Spread it or skip it?
Mixing (Netflix) gets a lot of fun from her nostalgic journey to that decade eons ago, the 1990s. When a college girl finds out about her mom’s mingling with her dad, it sets her off on a musical quest into the past. to try to connect with them because they died when she was just a baby. Sad stuff, that. Corn Mixing keeps the emphasis on comforting notes and the power of a perfectly sequenced mix.
MIXED: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
The essential: Spokane, Washington, 1999. As we meet young Beverly (Gemma Brooke Allen), she writes a poem and considers dedicating it to her parents, young people themselves who are no longer with us. They are pictured on his nightstand, decked out in ripped denim and T’s band, mum with a blonde dyed mohawk and dad looking like he’s just stepped out of Cameron Crowe’s 1992 grunge romantic comedy Simple. Beverly goes to school, her bright outlook on life tarnished a bit by scolding from school bully Steve, and returns home to Grandma Gail (Julie Bowen) to begin her chores, which include cleaning up the sub. ground. And that’s when she finds him, the “Kim [hearts] Zack Mix. The mixtape was designed by his mother and features handmade cover art, a skeleton drawn in black Sharpie with a pink beating heart. She takes an old Sony walkman from another box, carefully slides side one (“Love Riot”) of the Maxell UR-90, and quickly hears the old analog technology squeak and gurgling when eaten in playback. Oh no! Dismayed, Bev removes the tape, only to find the tape mercilessly unrolled. Bev returns to Kim’s handmade cover art, and she’s in luck – like any mixtape maker worth their salt, there’s a carefully mapped tracklist with title and artist. Beverly’s mission becomes to find and hear every song on the tape.
Beverly calls on surly record store owner Anti (Nick Thune) in her quest for jams, and with each song’s revelation, she becomes more confident in school, drawing the power from the powerful chords of Girls At Our. Best! and the Stooges. (When Beverly shows Anti the tracklist for the tape for the first time, he looks at it with classic record shop worker arrogance. “Your parents had good taste,” he finally says.) There is. a lot of nostalgia for the 1990s names along the way – Y2K sucks, and Ellen searches for Napster for songs – and there are issues too, as Bev and his friends start to feel a bit too much of their new found autonomy. Goth / grunge eye makeup, sneaking out to a rock show with Anti, and even a suspension from school. But everything is at the service of Bev to create her own identity and discover the personality of her parents.
What movies will this remind you of? Netflix’s family-friendly food lineup includes Brazilian film DJ Cinderella, about a young DJ who mixes for her crush on the pop singer. Meanwhile, on Hulu there is The ultimate noise playlist, about a mixtape master coping with impending hearing loss.
Performances to watch: Gemma Brooke Allen, who did a few TV episodes and played a young Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Kate, is fantastic here as Beverly, the ever-curious kid with an exuberant wit and tenacious mind who only wants to know more about parents she’s never known.
Memorable dialogue: The day after the tape broke, a determined Beverly searches for the local record store. And when she meets Anti, the archetypal record seller, he explains the dao of the mixtape to her. “You have to listen to the songs in order, okay?” A mixtape is a message from the creator to the listener, isn’t it? It’s not just about which songs, but in what order. Microseconds between sequences, the tempo changes. Is it fading? Is it fading?
Gender and skin: No way, man.
Our opinion : “A message from the creator.” It’s Anti’s pontificate line on Mixtape Law that resonates the most with Beverly, as she sees the tape as a conduit to the parents who have always guided her life even though they died in a car crash when she did. was 2 years old. Beverly’s grandmother Gail was a teenage mother like her daughter, and has worked duplicate for the post office since taking on Bev because she can’t stand the thought of failing at Bev. as she believes she failed Kim. (She spends half of the movie on the phone with the bank, trying to protect Bev’s college fund from potential Y2K destruction.) And for Beverly, her feeling of ignoring her deceased parents has guided her to in a way Gail can’t, since Gail hung up on her own grief. The connectivity the mixtape offers is the most tangible thing Bev has ever had about her parents’ legacy in her life, and it’s heartwarming to see her go on a mission to find the messages.
Mixing works best when it comes to nostalgia, whether it’s Anti schooling Bev and his girl gang vinyl and music scene style or band t-shirts, lyrics from Cheap Trick and the trampling of the garage band which constitute the film’s ephemeral musical. There might have been even more music in Mixtape – it could have used more scenes of children experiencing punk rock scree or the sparkling lyricism of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. And whatever the budding relationship between Gail and Anti is, it isn’t explored in any kind of depth. Corn MixingHer heart is full, her ears are ready, and her love for music and the message it sends is very, very real.
Our call: Stream it. With an excellent lead performance from young Gemma Brooke Allen, Mixing finds its heartwarming message in hints of fun nostalgia and some post-punk volume.
Johnny Loftus is a freelance writer and editor living in Chicagoland. Her work has been published in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @glennganges
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