Hollywood NIFF

Cecily

Cecily
Ernest and Cecily, the latter a figment of the former’s strange imagination, enjoy a jolly life together. The film, presented as a biased documentary commissioned by The Human Psyche newspaper, follows psychiatrist Dr. Phil Knickerbocker on his quest to cure Ernest. The cure proposed by Knickerbocker involves threatening the patient with the death of one of their loved ones. Corroborating that Ernest is in desperate need of correction, Ernest’s sister, Marillyn, lures Ernest into a confrontation between him, her, and Dr. Knickerbocker, where Knickerbocker could probe his cure on a man who really never needed it.
Director Biography -Ethan Guan
Ethan Guan is a burgeoning young director who currently attends The Harker School in San José. From a 23-minute nature-documentary-esque film about his school's performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to a radical film-noir-like piece that critiques society's treatment of unconventional people, Ethan has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for innovation; thought; and precise, punctilious filmmaking. Director Statement “Cecily,” a film presented as a biased documentary commissioned by The Human Psyche newspaper, critiques society’s treatment of aberrant people with personification, verbal irony, and radical lighting. Cecily, who appears as a histrionic young woman, is a personification of the quirkiness of Ernest’s different mind. The film’s ironic captions describe Ernest as being mentally ill. They frame Cecily as something dangerous and Ernest as her victim, who is absolutely in desperate need of a cure. Lighting-wise, “Cecily” resembles film noir. An interplay between light and dark observes the theme of misunderstanding, and the transition of characters to and fro specific lighting states suggests (in the case of Phil, the doctor determined to cure Ernest) the concealing of the darker parts of oneself and (in the case of Ernest) forced conformity. These notes serve to ease a dialogue with the formal themes of this film. Beyond that, however, the book turns into a film, and I wish you the best possible time with it.