Young people have a lot to say about our future. And in Mike Mills' #CmonCmon, the wisdom of children is beautifully portrayed. Mills is one of my favourite directors, and I've been meaning to share his work with you. A few films ago, he wrote & directed Beginners starring #EwanMcGregor. It's about a guy in his thirties both saying goodbye to his ill father, and starting a new relationship. But as he says goodbye, he realised his father has just begun his life, now that he's come out as gay. And as he starts a new relationship, he learns to let go of so much loneliness & anxiety that has been inhibiting him emotionally. Beginners plays with this undulating timeline in such a melodic way - going from the past to the future to the memories within the present - that the traditional A to B narrative seems like an ancient trope.
And in C'mon C'mon, time is treated no differently. For Mills, it's not a question of flashbacks and flash forwards but rather, telling a story is a sensitive balance of progressing the plot while championing the little moments, memories, distractions, and daydreams that are weaved into it. In his stories, time is used to ask questions rather than answer them, and the pacing drums to its own wayward beat. The way he tells his stories is so inquisitive, which is why having a film star a 9 year-old boy is so fitting.
And that's exactly what "happens" in C'mon C'mon. The story is about a radio reporter, #JoaquinPhoenix, who works on a project where he asks children across America about the state of the world. At the same time, his nephew stays with him as his mum unexpectedly has to leave for a while. And suddenly, this unlikely pair form a turbulent but touching friendship. To express himself, this young character, Jesse, uses role play where he makes up stories. He also mimes & performs, borrows his uncle's radio equipment to record sounds of the cities they go to, and asks a lot of questions.
And that's exactly what we practice at #CineMavericks. We believe that a lot of #filmmaking can help improve soft skills in young people. Performance, like miming, can help with #publicspeaking & develop #confidence. Writing, which stems from asking questions, helps articulate ideas and build #communication skills. Recording, whether audio or video or both, helps with #decisionmaking & #collaboration. We strongly believe that a film set is the perfect place for any child to further their #teamwork and #leadership skills, which can be applied to so many professional fields later on.
This film is also really inspiring, and can be really inspiring to young people, because it's such a simple plot that's very relatable. Films don't always have to be big blockbuster #MarvelMovies. Ideas can stem from your everyday, and imagination can still be wild even though the topics are small. Sometimes it's in the details where true emotion lies, and I challenge our fellow #filmmakers to use their own resources, their own important lives, as inspiration for #contentcreation. Because if it's true to you, it'll be true to others as well.