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Quality of Life (2006)

Quality of Life


Quality of Life is an independent film about two friends who are part of the graffiti art subculture co-written by actor Brian Burnam and director Benjamin Morgan.  I don't know what the budget was for this film, but the image quality, acting, audio, music, story and every other aspect of this film is as high quality as anything released through one of the major studios.  In fact, in many ways this film is better.  I don't really know anything about the graffiti community, but that isn't necessary to enjoy this film.  It is just as much a story about two friends who are like family to each other and the way each of them approaches life as it is about graffiti.  Everything about this movie was exactly as it should have been.  I can't think of a single change that would have made it any better.

Plot: Michael (Lane Garrison) and Curtis (Brian Burnam) are graffiti artists by night who work by day painting houses with Michael's father.  One night they get busted by the police, go to jail and get a warning that if this happens again, they could go away for a long time.  Michael starts to reevaluate his life and decides to figure out a way to turn his art into something more positive and socially acceptable while Curtis just spirals farther and farther out of control.

From what I have read, the film was made with a very small budget and shot in a very punk rock fashion; work fast, work cheap, have friends work for free and find a way to get whatever you need that doesn't involve money if at all possible.  The film has been promoted heavily through internet and word of mouth.  The filmmakers even managed a theatrical release in about two dozen cities including a seven week run in San Francisco and three sold out nights in NYC without spending anything on promotion.  And they did all of this without the benefit of a major distributor doing all of the legwork.

Quality of Life has won numerous festival awards and after watching the film, that's really no surprise at all.  I would recommend this film to anyone.  It's really that good.


Gore-o-meter rating: 0 out of 5 (no gore)

Skin-o-meter: 0 out of 5 (no nudity)