Mark L. Mann


Mark L. Mann‘s narrative feature debut, Generation Um…, shows the fun and terror that evolves out of someone getting his first camera. In the movie, John (Keanu Reeves) steals a video camera, turning him into a guy who enjoys filming squirrels and his two friends falling apart. Basically, he’s the worst indie filmmaker walking the streets of New York, which is saying a lot. It’s a movie that relies more on mood, a feeling that Mann created on 16mm running around New York streets and a claustrophobic apartment. He wasn’t the only one in control of the camera, though. Within the film we John’s own footage, which Reeves shot himself. According to Mann, that footage allows the introverted John to express himself. We spoke with Reeves and Mann about the character’s internalization, filming on 16mm and more:


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When used properly, Keanu Reeves can be quite effective. Perhaps his California slacker-voiced persona doesn’t fly in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but it certainly works in Point Break or Speed. Unfortunately, in Mark L. Mann’s Generation Um…, nary a thing is “used properly.” Reeves is perhaps marginally the best thing in this film, since he merely exists in front of the camera. Though he is amidst a sea of overacting, a preponderance of static, boring footage, and bad attempts at non-linear storytelling. In fact, it’s almost difficult to pinpoint a plot in this film at all. John (Reeves) is a Lower East Side-based driver for two young callgirls, Violet (Bojana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide Clemens), though he seems to hang out with them recreationally as well. It’s John’s birthday, and after stealing a large handheld camera from a group of hula hooping cowboys (yes, you read that correctly), he starts filming everything, from the water coming out of a drinking fountain, to Violet and Mia snorting coke, drinking red wine, and spilling the details of their sexual histories.

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published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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