starring Isaiah Lehtinen, Krista Bridges, Romina D'Ugo, Percy Hynes White
written and directed by Chandler Levack
by Bill Chambers At the beginning of this pandemic without end, I bought a used camcorder off eBay so that I could digitize the mountains of footage I generated making movies with friends as a teenager. It was a trip down memory lane that confirmed something I'd always suspected and feared: I was a complete tyrant. Make that dick. I was a misfit with control issues stemming from disability and obsessed with movies. Add a video camera to that--at least in the early '90s, when they were still novel--and you get Napoleon. With his black moptop and squat frame, high-schooler Lawrence Kweller (Isaiah Lehtinen) could be a live-action Gene Belcher--but the huge chip on his shoulder and his voluminous clothing sooner bring Ignatius J. Reilly to mind. He's funny in small doses. Certainly the opening scene of film critic Chandler Levack's feature debut I Like Movies is so uncanny I could only laugh. Lawrence and his best friend--his only friend--Matt Macarchuck (Percy Hynes White) have made a silly video for class. The teacher, Mr. Olenick (Anand Rajaram), shuts it off after it fades out, and Lawrence protests that he's skipped the blooper reel and end-credit outtakes. Mr. Olenick asks what their spoof of A Christmas Carol had to do with the assigned topic ("bias in the media"), and Lawrence says, "I just decided I wanted to do something, you know, more personal and from the heart." A classmate, Lauren (Eden Cupid), sticks up for the video by calling it "cute"--a word that only makes Lawrence apoplectic. Everything that comes out of Lawrence's mouth here probably came out of mine during my senior year of English, when I made a movie about Elvis faking his death to hide from Satan and called it a book report on The Great Gatsby.