Shelf Life


Comedy / Drama / Musical

IMDb Rating 7.3 10 66

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Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
November 23, 2022 at 02:43 PM


Top cast

O-Lan Jones as Tina
742.89 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 20 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jackrchang 10 / 10

An unusual busrt of (mostly) pure joy

My 10 star rating is about enjoyment of this, not its cinematic quality.

This is a stage play that's been filmed on the budget of a stage play - it's barely a movie. The 3 actors in the film wrote the play, fyi.

The story is 3 kids (roughly 6 yrs old each) and their parents go into a bomb shelter in 1963...the parents die soon after...the kids raise each other in the bomb shelter. This is NOT about them getting out and seeing the world as fish out of water. It's the world and mythology and culture that they've created within their tiny fish bowl. Microcosm of our reality, and all that.

Shelf Life is commentary upon religion, ritual, entertainment, society, and all the Things. And it comments with a deft and endlessly charming hand. O to be a child forever! One would become quite mad.

It's really dang funny and loveable - provided you're up for watching a silly theatrical production with zero budget.

Director Paul Bartel's added ending is Freudian, literally 4th wall breaking, and cute - but does undercut the actual, rather dark yet meaningful ending of the play. Oh well. It's still cute and lovable!

(Most everyone I've shown this to didn't like it, fyi. Bunch of Scrooges, imao.)

Reviewed by lars-63669 7 / 10

Great, but not cinematic

This is a charming and sometimes uncomfortable play with great and convincing performances, but it cannot overcome being a stage play, and it is not cinematic. Most of Bartel's work is fairly cerebral chaos, and this is no exception. The story goes somewhere, but the camera does not. Lots of angles and the cutting cannot set the camera free of the confines of the fallout shelter.

Think of this as the prequel to "Blast from the Past." Most of the script is the shelter occupants replaying scripts they have written for themselves with snippets of misinterpreted stuff they have got from the outside world. This leaves many fill-in-the-blanks-for-yourself holes in the storyline, which is the source of much of the humor.

If you really like Bartel, you will like this. But if you need everything spoon-fed and all the bundles tied up, this won't be your cup of tea.

Disclaimer: this review is based on a VHR copy of the director's cut which was a gift from the director before it was released on video.

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