Bert the Emotion Picture (2012) – By Misty Layne

Wow. I can say without hesitation this is one of my favorite films I’ve seen in the past 6 months. BERT the emotion picture is a no-budget labor of love that a few people got together and made for sheer love of storytelling and was entirely shot with a 7D and 5D using only available light. Considering all that (heck, even not considering all of that), this film is pretty phenomenal.

Bert the emotion picture tells the story of Bert (Andre Meadows), a socially awkward and isolated man who desperately wants the attention of Sara (Jeneta St. Clair), the girl of his dreams. When he sees that Sara is consumed with a handsome stranger (Morgan Benoit), Bert becomes obsessed with being just like him. Against the backdrop of Los Angeles, the ultimate land of artifice, Bert receives enlightenment through a public access TV show that urges viewers to be themselves, but to also demand gifts from the Universe. Bert looks in the mirror and wants desperately to become visible to Sara and, ultimately, the world. After a chance meeting with a mysterious man named Louis (David Atwood), Bert suddenly feels capable of manifesting his most impossible desire to switch bodies with the beautiful stranger. After the transformation, Bert walks away in his new body and the stranger wakes confused and trapped in Bert’s body. The question remains, however, if Bert can ultimately transcend his (or anyone else’s) skin.

First things first, Bert is CREEPY. I’m talking stalker creepy. You want to feel sorry for him but he’s a deplorable character (although you don’t realize that at first). He follows several people throughout this flick and is completely socially awkward (that part I get) but seems to have learned no sense of decorum. One would think that after the way people have treated him due to how he looks, etc. that Bert would be a rather open and kind person but alas, it’s actually Steffen, the handsome stranger, who seems rather superficial at first who is the one with a heart of gold. Looks can be deceiving, ya’ll, and Bert the emotion picture takes an intriguing route to show us this statement we’ve all heard before.

While everyone is excellent in this movie, the standouts are Babette and her friend Bernice of the hilarious public access show that plays throughout the movie. By far the puppet scene here was the funniest in the whole movie and in general one of the funniest things I’ve witnessed in awhile. I’m talking quotable funny.

For lo-budget, this thing is shot incredibly well and there were only a couple of places where it actually looks on the lower budget side. The beginning scenes are exceptionally well done and as such, stand out.

The movie raises the interesting questions of whether your soul can shine through regardless of what you look like, how body image and personal reflection affect us and how superficial people can really be but in a comedic way that leaves you laughing while pondering. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending BUT that’s because I was expecting something entirely different to happen. You know when you think you have a movie’s ending pegged from the beginning and don’t? Yep, that’s what happened here. It wasn’t a bad ending at all, just not what I was expecting and it left me wanting more time with these characters to see what became of them which I guess means it was an excellent ending.

Want to learn more about Bert and all of the amazing people behind it? Check out their website today!