Jamie Bacon and Charles Streeter have produced, co-written, and starred in one of two of the most impressive LGBTQ films I have seen this year so far (the other being Knife+Heart for the sake of clarity). Into the Mirror, while coming in at exactly one hour, tells a big portion of the life story of Daniel (Jamie Bacon) through a series of dreamlike images and sparse dialogue.
Daniel moves to London after his mother’s death and a falling out with his father. He works a rather soulless corporate sales job, which he excels at nonetheless. His scumbag boss, Harry (John Sackville), whose hobbies include hitting on everything that moves and getting wasted at all times of the day, loves him. He gets along very well with his other less obnoxious co-workers, especially Blue (Beatrice May), who sits at the desk across from him.
“His scumbag boss, Harry, whose hobbies include hitting on everything that moves…, loves him…”
One night, Daniel is dragged out to a bar by Harry, where he joins the gang from work in getting notably inebriated. Daniel wants to escape Harry, so he sneaks outside, and on his way home, runs into Blue. She gives him a card to the nightclub she and her friends are going to, Lost and Found. Daniel ends up going there and having a wonderful time but doesn’t remember any of it. He is woken up sitting in a stairwell, cigarette in his mouth but Blue’s friend and drag performer Jennifer (Charles Streeter). She tells him he was “a big hit in there” the night before and Daniel has no idea what she’s talking about.
Shortly after, once Daniel has gone home and slept it off a little, Blue shows up at his house with breakfast and bag full of sparkly women’s clothes. Daniel is confused, hungover, and angry, so he asks Blue to leave. From the beginning of the film, but especially from this point forward, there are a lot of dreamlike travels to Daniel’s past, where we see he and his mother and father in times good and bad.
The crux of Into the Mirror can be summed up by one line that Jennifer says to Daniel, “It’s okay to be one of the lost ones. You don’t have to be lost forever.” Daniel is afraid to be who he really is, and through visiting Lost and Found, he’s finally starting to gain the courage to be himself. It’s an entirely relatable story to most people but particularly for anyone who’s anything other than a cis hetero person.
“…calling to mind Brian DePalma’s neon noir by way of Kenneth Anger and David Lynch…”
The whole third act of the film is outrageously beautiful, calling to mind Brian DePalma’s neon-noir by way of Kenneth Anger and David Lynch. It becomes more dreamlike as the film progresses, showing us Daniel’s feelings through images. It’s almost as if we’re residing in Daniel’s subconscious throughout the whole of the film. Jamie Bacon and Charles Streeter did an excellent job writing and producing this work of art. To do both of those tasks is monumental, but to add in acting to the mix is very impressive. Director Lois Stevenson brings Bacon’s and Streeter’s vision to a wonderful surreality that perfectly encapsulates being lost and finally found. I also can’t leave without mentioning the awesome original music by Johnny Jewel, founder of Italians Do It Better records. His Chromatics bandmate Ruth Radelet joins him on a few immensely gorgeous songs.
Into the Mirror is, as the kids say, a “#mood” but in all honesty, that is a great way to describe the film. It’s based on feelings and the subconscious seen through Daniel’s eyes, rather than being objective. I think the style of storytelling is very effective. I’m extremely curious to see what Stevenson, Bacon, and Streeter will do next both individually and together. Into the Mirror is an incredibly impressive debut feature that ALSO has the one and only Richard E. Grant as an associate producer. I’m very glad I got the opportunity to see it early, and I hope that I was able to convince you to go see it once it comes out!
Into The Mirror (2019). Written and Produced by Jamie Bacon and Charles Streeter. Directed by Lois Stevenson. Starring Jamie Bacon, Charles Streeter, John Sackville, Beatrice May, Sophia La Porta, Jack Helsby, Carl Russell, Florence Cady, Nicole Evans, Taylor Simner
9 out of 10 stars