Love’s (Willing) Labor

Joe Callander, NYC, 6/26/14

Joe Callander, NYC, 6/26/14

Joe Callander’s “Midnight Three & Six” is an amazing film, quietly demonstrating how simple love can be (even in a very complicated situation ) and how normal it is to want to grow up and be independent.

Grace, 15, has had particularly volatile Type 1 diabetes for eight years, which requires endless monitoring of her blood glucose levels. Controlling her life-threatening illness requires lots of equipment and medication, which her mother, Patricia, lays out for the camera in a giant pile on their kitchen counter. Grace, stands on one side of the frame, looking bored, and acting teenage cool says, “I’m trying to act interested.” (But in fact she is, keenly aware of her situation and grateful to have her beloved black Lab diabetes alert dog, Jackie, whom she calls, “my other half.”)

Monitoring continues throughout the night, at the three intervals that give the films its title, as Grace’s mother or father, “on duty,” responds to the insistent alarm clock and sleepily heads to Grace’s room.

“Midnight Three & Six,” Callander’s second short to screen at Sundance was recently included in the New York Times’ Op-Docs* section.  Here’s his earlier film, “Tim and Susan Have Matching Handguns,” and scroll down to below the sharing icons to see the description of this kind of love.

*This part of the Times often has great films but I when I see the section’s name, I can’t help but think, “What’s Op Docs?”

Funny coincidence (or maybe not) but Callander is the second very tall filmmaker I’ve shot wearing great sunglasses.  Here’s the other.

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