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7 LIVES OF CHANCE

February 26, 2013

If I ever meet director Banks Helfrich in person I’m going to give him one gigantic, warm hug. (He will be at the festival, you can also give him a hug – and you will want to!)

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7 LIVES OF CHANCE is a beautiful film that will affect different people in different ways.  Directly after watching it I described it on Twitter as a sweet and quirky, melancholy comedy, and it is, all of those things.  It is about how death is most difficult for those of us left alive.  Some films are made to touch certain people, and this film is personal.  Different deaths affect each of us in different ways, and sometimes we simply cannot let these people go.

562546_405760459468261_1638916501_nChance (Jodi Chase) has been losing people close to her at every stage in her life since she was a young girl.  The deaths are always unexpected and quick, and, somehow, there is always a balloon around.  Eventually she starts collecting these deaths in her closet (and balloons in her house), a seemingly never ending group of ghosts who have taken up residence in her home, crowding into her life and never giving her a moment’s peace.  As an adult she is constantly accompanied by her speechless therapist Augy (Banks Helfrich), whom she chatters to incessantly, trying to figure out life and wondering when she herself is going to “pop”.  Eventually the closet ghosts cause such havoc in her life that there is no longer room for the real Chance and she searches for a replacement for herself so she can “pop” out of life and have, finally, some peace.

It is a beautifully shot film accompanied by infectious French music.  There is an amazing, pajama’d Narrator (John Pelkey) constantly “popping” in and out of scenes to explain the various ways in which life can end.  He has the voice of an old time radio announcer and a clipped, precise way of speaking, and his presence is necessary in keeping the mood light and serious throughout the film.  Helfrich manages to walk a line between a quirky and upbeat story, and the heartbreaking havoc that death can play in the lives of the living.  He has created a colorful film about the darkness that can take up residence inside us when we are left behind or, worse yet, blame ourselves for what happened.  The surface of an expanded balloon is amazingly strong and solid; it can be hit and pummeled and batted around. But one prick from a tack will pop it in an instant:  Such is life.

199376_461206483923658_1066251902_nThe story is a personal one for me, one that I really relate to and appreciate seeing up on screen.  There were scenes in this film that were difficult for me to watch, they were so intensely familiar.  And yet it is far from a depressing film – it is the celebration of a woman who found her way through the darkness and back into the light.

And to make sure you leave the theater with a smile on your face, the end credits are hilarious and will keep you in your seats until the very last second of the film.

Thank you, Banks Helfrich, for making such a lovely film.  That is the best way I can describe it:  Just lovely.

Watch the Trailer!

Buy tickets to see 7 LIVES OF CHANCE at Cinequest!

From → Reviews

2 Comments
  1. I’ve got to see this film!

  2. Mark Ferrera permalink

    Congrats everyone!!! 🙂

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