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November 05, 2021

Denver Film Festival - as of yet

as of yet.jpg

Chanel James and Taylor Garron - 2021
Duplass Brothers Productions

I know I am not the only one whose sense of time has been warped in trying to remember events that not even from two years ago. Written and starring Taylor Garron, as of yet is a fictionalized first-person film taking place during the quarantine in New York City, sometime in May 2020. The timeline is a guess based on the announcement of number of days that Garron's character, Naomi, states she has been living alone in her Brooklyn apartment, three days beginning with Day 83. There are also references to protests that presumably refer to the activities that followed the death of George Floyd, also in that same month.

The film is composed mostly of conversations from video calls, to and from Naomi, a twenty-something unemployed woman trying to consider her post-pandemic options. Friends and family cope with life mostly lived in confinement in various ways. Naomi's apartment mate and putative best friend, Sara, is scheduled to return from Florida following living her parents and taking advantage of the lack of Covid rules there. Being separated from Sara has caused Naomi to reexamine their relationship. Naomi also has begun a virtual relationship with Reed, a man she met through a dating app. There are several moments when the film breaks from the video calls to more traditional narrative as when Naomi leaves her apartment to go grocery shopping. Occasionally text messages blip across the screen, usually acting as a way to introduce the various people in Naomi's circumscribed life.

Taylor digs out the uncomfortably comic moments out serious subjects. Naomi is a black woman from Amherst, Massachusetts. Racial issues are discussed with her black friends and family, while avoided with Sara, white, and tentatively touched on with Reed, who appears to be of Southeast Asian descent. When Naomi brings up that she may have a boyfriend, the query that becomes one of the film's running jokes is, "Is he white?". There is also Naomi and Reed trying to figure out how to have their first in-person date and follow the Covid rules at the same time.

This is a micro-budget film with Garron's friends and family improvising and playing versions of themselves. as of yet serves as a kind of time capsule of when there greater uncertainty about the pandemic, new rules of behavior, and a greater importance placed in virtual communications. Garron has previous written for The Onion and done stand-up comedy, so she brings with her the experience of making people laugh and perhaps feel a bit uncomfortable at the same time.

From an interview in Jezebel, "Everyone deserves the right to be represented as the truly average people that most of us are," (Garron) said. "Going forward, I would love to see women of color being entirely average, sometimes even just bad people with flaws-nothing special about them except for their story." In as of yet the characters are flawed but also funny.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at November 5, 2021 07:10 AM