Sunday, June 26

Stream it or skip it: ‘Mixtape’ on Netflix, where a child connects with their deceased parents via the m

Mixtape (Netflix) is having a lot of fun with her nostalgia trip back to that decade of eons ago, the 1990s. When a high school student finds the mix her mom made for her dad, she launches her on a musical quest in the past to try to connect with them as they died when she was just a baby. Sad things, that. But Mixtape keeps the focus on comforting notes and the power of a perfectly sequenced mix.


The essence: Spokane, Washington, 1999. When we meet young Beverly (Gemma Brooke Allen), she is writing a poem and is considering dedicating it to her parents, the same young people who are no longer with us. They’re pictured on their nightstand, clad in ripped denim and T from the band, Mom in a dyed-blonde mohawk and Dad who looks like he just stepped out of Cameron Crowe’s 1992 grunge rom-com. Individual. Beverly goes to school, her bright outlook on life clouded a bit by reprimands from school bully Steve, and returns to Grandma Gail’s (Julie Bowen) house to start her chores, which include cleaning the basement. And that’s when he finds it, the “Kim [hearts] Zack Mix “. The mixtape was crafted by his mom and includes the necessary handmade cover art, a skeleton drawn in black Sharpie with a beating pink heart. He pulls an old Sony walkman out of another box, carefully sneaks into side one (“Love Riot”) of the Maxell UR-90, and quickly hears old analog technology screeching and distorting while eating on playback. Oh no! Dismayed, Bev pulls out the tape, only to find that the magnetic tape has mercilessly unwound. Bev returns to Kim’s handcrafted cover, and she’s in luck: like any self-respecting mixtape maker, there’s a carefully laid out tracklist with title and artist. Beverly’s mission becomes finding and listening to every song on the tape.

Beverly enlists the help of the surly Anti record store owner (Nick Thune) in her quest for improvisations, and with the reveal of each song, she becomes more confident at school, drawing the power of Girls At’s powerful chords. Our Best. and The Stooges. (When Beverly first shows Anti the tape’s tracklist, she sneers at it with the classic arrogance of record store workers. “Your parents had good taste,” she finally declares.) There’s a lot of nostalgia for ’90s names along the way – Y2K fears, and Ellen searches for songs on Napster, and there’s some trouble too, as Bev and her friends start to feel too much about their new empowerment. Gothic / grunge eye makeup, sneaking out to a rock show with Anti, and even a suspension from school. But it’s all in the service that Bev creates her own identity and finds a path to the personalities of who her parents were.

Photo: Jake Giles Netter / Netflix

What movies will it remind you of? Netflix Series Of Family Oriented Rates Includes Brazilian Movie DJ Cinderella, about a teenage DJ who mixes for his crush. Meanwhile, on Hulu, there are The Ultimate Noise Playlist, about a master mixtape maker facing imminent hearing loss.

Performance worth watching: Gemma Brooke Allen, who has done some television episodes in addition to playing a young Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Kate, she’s fantastic here as Beverly, the ever-curious little girl with a rambunctious wit and tenacious spirit who just wants to learn about parents she never knew.

Diálogo memorable: The day after breaking the tape, Beverly is determined to search the local record store. And when she meets Anti, the archetypal record store clerk, he explains the damage of the mixtape. “You have to listen to the songs in order, okay? A mixtape is a message from the creator to the listener, right? It’s not just about which songs, but in what order. Microseconds between seconds, tempo changes. It disappears? It disappears? “

Sex and skin: There is no way friend.

Our Take: “A message from the creator.” That’s the phrase from Anti pontificando on Mixtape Law that resonates the most with Beverly, as she sees the tape as a conduit to the parents who have always guided her life despite the fact that they died in a car accident when she was 2 years old. Gail, Beverly’s grandmother, was a teenage mother like her daughter, and has worked double shifts for the post office since taking Bev in because she can’t bear the thought of failing Bev the way she thinks she failed Bev. Kim. (He spends half the movie on the phone with the bank, trying to secure Bev’s college fund from possible destruction in 2000.) And for Beverly, her sense of unfamiliarity with her deceased parents has guided her in a way that Gail cannot. ever since Gail hung up on her own pain. The connectivity the mixtape offers is the most tangible thing Bev has ever had about her parents’ legacy in her life, and it’s heartening to see her go on a mission to find the messages.

Mixtape works best when it’s based on nostalgia, whether it’s Anti schooling Bev and her gang of girls in the form of vinyl lore and the music scene or band t-shirts, Cheap Trick lyrics, and the band’s stomp. garage that make up the ephemeral musical of the film. There could be even more music on Mixtape, it could have used more scenes of the kids discovering the punk rock screen or the sparkling lyricism of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. And whatever the budding relationship between Gail and Anti is, it’s not explored in any depth. But MixtapeHis heart is full, his ears are attentive, and his love for music and the message it sends is very, very real.

Our calling: STREAM IT. With a great lead performance by young Gemma Brooke Allen, Mixtape finds its poignant message in notes of funny nostalgia and some post-punk volume.

Johnny Loftus is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicagoland. Her work has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media, and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @glennganges

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