This comedic short chronicles a day in the life of Valerie Eastwaine, a slick, rigid, and expert shopper, not unlike the cool and calculated gunslinger of the old west. She must once again confront her nemesis, frequent customer, Diane Palance, on the consumer wasteland of Johnford's fashion outlet. Although the film begins with a harsh and unimagiative Mini-DV introduction in colour, the style and genre quickly change to that of a spaghetti western (in black and white Super 16mm) where Valerie faces a number of comical obstacles in a high end clothing store until the final showdown with an equally skilled villain.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
ERIC PAQUET has worked on more than a dozen independent productions now and has assisted as everything from PA to Producer. He has worked in theatre for the past decade as actor, director, and producer and only recently became immersed in film. Having studied film theory for three years in University, Eric then began to collect experience working on small productions and taking workshops through the provincial film co-operative. PLASTIC is his first auteured short and it has recently played at the Tidal Wave Film Festival in his hometown of Fredericton, NB. He is currently writing new projects and promoting PLASTIC.
JAMES RICKER is a graduate of Vancouver Film School and was lucky enough to shadow Brian Singer during the filming of X-MEN 2 in the area. James is a skilled director of photography who just recently completed his first short, SWEET LULLABY which was featured at the Atlantic Film Festival, the Toronto Student Film Festival, and the Tidal Wave Film Festival. He is currently in pre-production of his next project, MATCHSTICK GIRL.
CLASSICAL GUITAR COMPOSITION
GEORDIE DOAK is a trained classical guitarist and a native of Fredericton, New Brunswick. He was discovered while playing on stage for a local theatre performance. Although only having played for five years now, Geordie seems to be able of replicating and composing any style of music ranging from rock, jazz, classical, and in this case, western. He studied the music if Ennio Morricone (who score many of Sergio Leone's films) for months before composing the music of PLASTIC.
ELECTRONIC STORE COMPOSITION
JAMES ORR is a grade nine level pianist. However he has played in numerous jazz and funk bands as a drummer, guitarist, and keyboardist. He began composing original experimental hip hop, trip hop, and techno five years ago. He has a gift for finding rare grooves and incorporating them seamlessly into his compositions. For this particular film he was asked to create a fun and simple retro breakbeat song for the first two minutes of PLASTIC.
DIRECTOR'S NOTE (his pretentious statement)
Plastic is a stylized parody of the 1950's western genre, replacing the stereotypical loner, male anti-hero with a strong, equally menacing female who proves to be twice as deadly as any character portrayed by Eastwood or Wayne. Echoes of Ford and Leone are found throughout as well as familiar western themes and visuals.
The film's title arises from the stock characters and cliched qualities of the western genre.
Plastic was first envisioned upon hearing from a friend of mine how she had been rudely shoved during a sale in a clothing outlet. She told me of the hostility and viciousness that occurs during liquidations at clothing stores. The realities of shopping and deal-hunting are far from tame.
This short, therefore is not a sexist one but one of female empowerment that questions the rigor and competitiveness of the activity commonly attributed to women and often mocked as a simple, trivial, voracious, and wasteful hobby...precisely because it is a role generally attributed to women. Also, women in films are almost always restricted to parts such as the wife, love interest, or dangerous and psychotic antagonist. An experiment in gender reversal, as in Plastic, can often bring certain truths to light and make an audience ask themselves why is it so ridiculous to have a female play them out?
In reality, women in film are not cowboys or heroes. they neither lead nor star, and when they do, the character usually suffers as a result of her independence or leadership. Popular film has and still does contribute to a backlash against women's struggle for equality in our society. That is why we chose to shoot the first two minutes ("the reality") of Plastic on Mini DV and the ("fictional") remainder of the film on black and white super 16mm. It's easier for the public to swallow when delivered as a joke.