they were so pretty that the whole court swooned”. A utopian film.