Directed by Carlton Sugarman
Written by Carlton Sugarman
Starring: Joey Baldwin, Carlotta Elektra Bosch, Jere Burns, Jeannetta Arnette, Marci Miller
Indie Film Review by: Hannah Sayer
The pursuit of artistic expression, and the struggles that come with it, is something often explored in
film. The Amateur: or (Revenge of the Quadricorn) follows an artist named Joey, played by Joey Baldwin, trying to succeed in making music for a living in contemporary Los Angeles. Written and directed by Carlton Sugarman, The Amateur: or (Revenge of the Quadricorn) is a refreshingly naturalistic character study.
A phone call from Joey’s sister, played by Marci Miller, leads Joey to return back to his family home in Florida. His father, played by Jere Burns, has unexpected news which puts things into perspective for Joey. He is met with interrogations from his family who do not understand his artistic endeavours or why he wants to make a living as a musician. Later in the film Joey explains how he felt that he had to leave home to escape the traditional path of having things set up early on, like having a family and a normal job. Joey just wants to make a living performing yet his family do not understand this way of life. The main focus of the film is Joey’s journey to try to achieve his dream, while along the way he meets Fiamma, played by Carlotta Elektra Bosch, who he falls in love with. The film also follows how he begins selling drugs to make money and how different relationships and chance encounters impact his journey both positively and negatively as he discovers his place in the music scene.
The music in the film is by the star Joey Baldwin and the songs are significant in reflecting Joey’s turbulent state of living and what he’s going through. The music is catchy and fits well with the tone of the film. There is a real authenticity to the performances and it feels as if the film is following real artists. This is in part due to the film’s focus on character over plot. Ultimately this is a story about Joey and his life. The film lays bare both positive and negative experiences to fully explore this layered and often challenging lifestyle. By focusing more on his experiences and relationships within the LA music scene, the result is a more naturalistic exploration. The scene where Joey and Fiamma are strolling through the streets together is a perfect example of this. The dialogue feels natural and real and the camera follows the couple as they share intimate secrets with one another, as if the viewer is being given privileged access to witness this interaction.
The scene between Joey and his father near the beginning of the film is one of the best. His father admitting that he once gave up his dream of being a dancer shapes how Joey sees his future and that perseverance is key. The Amateur: or (Revenge of the Quadricorn) is a unique and unexpectedly thoughtful film which contains a strong message about following your dreams and never giving up, even when it gets tough.
Watch the official movie trailer for The Amateur: or (Revenge of the Quadricorn) below.