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Vladimir de Fontenay’s Film Unveils Symbolic Connection Between Mother and Son Relationship “As They Search For a True Place to Call Home”

January 24th, 2019 Comments off

 

VladimirDeFontenayFilmUnveilsSymbolicConnectionBetweenMotherSonRelationshipAsTheySearchForTruePlaceToCallHomeMobileHomesMovieVideoMHProNews

It’s about 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chances.

 

It’s about different look at the American Dream.

Yes, it misuses the terminology – calling a manufactured home, a mobile home.

But the Vladimir de Fontenay film staring Imogen Poots movie is coming out on DVD, and it is still not getting the attention it debatably deserves among manufactured housing professionals.

The New York Times, and other media outlets have reviewed this movie. It’s not been as wildly embraced by the public as it has been by movie critics. Film Threat said, “The film is the winner of the 2017 Audience Award at the Athens International Film Festival and also premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight Program at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.”

Compared to the “Trailer Park Boys” – or “TP Boys” as Canadian community association leader Al Kemp says it – the video is a generally positive look at just what affordable housing in the form of a manufactured home can mean to someone.

Here’s what Film Threat had to say, with their original article, linked here, and the guts of their review following.  Other commentaries on this video will follow the byline and notices, further below.

 

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Mobile Homes explores how a young mother and son survive from bouncing around from motel to motel, unexpectedly landing in a transportable mobile home they would ultimately like to call home. The film stars Imogen Poots (Frank & Lola) as Ali as she is forced to choose between the unpredictable ways of her toxic boyfriend Evan played by Callum Turner (The Only Living Boy in New York) and the duties of being a responsible mother to her 8-year-old son Bone played by Frank Oulton in a multitude of environments. Mobile Homes is written and directed by Vladimir de Fontenay (Memoria). The film is the winner of the 2017 Audience Award at the Athens International Film Festival and also premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight Program at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

“…getting this young mother to really only become a mother for her son when she lost everything…and is willing to have him grow up away from her.”

The mother/son dynamics have been explored in other films but none to the extent of being homeless, desiring a safe haven to call home, and the impact of unhealthy environments to a kid, all while looking for the next place to sleep. The director divulged, “In a situation where a mother and her son couldn’t have a home, were dreaming of a home, what it meant for them dreaming of normality, and doing everything they can to find a roof over their heads. Only when the roof collapses, they realized that the meaning of home is something way deeper than a roof and it’s something that they have between them. It’s very metaphorical for a sense of longing for a home and what it means to have a home as a young adult. The thread in the writing was getting this young mother to really only become a mother for her son when she lost everything, put him in grave danger, and is willing to have him grow up away from her. It’s so taboo in society for a young mother to not be ready to be a mother and abandon her child or children. It was taking this character to that extreme where she truly only becomes the mother at the very end of the film.”

The connection and chemistry between the mother and son had to align so that the tension in the performances felt raw and true. “I had the intuition that we needed to do casting with kids that had never acted before. We went to a bunch of farms, met all these kids, and wanted for that kid to feel very comfortable with adults, but also with animals and have an inner life. That would help a lot with his performance in the context of the film because the kid is so often confronted with adults’ problems but also left alone in hotel rooms. We created a safe space and made him feel very free before the shoot. What really drew me to Imogen was she is lively, so fun, and goofy at times. She really brought it to the character, especially in the second half of the film. She’s also just very natural and able to react in the moment in situations. In terms of them acting together, the movie is very much the story of a relationship forming between her and her son. They didn’t know each other at all when we started shooting, they were like foreign to each other. It’s really hard for an 8-year old kid to be like this person that you’ve never seen before is your mother. What’s really helping us is that they’re not mother and son at the beginning of the movie, they’re companions. They have a journey that they’re forced to live together, but they’re not mother and son. They really become mother and son throughout the film as their relationship evolved, really getting to know each other. It was much easier for them to share tenderness and be close to each other as a real mother and a real son would be. In a way the shooting was made, we tried to shoot in chronological order as much as possible, which really helped their performance too,” explained de Fontenay.

“They really become mother and son throughout the film as their relationship evolved…”

Throughout the film, there is a real-life chicken that establishes a role as a symbolic representation. “There are these roosters that are fighting death. A big contrast occurs with how Evan is growing these animals to kill each other compared to the little chicken that Bone cares for and wants to grow to be a happy animal. In a way, it’s very metaphorical how Bone was taking care of and treated throughout the film. Also, the idea of innocence that exists in the kid and is reflected in the animals. The characters are really facing the true consequences of their action by looking at how they hurt that innocent thing. In Mobile Homes, the characters see the true color of the consequences of their actions,” concluded the director.

Vladimir de Fontenay’s film unveils the symbolic connection between a mother and her son’s relationship as they search for a true place to call home. Mobile Homes is available On Demand/Digital HD on January 22, 2019.

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That’s one look at how culture – in the form of a movie review – that this adult drama peers into the world of manufactured homes.  See the related reports, further below for more on this themed flick. “We Provide, You Decide.” ## © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

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“2nd, 3rd, & 4th Chances,” the “American Dream,” “Mobile Homes” Movie, Video Trailer Reviews

Imogene Poots, Vladimir De Fontenay’s Video Look – “The American Dream,” “Mobile Homes”

 

New York Times Review of “Mobile Homes”

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Times Review of “Mobile Homes”

November 27th, 2018 Comments off

 

NewYorkTimesReviewDarkStarPicturesTrailerMobileHomesVladimirDeFontenayImogenPottsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsIt is stating the obvious to observe that the news media, as well as the entertainment world, has an ability to influence the perceptions of readers, viewers, and listeners.

 

As the majority of front-line industry professionals, serious investors, owners, executives, and management know, tens of millions of our fellow Americans have false or mistaken perceptions about modern manufactured homes. That’s sadly true on both sides of the U.S. and Canadian borders.

One example of that misconception is that millions of Americans still call them “mobile homes,” even though here in the U.S., there have been no mobile homes built since June, 15, 1976. That is the date that the federal HUD Code for manufactured housing went into effect. All of those homes built on a frame to those federal standards on or since that date are properly known as “manufactured homes,” not “mobile homes.” 

The recent New York Times review of Mobile Homes says none of that, which is no surprise. Rather, their review focuses on the performance of Imogen Poots, who has a growing following for her blossoming acting career. 

Each film, every TV episode, or news report about post-federal code manufactured homes and pre-HUD Code mobile homes arguably offers a unique opportunity for the manufactured housing industry to address its perceptual challenges.

 

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How so? Why? Because we should be defining and framing ourselves as an industry.  We can point to a potentially appealing way of life available to millions, says industry publisher and expert L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. Otherwise, professionals are allowing others to define our industry, your business, and profession.

When others are defining you, that can be to your detriment.

Rephrased, movies like Mobile Homes will shape perceptions, rightly or wrongly, about our part of the affordable housing industry, homeowners, community residents, and your business.  When more than 1 in 3 in the U.S. are renting, and some 85 percent of those want to own someday, shouldn’t defining or redefining the industry be a higher priority?

 

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You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

Imogene Poots, Vladimir De Fontenay’s Video Look – “The American Dream,” “Mobile Homes”

 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews, as well as MHLivingNews have each previously done a review of the previews, prior to the formal release of the movie Mobile Homes. ICYMI, or want a refresher, those are linked above and below.  The MHLivingNews article is still getting good traffic, which is another part of the reason why it was done. But our goal was not to promote the movie, per se.  Rather, it was to get our industry’s professionals thinking about the film in terms of framing a narrative.

 

“2nd, 3rd, & 4th Chances,” the “American Dream,” “Mobile Homes” Movie, Video Trailer Reviews

 

When the New York Times review shown below was emailed to us, as important as that mainstream news media source is, we knew that it had to get some measure of additional coverage here on MHProNews.

Here’s what Ebiri wrote in the New York Times.

 

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This still from the movie was part of the NYTimes review.

Imogen Poots’s turn as a troubled, unwed mother living on the margins in “Mobile Homes” presents a terrific showcase for her abilities: The tense dance of anguish, joy, panic and hope on her face is often riveting. If only Vladimir de Fontenay’s film could match the sheer expressive power of its actress.

Poots plays Ali, who with her 8-year-old son, Bone (Frank Oulton), and her scuzzy boyfriend, Evan (Callum Turner), works a variety of hustles to make ends meet, from selling fighting roosters to dealing dope. Their unmoored existence is matched by the drifting, elliptical style of the film — so much so that we’re not always sure exactly what’s happening onscreen.

 

A preview of the film.

Their circumstances often put Bone in danger, and after one particularly nasty near miss, Ali and her son find themselves crashing in a mobile home community that promises some basic safety and comfort. Robert (Callum Keith Rennie), the tough builder who oversees the homes, gives her a job and suggests that she may be able to stay there indefinitely. The meager pleasures of this new world seem light years away from the chaos of their former life.

Throughout, Poots keeps her character grounded in a state of wary anticipation: When she starts imagining a better future for herself, it’s clear that she is battling a lifetime of demons. But her wonderful performance is all too often stuck inside a fragmented, unclear narrative that confuses more than it evokes. This is an atmospheric, well-acted film that leaves us mostly cold.

Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes.

 

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## End of NY Times Review ##

 

As a disclosure, we have not yet gone to the theater to see this film, and that’s been intentional.

We first wanted to see what, if anything, others in the factory-built home industry might say or do. We also wanted to see how the movie would be received by audiences and reviewers.

Movie rating platform, Rotten Tomatoes, gives the following snapshot of “Mobile Homes.”

 

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As usual, our purpose in this report is nuanced. This movie has struggled at the box office. Is it an opportunity in disguise for our industry?

 

So, there you have a sense of what others are saying about this film. Bear in mind, that millions who won’t see the film, will nevertheless hear about it, or read reviews like those shown.

To pardon the play on videography’s words, our industry’s image is arguably being framed more by others than by our industry’s professionals.

 

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Those others might see manufactured homes and communities as a place where people like this couple can end up. They may, to borrow from the NY Times review by Elibri, think of characters like Poots, as a “troubled, unwed mother living on the margins in “Mobile Homes

That’s not necessarily all bad.  But it isn’t glamorous either, is it?

 

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What if properly prepared adults – say one out of every five living in a pre-HUD Code mobile home, or a post-HUD Code manufactured home – watched the Dark Star PicturesMobile Homes” movie? What if they sat down with a friend or family member who is renting to watch the video?  What if after watching it, they  discussed some of the themes, like second chances, and the American Dream? There are scores of ways that such a production might be useful to various interest groups.

 

Some may watch this flick, and wonder if they could get a fresh chance at life in a “mobile home.” The trio of Ali, her son, and boy friend “…works a variety of hustles to make ends meet, from selling fighting roosters to dealing dope. Their unmoored existence is matched by the drifting, elliptical style of the film…”

Naturally others will see reviews like the above, and it will further embed the vexing image of ‘hustlers and petty criminals’ who pick this as a way of life. As one reviewer above suggested, it could further engrain the notion of ‘poor white trailer trash.’  That sounds like a sad page out of a script from the Trailer Park Boys series on Netflix.

Every media account – good, bad, or meh – nevertheless offers our industry’s professionals an opportunity to help frame or reframe the narrative.

What if, anything, has your firm or association done to frame the narrative that the New York Times, Rotten Tomatoes, and others are projecting about the lifestyle choice of some 22 million Americans in the U.S?

 

2 Examples of How Engaging or Not, Framing or Not Framing a Message Matters in MHVille

2 recent mainstream news incidents reports, each linked below, reflect very different ways that two community owners reacted to problematic news about their respective businesses.

 

Jury Awards Millions to Residents in Suit Against Controversial Community Operator

 

Above, there is Kort and Scott, which has largely opted to allow others to frame their narrative. It is arguably costing them millions, based solely upon the jury’s verdict.

 

CautionKortandScottAreComingSignYellowManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Then there is Caleb Walsh, who is mixing-it-up with local public officials and news media in a market he has properties.  Walsh, in contrast to larger Kort and Scott, is at least making an effort to frame the story that will shape how others perceive his business and efforts.  It remains to be seen what Walsh and his colleagues do longer term that could help or harm his investments, possibly for months or years to come.

Because thousands who read or view such news reports in local media will accept them at face value, how will it impact those businesses?

 

Public Official, ABC News, Manufactured Home Community Owner Clash Over Resident Concerns

You are either striving to define your business, or are allowing others define it for you. Every media narrative LATonyKovachMHLivingnewsMHProNewsPHotorepresents an opportunity in disguise. Media engagement is an opportunity that comes dressed in overalls, looks, and behaves much like work. Framing a narrative is like any other investment. You either invest the time, talent, and treasure needed, or you don’t. That in turn either costs you money, or makes you money,” said award-winning MH industry veteran and publisher, L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Pop culture – including movies, and ‘entertainment’ – such as Ready Player One, Trailer Park Boys, and Eight Mile are all part of the milieu that defines our industry to tens of millions.  Each of those listed in this paragraph are problematic.

Local news frames our profession’s image too.  But as our prior review on MHLivingNews noted, there is hope for reframing the message of the Mobile Homes movie for which Imogen Potts is getting several rave reviews.

Think about who reads movie reviews. Consider those who watch videos, and go to the movies.  Ponder those who read or view the news. What do you want people of means, influence, or possible buyers to think about your profession, or your specific business?

As the year 2018 winds down, and thousands of professionals have been – or are planning for 2019 – this is a good time to step back and ponder how you want to define, or redefine, your business in your market.  For more on that, see the related reports, further below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Related Reports:

“Ready Player One” Movie – Unsubtle Slam on Manufactured Housing?

Ford and Toyota Teach Manufactured Housing Professionals and Investors