SXSW FILM 2016
By Don Simpson | March 20, 2016
Director: Linas Phillips
Writer: Linas Phillips
Starring: Linas Phillips, Timm Sharp, Melanie Lynskey, Tobin Bell, Jay Duplass, Reagan Yates
When Todd (Timm Sharp) decides to introduce his girlfriend, Lindsay (Melanie Lynskey), to his family, he knows that it is not going to be easy. He has been dating Lindsay for six months and the introduction seems like something that just needs to be done. He is mainly concerned about what his developmentally challenged brother, Shawn (Linas Phillips), might say to Lindsay, since he seems to have no conversational filter. Shawn could say something offensive to Lindsay, or maybe he could reveal one of Todd’s deep dark secrets.
There are two other important things to know about Shawn: he is an aspiring filmmaker (primarily shooting on VHS) and quite the voyeur. Both of these qualities happen to compliment one of Todd’s sexual fetishes — a fetish that Lindsay is not currently aware of and will most likely not accommodate.
Linas Phillips’ Rainbow Time is a film that designed to challenge the audience’s perception of Shawn, by way of comparing Lindsay and Todd’s treatment of him. Does Shawn need to be treated with kid gloves or like an adult? How cognizant of his thoughts and actions is he? Are Shawn’s sexist tendencies genetic, learned, or part of his developmental disorder?
Feminism and the perception of women plays a significant role in Rainbow Time, whether it be from Lindsay’s new-agey feminist perspective or the overall tone and feel of the film. Todd’s father (Tobin Bell) and Lindsay’s ex (Jay Duplass) do not help sell the case for men, as Rainbow Time makes a case that most men are evil, no matter what the diagnosis of their mental condition is.
Holy schnikes! The writing and performances in Rainbow Time are so freaking good. Specifically, Linas Phillips’ portrayal of Shawn is remarkably subtle, realistic and tasteful — so much so that most audience members who do not know Phillips will assume that he is merely portraying a fictionalized version of himself.