The Mallorys Go Black Market
miniDV • 13 min • 2006

Candy Eye Factory filmmakers JoEllen Martinson and William Scott Rees have always woven style with substance when crafting their cinematic shorts, and the budgets for their films are essentially welcome excuses to wade through vintage clothing shops in search of killer costumes. In constructing their wry comedy The Mallorys Go Black Market, The Factory shifted their passion for fashion to the very center of their filmmaking, using sweater dresses, tube skirts, and denim jackets to fuel their project's narrative friction.

Unabashedly poppy and seemingly superficial, The Mallorys offers a funky flashback to young women's closets of the 1980s. The film's three heroines mock and marvel at the decade's boldest stylistic hits and misses while selecting profitable pieces to sell to style-starved, Russian teenagers. Greed, jealousy, and materialism soon invade The Mallorys' once-innocent scheme and suddenly a supposedly shallow story about parachute pants and polo shirts deepens into a surprisingly affecting exploration of assertion and empowerment.

The Mallorys Go Black Market suggests that the shallow and the superficial are, in fact, sometimes the quickest fix for emotional bruises. For some people, style actually is substance.

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