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The Independent Critic

Aundrea Fares, Ashley Peoples, Timothy J. Cox, Susan Kirby
Meg Skaff


 "Linda LeThorn & the Musicbox" a Trippy, Unforgettable Short 
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The word "quirky" is one of the more overly utilized words in the world of indie cinema, but it seems destined to be one of the words that comes to mind while viewing writer/director Meg Skaff's quirky yet substantial and wonderful short film Linda LeThorn & The Musicbox, a film that practically defies description yet leaves you wanting to find a way to describe it. 

Linda (Aundrea Fares) is the kind of woman who sort of dances the line between Harmony Korine and Wes Anderson universes, a richly human oddity both terrifying and strangely endearing who finds herself in the possession of a rather possessed music box left to her by Aunt Lucinda (Susan Kirby), whose impact on Linda's life is revealed in shards of locked away memories that shimmer from time to time and interrupt Linda's not so pleasant reality. 

Linda LeThorn & The Musicbox is really kind of a "WTF?" film that will likely leaving you to wonder what it's all about, though careful attention paid is likely to reveal it's a much more substantial and meaningful film than one might first imagine. 

It's also quite funny. 

The truth is if you weren't so busy laughing during Linda LeThorn & The Musicbox you might find yourself rather creeped out, especially during a rather odd yet emotionally in-tune segment involving Linda's founding of a skin pickers support group for women, a group where she finds herself surrounded by women who, despite their own mutilating impulses, are still even more remarkably normal, whatever that word means, than is Linda. It's in this group where Linda meets Geraldine (Ashley Peoples), who seemingly likes Linda just as she is and may hold the key to breaking Linda's life-altering trance. 

Fares is a revelation as Linda, embodying all her glorious and not so glorious quirks yet never turning her into a caricature or making her weird for the sake of being weird. Fares draws us in and never lets us go and Skaff's story never lets us down along the way. Ashley Peoples is another gem in the film, somehow managing to make her attraction to Linda feel genuine no matter how completely absurd their behaviors become. 

For the record, that's pretty darn absurd. 

Linda LeThorn & The Musicbox is that rare film where the word "quirky" actually fits, but you can't stop there with the film. It's quirky yet bold, hilarious yet strangely authentic and the kind of film that leaves you mumbling as the closing credits roll "I don't know what that was, but I really, really liked it." If you get a chance, check it out.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic