dt-print-16-1380x776Diamond Tongues (2015)
Written by Adam Gurfinkel, Pavan Moondi, Brian Robertson and Michael Sloane
Directed by Pavan Moondi and Brian Robertson

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The way things work is broken.” ~ Edith

Last Monday I had the chance to catch the Los Angeles premiere of Diamond Tongues, and attend a Q&I after the show with Pavan Moondi and Brian Robertson. Diamond Tongues stars Leah Fay Goldstein, known around lyriquediscorde as Leah Fay from one of our favorite bands, July Talk, a band she duos in with Peter Dreimanis.

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Q&A with Pavan Moondi and Brian Robertson

Peter also had a hand in the film, as one of the film’s cinematographer, something that to me added a level of intimacy to Edith (Leah Fay Goldstein) in the shots and angles, and visual interpretation that made her character come even more alive on-screen.

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The film was shot in nine days, so having that sense of understanding and intimacy, especially in a film that is very much a close-up study of Edith, in all her glorious imperfections and humanity. I think it was a brilliant choice to have someone who knows Leah well, and who shares the closeness and connection of music and live performing, to capture her character on film.

Diamond Tongues is the story of a struggling actress who seems to be floundering in a sea of seemingly more successful friends and a lack of her own success that has her making a string of bad steps, and, at times, cruel actions. It feels like Edith cannot see her wrong moves, so they expand, becoming a house of cards ready to fall. At times, it is painful to watch her, but mostly it is strangely comforting in that way that realistic stories can be, making you feel like you are not the only one confused, and doing it all wrong.

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Leah’s performance is stunning in this film. Visually she is so expressive, and luminous, it is near impossible not to be drawn in. Acting wise, she brings this character to life in such understated and sublime ways, turning Edith into such a complicated and real character, one that is relatable and authentic, and unique. Leah lays bare all of Edith’s insecurities and vulnerability and flaws in such a raw and beautiful way that the end result is phenomenal. I felt like I knew her by the end of it, and despite some of her cringe-worthy antics (especially the thing with the fire alarm), I was rooting for her.

“Acid Trip”

The movie’s soundtrack played a key part in the film for me. It weaved itself so seamlessly into the scenes, whether the songs were background in bars and parties, or acting as emotional triggers during montage sequences and internal, one-on-one character studies. Songs by Islands, Emily Haines, and Broken Social Scene, among others, are just the perfect companion to the story itself. I would love a soundtrack from the film.

There are some great supporting characters that help bring Edith’s story to life, especially Edith’s roommate Clare (Leah Wildman) and best friend Nick (Nick Flanagan). The city of Toronto, too, feels like a character, one that is vivid and gritty and familiar, even if it is a city I have never stepped foot in. By the end of the film, though, I felt like I had.

3I highly recommend the film and urge you to follow the movie’s journey both at its website and Facebook. Director/writer Pavan Moondi assures that there will be other showings of the film, as well as VOD availability, coming soon – so keep an eye out so you can see it when it comes your way.

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Trailer

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