The Meaning of Filo (2009)

All Journeys are Epic16 April 2011
Author: gflong2005 from United States

One of those movies you want to watch with a remote in hand. Fantastic sense of surreal realism. The store shots are authentic rather than pretentious. Genre bending film. Always good for a second watch. The footage is raw art, and lacks pretentious bullshit. I would try it a third viewing with the sound off, joint in hand…stereo on…its a trip.

There are depressing shots and you can “feel” the paint of the walls. Filo (FILO?) seems to be ironic in the title: does the Director intend to say First In Last Out as an ironic description of the alcoholic process? There is a claustrophobic feel to this film, claustrophobic, incredibly urban by implication and economy. A film that is perhaps best appreciated on a second viewing.

On June 8, 2010, ‘The Meaning of Filo’ screened at Fordham University in New York
before an audience of social work professionals. Here are some of the responses.

Thanks so very much for inviting me to the screening of Chris’s excellent film, The Meaning of Filo. It is a daunting task to make an independent film, and to do it with such professionalism (on all levels: writing, directing, cinematography, sound) is quite remarkable and impressive. I was particularly impressed with Chris’s focused intent to stay with the internal experience of Bob in the final stages of alcoholism, a much more difficult experience to render, and which Chris manages to do with considerable artistic integrity, which does not necessarily make this an easy film to watch but one which engages deeply.

Dale Lindquist, L.C.S.W., D.Min.
Assistant Professor
Associate Director, The Beck Institute on Religion and Poverty
Fordham University

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I liked the choice of actors – especially: the lead, Bob; his “girlfriend”; the storekeeper; and the woman at the AA meeting – they all looked so real (not like actors playing real people). I also especially liked the intro – the way he slowly “dragged” the camera, the music- great choices; and I also liked the ending – the bottle sitting on the ground; the metaphor of the man taped to the seat was very dramatic and impressionable.

I know it was a good film, because it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning, and it has continued to be in my thoughts throughout the day. Overall, definitely an “A+”!!! – I am so glad I bought a copy of the film, can’t wait to see it again with my husband. I think Chris is a potential Stanley Kubrick/Quentin Tarantino.

Gerry Radano
Mental Health Advocate/Author

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I have had the opportunity to view your wonderful and very moving film and am delighted to be able to show it in a class I am teaching on alcohol and substance abuse. Would you be willing to participate in a conference call with students on the date that I show the film? I am so excited about this and so are the students….

….The students were truly impressed with the film and the discussion with you. You were so warm and forthcoming and I truly appreciate your taking the time to talk with all of us. It really gave the students a better understanding of the film and of the disease of alcoholism.

Linda White-Ryan
Adjunct Professor
Graduate School of Social Services
Fordham University

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Powerful film in its symbolism and depiction of the end stage of alcoholism. As a recovering alcoholic, it haunts me because it could be me if I weren’t vigilant.

AA Member, 35 years recovery
Tarrytown, NY

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