Amidst all the crowds, lineups and questions as to what exactly constitutes art, Nuit Blanche also presents an annual special opportunity for young people to come together to celebrate life and love. Or at least that’s what White Night, a quirky anthology film written by Canadians Matt Purdy and Dan Slater, will have you believe. In their Toronto-centric tale, seven idealistic millenials (in six different vignettes that intersect) wander the city (or rather, the Ryerson theatre area as well as the Queen and King West vicinity) in order to navigate various art installations and, essentially, to find their individual purposes in life.
There’s Melanie (the mesmerizing Kimberly Laferriere), the lost French woman who doesn’t speak English, will-they-or-won’t-they longtime friends Sully (Jonathan Keltz, a great local actor who’s horribly miscast here) and Violet (Sara Mitich, who seems to be doing an Eliza Dushku impression the entire time), Emily (standout Parveen Kaur) the misunderstood chided artist, fired lawyer turned vigilante Frank (Adam Booth), drugged-up videographer Ryley (Darrell Faria) and homeless care worker Stacey (Natalie Brown). For the most part, each segment is shot by a different d.p. and director, which explains why some (Melanie, Frank and Emily’s) are more watchable than others (Sully and Violet’s is the worst offender, with the actors displaying zero chemistry or buildup as to their storyline’s inevitable mushy conclusion). One hopes that the musical interludes involving Stephen Joffe and his Birds of Bellwoods (acting as a sort of Greek chorus to the film as a whole) were done as a favour to the band because, to this non millenial, they were unnecessary and grating.
Overall the film has a lot of potential and should gain a following (albeit one with a younger demographic) on the festival circuit.