Movie Review: “Eden” Screening at AFI FEST Presented By Audi

eden-600x267It’s my opinion Eden is a story about minutia, but I also think there are 2 stories here that go to the core of this feature. I’ll address them as the “Small Story” and the “Big Story.” The small story is about a guy, or DJ, that loves a particular kind of music, that is informally known as “Garage” or “Garage House” and the lifestyle it offers and the big story is about a guy who devotes his life to his youthful passion deleterious effect.

The”Small Story” develops along a particular and obscure genre of music with its culty status and subculture confined to Francophiles or those devoted to the French Wave with its Club Lifestyle. For those of you who have lived in Los Angles for a while the vibe of Eden is reminiscent of the restaurant/bar Louis 14th near La Brea and Melrose offered a sense of French Pop Culture here in LA. I still think of those gaunt shabbily dress Euro expatriates shuffling about Louis 14th’s small upstairs dance floor high on ecstasy and the thought of it still makes me shudder. In Eden‘s world the Garage followers are a little more youthful and energized, but it still applies. Daft Punk is the nexus of inspiration for this group of devotees as they get down to the sound. Daft Punk’s “Da Funk” is the anthem used a number of times in the film to drive home the impact of the music and Garage’s musical culture in Eden. This element to the story, the “Small Story”, is ephemeral and as transit as any fad that any culture obsesses over at any given moment in history.

The”Large Story” revolves around a young man, whose passion drives him in a direction that isn’t in his long-term best interest. He has a number of failed romantic relationships and a lengthy relationship with drugs. Eventually, this leads to experiencing a heady peak of adulation and a modicum of fame that lands him in New York City for a DJing residency at a hot club. This is actually where things really begins to fall a part. From this moment in the film it’s only downhill from here on out. Instead of a break out success to the world at large, the platform for greater success, it becomes for him and the music, the death knell to what he holds dear and has devoted his life to. From from this moment on it all fizzles into ever-increasing amounts of financial and status loss, till it all collapses in failure and his complete financial ruin. He moves back to his mother and starts a new life in a regular type job. His two previous lovers found their place with other men and have families of their own. The fullness of their lives reflects on the emptiness of his own. In their way they have completed the circle of life, while he remains locked in an infancy of unattained goals and dreams.

For me, The “Small Story” doesn’t carry much weight and isn’t very interesting. On the other hand the “Large Story” has universal appeal and exemplifies the best in a cautionary tale. Mia Hansen-Love referred to her story of Eden, as a story of her generation. Let me suggest that the “Small Story” is for her generation and conversely the “Large Story” is a much more lasting and universal theme that any generation can embrace. After all, the devil is in the details.

Billy Bennight

About Billy Bennight

Billy Bennight is a writer, photographer and wardrobe stylist with expertise and years of experience in these disciplines. His musical youth started as a Punk Rocker and has expanded into exploring many genres of music, with an keen interest in art, fashion, photography and writing. He shoots celebrity events and red carpets for PR Photos, Photoshot and The Photo Access/Corbis. His images have been published in Vanity Fair, People Magazine and The Los Angeles Times. He's very engaged in life. You can follow him on his Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/billybennightartist
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