Blown Joan Image

Blown Joan

By Chris Salce | February 4, 2020

SLAMDANCE 2020 FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! Each year hundreds of filmmakers and creators hope to make an impact in cinema with their art. A majority of those will be feature-length releases. On a smaller, more intimate setting come short films. Blown Joan is one such hopeful short, and I have to tell you, it’s a strange one.

The film is about Jesse (Cael King), who visits his brother, Ricardo (Jimmy Gorniak), and sister-in-law Joan (Charlotte Mangel). Jesse’s brother and sister-in-law become suspicious when their bed is made when no one made it before they left. They find it strange. But what they don’t know is that Jesse has masturbated in their bed.

“…become suspicious when their bed is made when no one made it…”

This sort of sounds like a comedy, but it is not. Blown Joan is a drama. A drama with the only dialogue being the brief conflict of Ricardo and Joan asking Jesse if he made their bed. It is a weird plot to base a film on, but hey, this is the kind of movie that stands out in a crowded field.

What stands out the most to me about the film is the cinematography. The choice to lens the film in black and white was a great one because it made the scenes look terrific. Black and white movies have always had a special place in my cinema book. This is especially true when it comes to independent films, and it is all because of Kevin Smith’s Clerks. Using black and white is also an easy trick to hiding some faults – not to say that this film had flaws in the shooting process, but it certainly helps the movie look smoother.

Going on the small bit of dialogue, all three stars of the film, Cael King, Charlotte Mangel, and Jimmy Gorniak, did a great job delivering their lines. They imbue this plot with a genuine feeling of drama despite the film’s plot. It is hard to make a story about a man masturbating on his brother’s bed because let’s face it, it sounds disgusting and something more fit for a comedy. But I do think that Blown Joan had some positives to it.

Blown Joan screened at the 2020 Slamdance Film Festival.

Blown Joan (2020)

Directed and Written: Teva Cheema

Starring: Cael King, Charlotte Mangel, Jimmy Gorniak, etc.

Movie score: 6/10

Blown Joan Image

"…I have to tell you, it's a strange one."

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