Year of the Carnivore Sook-Yin Lee

Year of the Carnivore Sook-Yin Lee
One of the perks included with Sook-Yin Lee's first feature length-film on DVD are three of her short films, which show a unique voice evolving, gradually finding the consistency in filmmaking vision demonstrated in Year of the Carnivore. From her short film about dressing up as a promotional noodle to her "on the fly" project, Girl Cleans Sink, quirkiness is indeed on the agenda, but more importantly, so is a sense of alienation and a non-complacent perspective that inspires filmmaking purpose. On the behind-the-scenes feature, Lee discusses making a film about an unconventional protagonist, including the Little Red Riding Hood reference, acknowledging that young female characters aren't typically given room to discovery their sexuality in such an idiosyncratic manner. Sammy Smalls (Cristin Milioti) is nothing like other girls depicted in film. She works as an undercover investigator at the local grocery store where she exploits the men she catches shoplifting by taking them outside and practicing sexual acts on them. Since her crush, Eugene (Mark Rendall), sends her mixed messages of a sexual nature, feeling threatened by her off-centre approach and lack of experience, these dalliances, along with the occasional threesome with a lactating babysitting employer and her husband, introduce her to the confusing world of adult sexuality. There's nothing graceful or romanticized about the subject, as told through a wonderfully subdued comic eye, and some of the dialogue — such as, "cool is Conservative fear dressed in black" — is as clever and quirky as you're likely to find. Sure, some of the transitions are sloppy and the pacing could use a bit of work, but there's a definite vision here that shows substantial promise. At the very least, where else are you going to see a young woman hump the corner of a table while wearing a vintage red ball gown? (eOne)