ALL ABOUT E (LOUISE WADLEY, 2015)
All About E screens on Saturday, September 19 at Chicago's Landmark Century Cinema. For additional ticketing information, click here.
The unusually titled All About E (it has nothing to do with the Mankiewicz film that resembles its title) offers some initial promise, where a young Arabic Australian DJ named E (Mandahla Rose) headlines a Sydney gay club. An opening sequence that sees E in the club bathroom stall with a lover while a lascivious crowd awaits her arrival is tightly wound and makes some initial suggestions toward Mia Hansen-Løve’s recent Eden, only for the picture to succumb to a series of trite and increasingly illogical narrative asides that, 20 minutes into the picture, does away with any goodwill it has generated.
Finding herself with a duffel bag filled with money, E ventures from an Australian suburb to the outback with her gay best friend (Brett Rogers, insufferable) attempting to take shelter and hide out from her boss’ lunatic spree. With so many narrative leaps of faith required to make sense of E’s plight, Louise Wadley’s debut feature lacks the pull to keep the whole effort together. The material offers a rich source of potential conflict, especially as a study of E’s heritage in relation to the stigma of homosexuality, but Wadley’s mawkish direction opts for simple platitudes rather than having anything especially critical or interesting to say.