Lanze Spears’ not-quite-a-short, not-quite-a-feature documentary 20 Something introduces us to five twenty-something adults in four different cities. All are pursuing artistic endeavors, though each has a different motivation behind their journey. All, at some point, seem to key in on wanting to find fame or importance, but by the time we hear their stories here, reality has set in a bit.
Anastasia, for example, had the dream of making it big as an actor in Los Angeles, but soon found that the competition and climate there was too much, thus she returned home to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, interested in still being an actor, but on a more indie scale. Likewise Mike, who pursued a similar dream of fame as an actor but who found himself drawn more towards working behind-the-camera as a writer/director in Savannah, Georgia. His girlfriend, Clare, was a model for a while, but has found more interest in pursuing advertising and marketing.
Taylor, in New Your City, is interested in doing projects and work to make a name and build a portfolio, putting aside the seemingly more noble artistic direction of “art for art’s sake” until he is old enough to not have to care about a roof over his head. Sean, from Atlanta, Georgia, is also an artist, though he’s trying to bridge the different art communities in Atlanta to build something of a larger collective that is less segregated than it currently is.
Thus, as you can see, we get a nice introduction to five different people on somewhat different, though still relational, paths. My problem with the film is that I feel like that’s all I got: an introduction. While Anastasia and Sean do get more than a single look, and seem to have more of a journey in their stories, it still feels woefully surface. Perhaps I was pining for more of a narrative than what reality was providing, or perhaps I wanted fewer subjects but more time with each.
Still, the film looks good and the edit moves along at a solid pace, even if it does feel like the introductory episode of a reality series more than a documentary (and looking at the film’s website, perhaps that’s the direction this is going, as there’s a 20 Something New York mentioned there too). If that’s the case, fine, perhaps there is more of an arc to be found for the different people in a series, but as it exists in this singular project, there’s just not enough to go around.
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