"This wasn’t just fashion. This was pretty serious."

Tuesday evening I get a call from my pal Deanna…

“Babe, I’ll be over tonight at 10 and I’m bringing a movie. So have the kids in bed and the popcorn ready.”

“Ah, OK… You’ve got a night without kids and you’re coming here? Just to watch a movie?” Laughing, I added, “I don’t know if I should point this out and have you change your mind, but wouldn’t you rather ‘go out’ than watch a movie at my house?”

“It’s not just any movie, it’s a short film by Candy Eye Factory called The Mallorys Go Black Market, and I have a feeling about it…”

“Who or what are the Mallorys?”

“You’ll have to wait and see…” she teases.

“Tease. You’ve got to tell me something! …Or I won’t put out,” I laugh.

“All I’m gonna tell you is that it’s about retro fashion,” she cheekily replies, “and I know you’ll put out for that.”

Oh how right she is.

So promptly at 10 p.m. she arrives, DVD in hand. I trade her a wine cooler for it.

I read the box: The Mallorys Go Black Market, by the Candy Eye Factory. “This wasn’t just fashion. This was pretty serious.”


On the back:

In this cheeky love letter to 1980’s clothing, a pair of Big Apple fashionistas and their misfit sidekick embrace the thrills of materialism in their scheme to export two suitcases worth of vintage casual-wear to unfortunate teenagers through the Russian black market.

And while I was already hooked, the info on the Candy Eye Factory made me pull the DVD out and quickly place it in the player:

Raised on a steady diet of fashion magazines and music videos, Minneapolis filmakers JoEllen Martinson and William Scott Rees have funneled their style-minded, angst-fueled lives into a string of acclaimed, female-focused films under their Candy Eye Factory video label, founded in 2003.

The plot’s rather been explained, but let me re-iterate: Three girls plan to make some fast money by taking retro US fashions over to Russia and selling them on the black market to fashion-starved teens there. One of the girls has been to Russia (in gymnastics programs) and knows the girls there literally kill for classic 80’s clothes. But not just any retro 80’s fashions… These girls idolize Mallory Keaton (of Family Ties):

And so, they are The Mallorys.

Full of fashion flash-backs, as promised, the short 13 minute film focuses on so much more than that. It’s about relationships, the greed and importance of fashion, and yet not a bit preachy. It’s funny, fresh and fabulous!

We watched it twice — and talked for hours. One of the benefits of a film like this is the hours of stories it prompts. Everyone has a story involving friendships divided over fashion. Everyone (should) have stories of how fashion is more than just a fix for addicts, but a real fix for problems. Watching The Mallorys Go Black Market gets that conversation, those stories, flowing.

When Deanna left, I tried to pry the DVD from her hands; but to no avail. I was a bit sad, but since she needed it to get me the clip, I reluctantly agreed. At least this isn’t yet another case of friendships changing for the worse over fashion. Au contraire, mon frère. This is one case of friendships solidifying over fashion — and film.

As Deanna noted in her review:

Who would spent nearly a dollar a minute to watch this DVD? Well, I would have if the folks at Fred Flare hadn’t kindly given me a review copy. And I recommend it highly to fans of Indie film, fashion divas, rag dealers, and any woman who survived the fashions of the 80’s. Give The Mallorys Go Black Market $12 and it’ll give you more than 13 minutes of entertainment. I’m still gushing to all my friends about it!

I’m gushing too! And suggest this is the perfect gift for any gal-pal. (What other cool thing can you buy for $12 which is guaranteed to make her smile and think of you?)

The Mallorys Go Black Market is one of the 27 selected entries in FredFlare.com’s 2007 Next Big Thing contest, and as such it’s one of the entries you can vote your Fred Fan Fave (the winner of which will receive a cool $1,000!). I too voted for the DVD as my Fred Fan Fave. I hope Candy Eye Factory wins and puts the prize money towards making more films.

Of course, profits from sales helps too. *wink*

This Spirit of Slamdance Award winning film is available on DVD exclusively at fredflare.com. So head on over to Fred Flare and vote (until July 13th) and buy a copy too.

PS You can find out more about Candy Eye Factory at their blog.

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