From My Eyes Image

From My Eyes

By Jason Delgado | January 16, 2024

In this life, we will all experience the highs of love and the lows of death. No matter how much we desperately desire to avoid the latter, it’s inescapable. Filmmaker Darrick Landreneau captures these two extremes in his poignant coming-of-age documentary From My Eyes. Shot over 3,000 days (11 years), Landreneau’s movie-to-be lacked a clear focus until he posed the question, “How do you live a life worth filming?”

The documentary starts with Landreneau telling us how his dad, Michael, would film everything while he and his sister Kandace were growing up. That was until he died while Landreneau was still young, which was the impetus for him to pick up a camera and start filming as well. He decided to take a broadcast journalism class in high school, which also changed his life and gave him the directing bug. When Landreneau started at LSU in 2012, he decided to make a movie about his college life, and From My Eyes was born.

It’s about life on campus with his best friend Caleb, living with his sister, and being close with his mom (also named Kandace). With a camera in hand everywhere he goes, Landreneau wonders to himself if there’s a story worth filming. Much of the early part of the narrative is focused on the juvenile enthusiasm and humor that he displays until life events begin to change him.

“‘How do you live a life worth filming?'”

Landreneau falls in love for the first time with a girl named Lexi. The major issue comes when his mom and sister do not approve. Along the way, Landreneau finds his passion by working with Caleb by filming LSU football. Their big break comes at a traveling social media event called Mag Con. The convention brings fans together with YouTube celebrities such as Shawn Mendes and Jake Paul. Tragedy strikes in the middle of living his dream when his mother develops brain cancer.

You can’t help but feel for this young man and his sister (who takes care of their mom while Landreneau struggles with being away for work). The whole thing feels like a rollercoaster ride because we watch as Landreneau experiences the jubilation of being in love, the lows of watching debilitating illness, and the natural lows of the loss of love and life. Cinema is often a reflection of life, and From My Eyes is a mirror to the huge life events that shape us.

I do wish that From My Eyes was a little tighter in the editing. It feels a bit slow at times, but with 11 years’ worth of footage, I can imagine putting this together was a monumental task. This is a special feature debut for Darrick Landreneau because of all of the love, care, and life he poured into it. His life is indeed one worth filming, as are all of ours, for the universal joys and struggles that make us human. We cannot forget (as many of us often do) that we are all in this life together. Kudos to Landreneau for keeping that theme in focus.

From My Eyes (2023)

Directed: Darrick Landreneau

Written: Zack Trammel

Starring: Darrick Landreneau, Shawn Mendes, Jake Paul, Kandace Landreneau, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

From My Eyes Image

"…we are all in this life together."

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