Lily's Mirror

****

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Lily's Mirror
"There are no weak links in the cast, all of whose members work well together, and Frye makes us feel for Lily even when she shows surprisingly limited concern for herself."

Even in short work, filmmakers usually take a bit of time to get to the point. here, we see Lily (Linnea Frye) talking and laughing with her date over dinner, giving us a bit of an introduction to them both, but before the opening credits have finished rolling, he has chopped off her hand.

The idea of representing the damage done by sexual abuse as if it were visible physical injury is not a new one, but it’s only part of the package here, and the matter of fact way that Frye and co-director/writer/star Adam Pinney present it makes room for a lot of sharp comic asides. Some of the film’s bleakest observations are made in passing – a sympathetic male friend’s confession over the phone, a newsreader’s eyepatch – but darkest by far are the low expectations of its female characters, who will settle for truth because, well, they just can’t imagine justice.

Most viewers will be familiar with phantom limb pain, a sensation which occurs when the body can’t get used to the fact that a part of it has gone missing. Lily is suffering from what feel like painful cramping in her absent left hand. A doctor (who has a missing leg) presents her with a box which she can place her lower left arm inside. There is a mirror on one side of it, and by watching the reflection of her right hand as she clenches and unclenches her fist, Lily can gain the sensation of control over her left hand, making the cramps go away. This is an established trick which works in the real world, but the film takes it a step further when Lily discovers that her mirror can temporarily bring back other things which have disappeared from the world, too.

Steeped in black humour but delivered dead straight, this is a film focused on pointing up absurdities in the real world. There are no weak links in the cast, all of whose members work well together, and Frye makes us feel for Lily even when she shows surprisingly limited concern for herself. The world it represents reflects our so closely that you might easily experience its characters’ concerns as your own.

Lily’s Mirror screened as part of the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival.

Reviewed on: 06 Aug 2022
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A woman's hand is chopped off during a dinner date, leading her on an offbeat revenge journey filled with mirrors, ghosts and gore.

Director: Linnea Frye, Adam Pinney

Writer: Linnea Frye, Adam Pinney

Starring: Linnea Frye, Viviana Chavez, Jamie Moore, Adam Pinney, Matt Horgan, Bart Hansard

Year: 2022

Runtime: 10 minutes

Country: US

Festivals:

Fantasia 2022

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