Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fantasia '17 Film Review - Fashionista

April (Amanda Fuller) and Eric (Ethan Embry) have carved out a satisfying existence for themselves. They are co-owners of a thriving vintage fashion store in Austin, Texas, married living in an unique space that doubles as their storage facility adorned with an excellent set of classic movie posters. April has an addiction to fabric and clothes that she's managing to keep under control until a new girl Sherry (Alexandria DeBerry) starts to work at the store and catches Eric's eye. April becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair following him and checking up on his appointments. When her suspicions are proved to be true she retreats further into her addiction as she starts up a destructive relationship with rich playboy Randall (Eric Balfour).

April goes deeper into Randall's world of strict control and fetish sex. When she's not with him she's lashing out at Eric first by cleaning out all of inventory for the store from the flat then burning them in a field as she keeps in contact with him but continues to push him away at critical times.

Director Simon Rumley continues his run of gritty guerrilla filming with this production. His decision to treat a fashion addiction on the same plane as an alcohol or drug one could have went into the world of camp if not handled delicately. He's brought back Amanda Fuller from Red White & Blue for her most challenging role to date. The narrative Alex allows the seedier sections of Austin to play their part helped by a vibrant vintage culture due to the cities strong music culture. A curious thread features a young woman (Alex Essoe) whose residing in a psychiatric hospital. She's walking the halls meeting with health providers then released from the facility. How she works into the main story is not revealed until deep into the third reel.

Fashionista is a look into the world of clothing addiction that is a real debilitating habit for more people that you would expect. Rumley treats the subject very seriously as does Amanda Fuller who excels in the role of April as she goes into any situation openly if it will feed her addiction. Rumley shoots in Austin again a setting he is familiar with allowing it to shine and play a major supporting role in the film. The subject matter and presentation may not be for everyone but if you have an interest in or experience with addictive personalities you will find those elements presented her possibly fostering a very emotional reaction. The end goal of the project to show that if you are suffering from addiction of any fashion your are not alone.

** 1/2 Out of 4.

Fashionista | Simon Rumley | U.S.A. | 2017 | 110 minutes.

Tags: Addiction, Fabric,Vintage, Austin, Affair, Franchising, Abuse, Alais, Homeless, Fetish, Retail.

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