Bree Mills' 'Perspective' Gets the Full Hollywood-Premiere Treatment

Bree Mills' 'Perspective' Gets the Full Hollywood-Premiere Treatment

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Last Saturday evening, Adult Time hosted a very special Hollywood-style premiere for one of their two main contenders for the 2020 awards season: Bree Mills’ “Perspective,” starring Angela White and Seth Gamble.

The location was the rooftop of The Montalbán, the Classic Hollywood theater built in 1926 near Hollywood and Vine associated with Cecil B. DeMille and Al Jolson. Under the iconic historical neon signs around the most famous intersection in all of showbiz, the Adult Time team hosted the kind of premiere that has not been seen in adult perhaps since the days “Deep Throat” played in Times Square.

Under the spotless coordination of publicist Brian Gross, Bree Mills, Angela White and Seth Gamble were joined on the red carpet by co-stars Abigail Mac, Michael Vegas, Alina Lopez and Cody Steele. Also at hand were cast members of Mills’ other breakthrough feature of 2019, the autobiographical “Teenage Lesbian,” including star Kristen Scott, and supporting players Tommy Pistol, Wolf Hudson, Casey Calvert and Brad Armstrong.

Walking the red carpet in support of White and Lopez was a contingent of Spiegler Girls, including Casey Calvert, (almost birthday girl) Jane Wilde and Mackenzie Moss, led by Mark Spiegler himself, who could be seen chatting amiably with Motley Models’ Dave Rock. An impeccably dressed Brittany Andrews conducted Red Carpet interviews with everyone like the seasoned pro she is.

After enjoying a table of delicious fresh snacks, curated by adult’s own Karla (from L. A. Farm Girl Catering), the screening of “Perspective” was preceded by a speech from Mills and an extended preview of “Teenage Lesbian.” The preview and the film were projected al fresco against one of the Beaux Arts rooftop’s walls, with surround-sound headphones being offered to the audience to experience in full the outstanding sound design job that we have come to expect from all Gamma/Adult Time productions.

Those Moments When Logic Goes Away

A few hours before the screening, XBIZ spoke with Mills and the main cast members of perspective (White, Gamble, Mac, Vegas) at The Montalbán about the film they were about to unveil to selected industry players.

“This was a project that impacted us all,” began Mills.

“You gain new perspective on it every time you talk about it,” added Gamble, prompting everyone to laugh at the inadvertent mention of the film’s title.

“Perspective” exists in two versions: an “Unrated Version,” the one screened on Saturday, which clocks at 1hr. 40 mins. and does not include any hardcore sex footage, and the “X-Rated Version,” which, at over 3 hrs., is offered as four episodes, which the Adult Time is “binge-releasing” at once.

“I shot ‘Teenage Lesbian’ in May and ‘Perspective’ in June,” explained Mills, reminiscing about her exhausting spring.

In late 2018, as she was winding down the awards push for last year’s acclaimed “Anne,” Mills had started pondering the features slate for her new year.

“I knew I wanted to do two films in 2019 for Adult Time: a lesbian biopic and a B/G movie,“ she said. “The B/G I wanted to develop around a couple of attributes. One, I wanted to work with Angela. After working with her on ‘The Weight of Infidelity,’ that was such a powerful experience on-set and during the aftermath, and it made me so creatively motivated. I knew I wanted to give Angela a role to showcase her talent in dramatic acting.”

Mills also knew she wanted Gamble as a lead. “I knew he could also deliver pretty intense performances. I only met post-sobriety Seth, and he’s so incredibly passionate about acting, truly passionate about it, and I knew he would be up to the emotionally complex material.”

Having picked her leads first, Mills also knew that she wanted to do “something about relationships, about the impacts that emotions have on people in moments of great duress."

“I was really interested in exploring those moments when… logic goes away,” she offered. “Deception and infidelity produce… a strange power shift.”

Talking about the undercurrents in “Perspective,” a story that takes two radically different points of view and smashes them into a single narrative that does not privilege either take, gets the director and her cast into a certain level of abstraction.

This is not so much about avoiding spoilers but about preserving some of the mystery of the work of art. Talking too much about what these emotions mean is a little like trying to dam a rushing stream — or trying to explain what really happens in the last 15 minutes of Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.”

If both halves of “Perspective” feel lived in, it’s because — although it may not be hyped as Mills’ “autobiography” as its companion piece “Teenage Lesbian” so ostensibly is — the emotions depicted are equally close to the director’s own.

"The first half is Daniel's, the male character played by Seth, and his perspective,” Mills told XBIZ. “Daniel’s emotions are modeled after the way I felt in a previous relationship. I even styled Seth a little like me.” (It’s true, and once you know this, you can’t unsee it.)

Mills wanted to audience to feel the way she felt when her jealousy and suspicions about infidelity were clouding her judgment.

“I really wanted the audience to empathize with Daniel,” she said, smiling. “Because then, I wanted to blindside them.”

“You Never Know What’s Going On”

There is blood and there is violence in "Perspective." Characters see red and also inhbit a world of depression blue. Bret Easton Ellis’ “American Psycho” was an influence, Mills said, “in the way it tells the story from the perspective of the killer.” But she also namechecked John Fowles’ 1963 cult novel “The Collector,” once a popular benchmark but now a specialty taste, revealing two sides of the same story and challenging the reader’s allegiances.

Because “Perspective,” it should be obvious by now, belongs in the “whose truth?” school of storytelling, like “Rashomon” (both the Japanese modernist novella and the Kurosawa film classic) or the ongoing cable soap opera “The Affair.”

“Halfway through the film, we tell the story from the wife’s perspective,” explained Mills. “And it’s a much, much, much different version of the events."

"I wanted to give you the greatest mindfuck of your life!” she jokes.

The scenes from either “version” were shot back to back, creating a fugue state in the actors and the crew. “We were Dr. Jeckyll and Mr Hyding ourselves!” said Mills, and her cast agreed.

The set also provided for an extra layer of weirdness. “I didn’t want to this story to be set in conventional porn houses, so we got a house in Santa Clarita from a mainstream production site,” Mills revealed, to everyone’s telling groans of assent.

Strange things happened in this unusual house, including visits by the cops, inexplicable smells and an illegal suburban rave that broke out one night while they were filming (“We were saying our lines and suddenly I look towards the pool and I go, ‘Glowsticks?’,” said Gamble).

“We were tied to this set,” added Mills. "It was Jennifer Morris and Daniel Morris’ house. So on the last day, the day after the rave, we had to shoot from 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. the next morning. The stakes were so high. We wanted to be done. And, of course, it ended up being a great scene. The tension! Seth was so aggressive, so scary.”

“For me this was: let’s make this everything we have,” added the laser-focused Gamble.

“It’s great that we have have an incredibly dedicated and supportive crew — Craven [Moorehead], [Curious] Judas, Stefan,” said Angela White.

“The thing is, you first think there are two perspectives,” said Gamble. “But there are 7 or 8… It’s all in small details.”

“We filled the set with pairs of eyes,” confides Mills. “Lots of different color combinations and things that look at the viewer.”

At a climactic moment, which could be an “Eyes Wide Shut-style orgy” or a “harmless group therapy meeting,” depending on your, yes, perspective, the film bends the line between pornography and healing. Are these hands of support or hands of groping? Or both?

“The moral of the film,” Mills finishes with an impish smile, and then switches to her full-on, “oh shucks” Canadian folk wisdom voice, “is that you never know what’s going on, you know?”

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