Me In the Mirror Review

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AKA: N/A
Genre: Documentary

Year Released: 2019
Distributor: Unlicensed
Origin: Venezuela/USA
Running Time: 6 minutes
Rating/Recommended Audience: 17+
Related Films/Series: N/A
For Fans Of: We Were Here, The Perfect Body, Hockney

Notes:
-Me In the Mirror is streaming on Vimeo.

Fun Facts:
-Me in the Mirror is the first Lorena Alvarado film to have English dialogue in it.

-This is the 2nd Lorena Alvarado film to have been featured as a Vimeo Staff Pick. The 1st is Beatrice.

-Cinematographer Adam Golfer was involved in production. He’s done work for Urban Outfitters, Fila, and The New York Times when it comes to video work.


It’s been a long time, but I’m returning to the works of Venezuelan filmmaker Lorena Alvarado. She’s done lots of great work on Vimeo and I’ve been proud to cover several of her documentaries on Iridium Eye. Ever since I saw Beatrice, I was amazed by her creative subjects of documentaries I had never even thought about with the aforementioned film covering the life of a multiple amputee fencer. There was Comadres which was a biography about her grandmother as she deals with dementia. Francesco was another sports-based documentary which deals with a swimmer with physical disabilities. These stories were fascinating and highly original in addition to amazing video production. When I saw that Lorena Alvarado came out with a new film, I was really excited and had to check it out.

Whatcha got for me, Lorena?

Me in the Mirror is a conversation piece done in documentary form from multiple women. Many of them are living life and taking part in other activities such as art and skateboarding of all things. They are of all races, countries, and creeds, but these women all have something in common: They deal with their sexuality and body image issues. The subjects talk about their embarrassing and liberating experiences as they try go grow up and find their identities with each other as there’s footage of them engaging in their hobbies or flipping through books.

I certainly expect creativity from a Lorena Alvarado film, and this certainly delivered. This topic was something I didn’t even think about and the presentation worked. Any other documentary would’ve resorted to only having talking heads, but it mixed everything up with action and engaging b-roll footage to keep the viewer engaged. Even the abstract images fit into the conversations for anyone to understand. While I had issues with some of Alvarado’s subtitles with the coloration, this issue was corrected during the Spanish-speaking parts of the film as there was enough shadowing and coloration to not look unreadable. That was a big improvement. Much like her previous works, the cinematography is top-notch. Everything is so crisp, very colorful, and looks like there was a bigger budget than expected. One could make a case of Me in the Mirror being the “best-looking” film Alvarado has done and making even Beatrice look tacky at times.

Me in the Mirror could use a better reflection in the film. I don’t know if it’s me being a man, but I found the conversations to be VERY awkward to listen to. Half of the women talk about masturbation, sexuality, and I never heard the word “clitoris” so many times in a short period. The fact that there are sexual art pictures as part of the b-roll footage doesn’t help. I understand that sexuality plays a part in everybody, but things went overboard. I’m sure anyone would feel very awkward at least once when watching Me in the Mirror. Also, that title drop gets very crazy when one interviewee describes what she does while looking at the mirror and it’s not just looking at her face. While Alvarado’s other films certainly had a definite point and message to them, I still wonder what the overall goal was besides the women just talking about their body issues and sexual curiosities. It felt too abstract for me and could’ve added different layers to the narratives.

The newest documentary was a good watch, but I didn’t feel that it was the best from Lorena Alvarado. The production is certainly astounding like the rest of her filmography. The subject matter is unique, but I had issues with some of the conversations being talked about for this particular project. Me In the Mirror was a mild disappointment, but I still think it’s better than other documentaries who have handled similar subjects.


Adjustable Rating System:

Add 1-2 points if you like films about female topics.
Subtract 1-2 points if you get weirded out when hearing about sexuality.


Pros:

-Amazing camera work and production
-Clean subtitles (an improvement from previous films)
-Unique subject matter

Cons:
-Gets overboard on sexuality
-Some questionable b-roll footage
-Can have a meandering message

Final Score: 7/10 points

Content Warning: Me In the Mirror is easily the most mature Lorena Alvarado film out there. The conversations may not involve profanity, but there’s explicit and open talk about female sexuality. The content involves masturbation, sex organs, and puberty in very graphic detail. Some of those conversations have clear LGBT connotations. The footage does have pictures of an art book with multiple pictures involving explicit nudity and sex positions inside. One b-roll footage has someone going on Google and looking up what a clitoris looks like.

-Curtis Monroe

All photos property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws. Me in the Mirror is property of Lorena Alvarado. The screenshot is from Vimeo and is property of Lorena Alvarado.

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