SFIFF Preview 3: My Suicide

Teenage Comedy/Drama

  • Written by Eric J. Adams, David Lee Miller, Jordan J. Miller, Gabriel Sunday
  • Directed by David Lee Miller

As far as I know, the San Fran International Film Festival will be your only chance to see this thoughtful, sad, funny, entertaining, and thoroughly unique motion picture. Catch it if you can.

A video- and movie-obsessed teenage boy named Archie announces in his film class that for his final project, he will kill himself on camera. That incident will be the climax of his opus, the ultimate self-obsessed student film. My Suicide is not so much a film about Archie’s project as Archie’s project. Every shot is supposedly something Archie shot with his video camera, received from someone else, or synthesized with all the cool software and hardware in his room (I think some of the shots were cheating on this, although I’d have to watch it again to be sure).

The movie is even edited as if by a talented teenager, jump-cutting, mashing up mysuicide scenes from old movies and TV shows, and adding cheap animations where it seemed fun to do so. At first I wondered if I could take the frenetic pace throughout the run of a feature film, but the post-production pyrotechnics mellowed out as the movie progressed, presumably as Archie became more adapt at his craft.

A movie about teenage suicide should not be all about craft and clever jokes, and this one isn’t. Archie’s announcement makes this largely unnoticed kid a school celebrity. Not only does everyone want to talk with him and value his insight, but a beautiful girl who never would have noticed him before is suddenly paying him attention. But when people start paying attention to what you say, your words suddenly have consequences.

Other teenage suicide movies, such as Harold and Maude and Heathers, are dark and funny, but compared to My Suicide, they’re shallow. Also dark, almost as funny, and considerably more humane and romantic, My Suicide hits a nerve.

You’ll find the Festival’s My Suicide page here. The film screens Friday, May 1 at 6:00, Tuesday, May 5, at 1:00, and Wednesday, May 6 at 9:00. All screenings are at the Kabuki.