by Dave Koenig "A Fiend On Film"
JUNE (2015) Film Thoughts... It was a bit surreal to see this film to finally hit the DVD shelves, the director L. Gustavo Cooper has been keeping everybody in the loop about it for over a year now. I was wondering if it was ever going to come out since it was in the can for so long. The day finally came and we all went down to buy JUNE like the good little Cooper acolytes that we are. The title character of the story is a 9 year old little girl who has a problem, other than the normal ones most kids face, she is possessed by a supernatural force named Aer. It's a constant struggle on a daily basis even to exist somewhat normally because Aer likes to cause chaos and destruction if June gets upset in any way....like I say it's a problem. Bounced around to foster home to foster home, she finally ends up with Dave and Lily Anderson, thirty-something couple who recently had a miscarriage. They do everything they can to show love for the child but June, facing rejection most of her life (and the fact that Aer really doesn't want “love” to happen), is quiet and distant most of the time. More destruction and weirdness follow...just how much does the over protective social worker know about June? Will she EVER find normalcy in her life (and stop using black as her dominant crayon color?)...
I had no expectations going into this film even with following its “making of” for the past year. I love Cooper's shorts, had problems with his first film because I thought he could have done better. I say that because the guy is, no question, a very talented film maker. With June, he and his crew have given us a full film and I was pleased with the results for the most part. If you are one of those with aversions to most child actors, never fear, Kennedy Brice as JUNE is one of the most natural on-screen is a long time. She has to do some adult things in this film and brought it every time. Actually, all the acting in the film is really solid, they assembled a good cast that elevated the story a bit. The overall story has been pretty much done to death before, though I felt with the girl not actually being evil herself; acting as a vessel which she can control somewhat, gave it a different spin on it. It is the visuals though that are the star along with the performers. Cooper and his DP have great eyes, bringing everything bright and clean to the screen (to a fault at times, Cooper is a tech guy, sometimes I wish he would “let loose” a bit and stop trying to be so perfect...a nitpick)...I also loved the fact that it is supposed to be set in the late 1980's but they cleverly covered that up (a phone booth? Where the hell did they find that?). Overall, JUNE is a very solid film that didn't waste any of the small budget the filmmakers had, I'm glad it's finally out for people to see. Do so.