You Wont Miss Me -- Film Review

Indie drama about a disturbed young woman is all too effective in its disaffectedness.

NEW YORK — As irritating as its apostrophe-less title would suggest, "You Wont Miss Me" is an aimlessly wandering DIY-indie that will send viewers retreating to popcorn movies at their local multiplex. This scattershot portrait of a disaffected struggling actress newly released from a psychiatric hospital works hard to achieve stylistic credibility via such devices as diverse visual formats, non-chronological storytelling and seemingly improvised dialogue, all to numbingly little effect. A winner of the Gotham Award for “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You,” it soon will be.

Stella Schnabel (daughter of artist/filmmaker Julian) plays the central role of 23-year-old Shelly, whose professional and personal difficulties are easily ascribable to her acerbic, self-destructive personality. In its depictions of her troubled interactions with various friends, colleagues, lovers and an unseen therapist, the film’s idea of a resonant visual motif is its oft-repeated shots of her clinging to a male figure while riding on the back of a motorcycle.

The mumblecore aesthetic is further reinforced by the presence of such indie filmmakers as Joe Swanberg and Aaron Katz in minor roles as directors for whom Shelly disastrously auditions.

The screenplay, co-written by Schnabel and director Ry Russo-Young, features some pungent episodes, such as Shelly’s near-violent encounter with a would-be lover and her quick falling-out with a new female friend on a jaunt to Atlantic City. Other pluses are the evocative use of the grungy Williamsburg, Brooklyn locations and Schnabel’s raw, lived-in performance, which is effective in fully conveying her character’s alienating personality.

Opens: Dec. 10 (Factory 25)
Production: Helavanna Productions, Mesee Productions
Cast: Stella Schnabel, Simon O’Connor, Zachary Tucker, Borden Capalino, Carlen Altman, Rene Ricard, Josephine Wheelbright, David Anzuelo
Director/producer: Ry Russo-Young
Screenwriters: Ry Russo-Young, Stella Schabel
Directors of photography: Kitao Sakurai, Ku-Ling Siegel
Editors: Gil Kofman, Ry Russo-Young
Music: Will Bates
Not rated, 81 minutes