The Toe Tactic (2008, Emily Hubley)

“If things could talkā€¦”

Our hero Lily Rabe, doing something quirky:
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Mona (Lily Rabe, a little Drew Barrymorish) is on the run from her mom, dealing with mysterious strangers and memories of her deceased father who used to play a Calvinball version of tic tac toe with her on the beach. A boy finds her wallet, uses her cash to take piano lessons from teacher Kevin Corrigan (Jerry Rubin in Steal This Movie). Five animated commentators (including the voice of David Cross) play a game involving the plot and props of the movie.

D. London on guitar:
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Mona likes elevator operator Daniel London (the guy who isn’t Bonny Bill Oldham in Old Joy) but they have a falling-out when Jane Lynch (of A Mighty Wind, possibly my favorite performer here) spills beer on Mona. The cartoon characters intervene, causing the woman who hired Mona (to sort through and retype mysterious papers) to have a seizure in order to reunite Mona with the elevator man and reconcile her with her mother. Possibly.

Cartoon gramma torture:
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A quirky indie drama, not realistic in the slightest, but the animation and the digital tomfoolery let us know that’s intentional. Playful and childish and full of cameos (John Sayles is Mona’s landlord, Eugene Mirman is the night elevator man, Jon Benjamin is a cop, and Jon Glaser is an open-mic performer named Toooot). The first voice we hear is Robyn Hitchcock, appropriately as a train conductor.

Jane Lynch (Role Models, Smiley Face) poses next to Hubley artwork:
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Hubley’s first feature, very good as far as Sundancey indies go.
Yo La Tengo provides a chill soundtrack (and connections to half the guest stars).

Watercolor self-images by Jeff Scher, whose short films I’ve been enjoying:
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