Archive for the ‘Max Joseph’ Category

Party Packing a Punch

We Are Your Friends

we_are_your_friends_ver3

Director: Max Joseph

Cast: Zac Efron, Wes Bentley, Shiloh Fernandez, Jonny Weston, Jon Bernthal, Emily Ratajkowski, Alex Shaffer

Taking place during a steaming summer in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, documentary filmmaker turned feature director Max Joseph’s fantastic trance film We are your Friends starring Zac Efron (The Paperboy, That Awkward Moment) as Cole an aspiring DJ who along with his friends are struggling to make ends meet, while attempting to make that one track which all DJ’s become famous for.

we_are_your_friends

Soon Cole falls under the influence of the much older and debauched DJ, James wonderfully played by Wes Bentley (American Beauty, Interstellar) who introduces him to a more affluent crowd of party goers. James’ assistant is Sophie played by new actress Emily Ratajkowski last seen in Entourage who naturally becomes attracted to the much cooler Cole.

we_are_your_friends_ver18

Yet its Cole’s group of San Fernando buddies which he ultimately falls back on including Ollie played by the gorgeous Shiloh Fernandez (Red Riding Hood, White Bird in a Blizzard) along with the hot-headed Mason played by Jonny Weston (Taken 3, Chasing Mavericks) and the youngest member Squirrel played by Alex Shaffer, which make up his brat pack.

we_are_your_friends_ver17

Hence this foursome form the rather inane title of the film We are your Friends. Look out for a supporting role by Jon Bernthal (Fury, The Wolf of Wall Street) as a morally dubious property tycoon Paige who takes advantage of poor people’s homes moments before foreclosure.

we_are_your_friends_ver13

The crux of the narrative is the predictable yet destructible love triangle which forms between Efron, Bentley and the pouty yet clear-headed Ratajkowski as the action moves from L.A. to Vegas.

We are your Friends is like watching a film during a Trance Party, and as the music is so brilliant and while director Joseph’s stylised direction can be forgiven, it is a wonderful and energetic film to watch clearly aiming at the millennial generation, almost giving the viewers a sense of constantly being in a nightclub.

The stylization both works for and against the film, and is particularly effective during a frenetic scene when James takes the impressionable Cole to an upmarket art exhibition while both tripping on PCP or Angel’s Dust and suddenly the pop art on the walls take on an animated form.

Behind all the debauchery, there is also a flimsy moral lesson which each character has to learn and this gives the film some deeper resonance. In the end, Cole does find that one track that will secure him an impressive debut at the annual Summer Fest, but it’s not sounds generated from his laptop, but rather a more organic experiential track.

We are your Friends is a remarkably interesting film about the art of being a successful DJ and the sacrifices that go with it, within a completely hedonistic environment filled with parties, nightclubs and music festivals. This party film packs a punch reminiscent of the Brett Easton Ellis inspired film, Less Than Zero starring Robert Downey Jr in one of his first major roles.

we_are_your_friends_ver14

We are your Friends will be sure to find a cult audience amongst those born in the 1990’s, with an electrifying performance by the smouldering Zac Efron, who continually lights up the screen with his boyish grin and beautiful blue eyes.

 

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
July 2018
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
  • Durban FilmMart Celebrates Women as Industry Still Struggles With Transformation
    DURBAN  — As the Durban Film Fest and its parallel industry program, the Durban FilmMart (DFM), unspooled this weekend in South Africa, a focus on issues facing women in the industry has dominated the program. “DFM is unapologetic about putting women on the agenda,” said producer Zoe Ramushu, who moderated a round table on transformation […]
    John Hopewell
  • SAG-AFTRA Board Approves Deals on Non-Primetime TV, Telemundo
    The SAG-AFTRA National Board has approved a tentative three-year agreement covering non-primetime work with the four major television networks. The board, which met Saturday, also approved a first-ever agreement with Telemundo Television Studios covering Spanish-language television performers. The non-primetime deal with the networks includes language limiting auditions in hotel rooms and private residences. Those limits […]
    Dave McNary
  • Sara Blecher’s ‘Mayfair’ Brings Feminine Gaze to Gangster Tale
    DURBAN — When we’re first introduced to computer whiz Zaid (Ronak Patani) in the opening scene of Sara Blecher’s “Mayfair,” he’s playing Robin Hood in an east African refugee camp—distributing sacks of food that have been left to rot in an aid group’s warehouse. That charitable impulse gets him canned, the first sign that an […]
    John Hopewell
  • African Finance Under Spotlight at Durban FilmMart  
    DURBAN — Financing African films has always required equal parts imagination and hustle, and as the global movie industry weathers its own seismic upheaval from new financing and distribution challenges, filmmakers on the continent are learning to adapt on the fly. That was the takeaway of a Durban FilmMart panel July 21, where Dayo Ogunyemi, […]
    John Hopewell
  • ‘Insecure’ Season 3 to Introduce New ‘Timely’ Show Within The Show
    After two years of making mistakes, best friends Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) will finally learn from their pasts in the new season of “Insecure.” Prentice Penny, who serves as executive producer and showrunner of the HBO series, reveals that the upcoming episodes will explore what it means to be an adult and […]
    Ariana Brockington