Me, You, and Everyone We Know (2005)

Rated R. Our rating: V-2; L-4; S-8/N-1 Running time: 90 minutes.

My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.
Psalm 102:12

Me, You, and Everyone We Know

Conceptual artist Miranda July both wrote and directed this strange, poetic film about people trying to connect, not always, in the case of the children, in the best of ways. Ms. July also plays Christine, a lonely conceptual artist who prepares a video portfolio in the hope of persuading a gallery manager to accept her work. At a shoe store she is drawn to Richard (John Hawkes), a clerk who has so many problems that he rebuffs her.

Richard’s bandaged hand is the representative of the foolish way he has been dealing with his problems. When his wife is packing to walk out on him, he pours lighter fluid on his hand and ignites it. He yowls in pain while his two boys look on. If he meant to impress them with his bravado, he has failed. One of them might have known that it is rubbing alcohol that will burn without injuring skin, not lighter fluid. The boys are also having their troubles, the younger one going on line and becoming engaged in a sexual exchange, His older brother is harassed by two girls out to practice oral sex on him, while a neighbor, the man who works with Richard at the shoe store posts sexually inviting signs in his apartment window for the girls to read.

How all this works out, with people finally connecting makes for challenging viewing. Though not graphically explicit, the talk often is. This unusual little film is not for your church youth group, and only some young adults, perhaps will take to it. Still, when it comes out on DVD (it has left the one theater in Cincinnati that played), it might be worth your time. But don’t say I didn’t warn you about the film’s sexuality.