Two friends have trouble making a film about a man who kills his dog in Modern Classic. Jono (Jonathon M.B. Hunter) is trying to find funding to make his black and white art film Doldrums, starring his friend Dave (David Grimes) as a drunk who accidentally killed his dog. When their efforts to pitch to producers fail miserably, Jono and Dave decide to make the film on their own. However, as pre-production commences, Jono’s perfectionist behaviour and Dave’s method acting threatened to collapse this project.
Modern Classic is a semi-autobiographical dark comedy that sees writer/director Jonathon M.B. Hunter and co-writer David Grimes play versions of themselves in a story inspired by the duo’s real failed efforts to make an Ingmar Bergman style black and white art film. The film is both about the making of Doldrums, while also showing scenes from this film-within-the-film played out. Things become complicated for this project when Jono finds a possible source of funding, even though it might come at the cost of his friendship to Dave.
The tagline for Modern Classic is “a film about a film about a man who kills his dog,” which is a pretty apt description of the film, though thankfully there is no actual dog killing shown on screen. In many ways, Modern Classic can be seen as a film about how hard it is to get a film made, especially if it’s not an idea that can easily be sold. While it is incredibly unlikely that Modern Classic will ever actually be considered a classic, it is still a fine enough watch.