Filmmaker Saumene Mehrdady’s Extra Milk is a transgressive cautionary tale, illustrating that one should never just eat a bowl of cereal that has apparently been waiting magically in the fridge for you to find. When Hope returns home from whatever she was out doing (the images we are given are of her standing in the street with arms spread open), she finds herself hungry and, lo and behold, there’s the aforementioned bowl of cereal waiting for her. What we the audience know however, that she does not, is that her unnamed brother (John Lauderdale), as the film’s description would lead us to believe, prepared the cereal especially for her, making sure to flavor the bowl with some of his post-masturbation semen.
It may seem odd to say this, but for a film about a guy who masturbates into a bowl of cereal so that his sister, in a dazed state, may unknowingly consume his seed, this was actually about as tastefully done as one could, if one had to, imagine. Which is to say, it’s not a film that goes for the gross-out in visuals so much as the inherent revulsion that such an idea can cause on its own. Which I’m thankful for, because I’ve seen some pretty disgusting cinematic imagery in my days, and while going that gooey extra mile wouldn’t have been the least bit surprising, it’s nice to be spared the visual.
On the technical side, even for an under-six minute short, it feels a bit too long; the footage of the sister in the street is a bit overly repetitious, without giving much insight into what she’s doing, or why she ends up home so intent on consuming cereal. Additionally, while the film looks good, the brief moments of spoken audio are not the clearest or cleanest; then again, dialogue is almost non-existent in the film, so the flaws there are not too obnoxious.
What one is left to ponder then, if you so choose, is why a brother would do this to his sister? Is this a way to act out some incestuous fantasy? Is it the ultimate, disgusting, practical joke? Taking a bigger step back, what is the short trying to say? Why was this story the one the filmmaker needed to tell?
In the end, Extra Milk doesn’t really dwell on answers so much as presenting the scenario and letting the audience run with (or away from) it. There is another cut of the film, that I have not seen, that apparently employs narration, and maybe the answers are there, but this was the cut I was sent to review and, therefore, I’m basing my thoughts and interpretations on what exist therein (with a nod to the film’s description to explain the relationship between the two characters). So, take of it what you will. Me, I’m never eating a bowl of cereal that I don’t prepare myself.
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