Mark Watches Amber Benson’s ‘Chance’

Hello, folks! The lovely juniorpan commissioned me to watch something I did not even know existed. In the midst of filming Buffy, Amber Benson wrote, directed, and produced a film. WHILE FILMING BUFFY, Y’ALL. That’s amazing. So I watched it, and you should, too!

Okay, video first:

  • So, let’s start with this: Stylistically, this is a bizarre movie, more vignette-based than anything else. It feels very much like the aimless, wandering gen X movies of the mid 90s. So don’t go into this expecting a linear story or a very defined conflict. There is a story here and there are conflicts the various characters go through, but Chance is a set of character studies more than anything else.
  • It’s also Amber Benson’s first film, and you can tell that. It’s easier to tolerate it knowing this, but it’s very rough around the edges.
  • Amber Benson, David Fury, James Marsters, and Andy Hallet are all in it! And it’s weird, oh my god. Jeff Rickets (Weatherby on Buffy and Angel) is Chance’s dad
  • As I said, this movie has a wandering story. The script drifts from one scene to the next, many times flashing back and flashing forward with no real sense of unity. Depending on your own taste, that’s either going to work for you, or you’re going to hate it. For me, I ended up in the middle. I thought it was decent, entertaining, and expressive at times, and then at others I was bored. But it’s also such a strange film that I was willing to keep an open mind.
  • The acting is good for the most part, though not very polished. Except Christine Estabrook, who RULES.
  • I think Chance is inherently about identity and how that relates to attraction. It’s a love story, for the most part, but it’s not quite what you would think given the genre. Benson presents a story about two characters who are confused about what they want, but she contrasts Simon and Chance in the way these two seek out their desires. A lot of the time, though, those desires aren’t exactly spelled out. It’s unfortunate because the film feels confusing or underwhelming because of this.
  • I would say this: give it a chance. (l o l) It’s not going to be for everyone, and it’s rough around the edges. Know this going into it, but it’s a fascinating experience to watch someone’s first attempt at a full-length film.

Thank you, juniorpan, for giving me the experience of watching this!

Mark Links Stuff

 I am going on tour in 2013! There are 27 tour dates spread across the eastern half of North America. Please help suggest venues, offer up a place to crash, and RSVP for dates near you!
- ALL VIDEO COMMISSIONS WILL CLOSE ON FEBRUARY 9TH SO THAT I CAN WRITE POSTS IN ADVANCE FOR TOUR. The only exception to this are any upcoming projects I am doing, so I have listed all upcoming Mark Watches posts that are missing commissions.
- You can, however, commission me to read bad fic/fiction on ANY Mark Does Stuff Tour date. You can claim a specific date to have a live reading right here.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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