"Sin & Lyle" is a short film written and directed by Julia Morizawa and produced by Infinite Pictures. It premiered at the Action On Film International Film Festival in Long Beach, California in July 2007 where it was nominated for Best Female Filmmaker, and also screened at the Boulder Asian Film Festival in Boulder, Colorado in August 2007. It is available to view in full on YouTube.
Sin is the exciting change that Lyle needs in his melancholy life. However, when Sin announces she intends to kills herself, Lyle is tempted to join her. Will their brief time together change their minds, or set them over the edge – forever?
Lyle cuts himself. He remains comfortable in his depression. Yet, he is anxious for a change, whether it be giving up or growing up. He is faced with that change when he meets Sin, a charismatic woman who preaches against the laws of society. He is attracted to the idea that she is the person he has always wished he could be. However, during their brief relationship, Sin announces that she intends to kill herself, and Lyle is tempted to join her. As we follow them through a day that affects their final decisions, the lines between good and bad, right and wrong, and love and hate, become increasingly blurred.
Cast & Crew
starring Julia Morizawa, Joel Simons, Robert S. Walters, Ozma Bryant, & Robert Lyle
and featuring a live performance by Jocelyn Kay Lee & Joe Delgado
written, produced & directed by Julia Morizawa co-produced by Jeremy Rubin cinematography by Scott Beckley edited by Jeff Woodward
1st assistant director - George P. Whitman IV sound designer - Joe Gauci composer - Michael Patterson art director - Clint Jefferies sound mixer - Lemar Scott make-up artist - Danielle Boudreau assistant art director - Suzanne Vanover boom operator - Dylan Emmett Reynolds gaffer - Nausheen Dadabhoy key grip - Evan A. Baker best boy grip - John Aaron Stinde key production assistant - Leah Cramer production assistant - Lex McArthur
featuring the music of Jocelyn Kay Lee, Jasmine Ash, Josh Rachbach & Michael Frieman additional credits Dylan Hart, Luke "Cheetah Speed" Sommer, Leila Zia, Sandra Daugherty, Sarnica Lim & Jonathan CK Williams
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people in the United States between the ages of 15 and 24 years old. Approximately 15% of those diagnosed with clinical depression die by suicide. In any given year, about 7% of the American population (13 to 14 million people) will experience a depressive disorder. Only about 20% of them will receive adequate treatment.
I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder in the spring of 2005 after being hospitalized for a suicide attempt. Today, I am grateful I failed. But anywhere from 1 out of 8 to 1 out of 25 suicide attempts in the United States are successful. These are not hopeless patients in mental institutions. These are every day people, just like you and me. They are our mothers and fathers, our sisters and brothers, our children and our friends.
I am often disgusted by those who consider suicide, or a suicide attempt, a “sin.” I have personally been told that my attempt merely occurred because I was a “weak person.” Those of us who have been down that road before and survived often feel embarrassed or pressured to keep it all hush, hush. I created this short film, “Sin & Lyle,” because I can no longer keep my mouth shut. I cannot expect to get better, or help others get better, if I do not share my story. We all need something to relate to in order to get us through the worst of times. We all need to know that we are not alone.
“Sin & Lyle” is neither fact nor fiction. But it is extraordinarily personal to me and those who worked on the project. This film is not a presentation of talent, a marketing tool, or a project for profit. It is merely a gift, a sort of support service, for those of us still struggling with a disorder (or disorders) in which we have no control over.
Thank you, Julia Morizawa (writer/producer/director/actor) Statement written in March, 2007 Sources: 1.) Price, Printess, PhD. “All About Depression®.” http://www.allaboutdepression.com. March, 2007. 2.) Deprex®. “Depression Statistics Information.” http://www.add-adhd-help-center.com/Depression/statistics.htm. March, 2007.
“I wanted to tell you how impressed I was by your film. Sin & Lyle may be one of the best things to come our of Crescent Valley’s elite alumni.” - Katie Kelly (Program Co-Coordinator for the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival & editor of Juniroa Productions, Hawaii)
"I just watched Sin & Lyle. I really enjoyed it. It had a lot great dialouge and I like a lot of your choices on camera angles. It was really fascinating to watch. It had a lot of grittiness that I'm often to afraid to go as a filmmaker. It was that 'grit' that made Sin and Lyle more real for me." - J.T. Tepnapa (producer/director, Blue Seraph Productions)
"Great film, really. I loved your character, her energy and outlook. And the story was on point." - Greg Daye (producer/director, Adjourned)
Some thoughts on Sin and Lyle written by Mark Summers (co-author of Pirattitude!)
A cultural studies professor once told me that the Seneca tribe in upstate New York held the belief that children’s souls were loosely attached to their bodies – if they were mistreated, their souls would simply fly away. Infinite Pictures, the brainchild of the multi-talented Julia Morizawa, has produced a short film about two very different characters with a very tenuous grip on their souls.
Sin, played by Morizawa, who also wrote and directed the film in addition to producing, is a complex soul. On the one hand, she is coolly seductive and cerebral in her party conversation with Johnny (played amiably and with a restrained albeit evident good humor by Robert S. Walters) and uses those qualities to pull Lyle into her world as she declares, “I’m going to kill myself tomorrow.” In sharp contrast, she is kind and warm to a homeless friend, Joe (played genially by Robert Lyle) with whom she exchanges sandwiches for poetry. Then, in another dramatic shift in character, she becomes violently enraged by the attempted street evangelism of Callie played by Ozma Bryant who brings to mind a courageous deer in the headlights during the heated confrontation with Sin over the cruel nature of a disconnected God in which Callie can neither advance nor retreat. The rage carries itself back to the apartment where Sin literally tears at the news in a torrent of violence – the weight of the world’s cruelty separating herself from her soul.
Joel Simons plays Lyle, a young man who is easily moved toward ending his life. There is something innocent and guileless about Simon’s performance which puts him in sharp contrast with Morizawa’s more knowing and world-weary Sin. It is that same lamb-like innocence that makes it believable that this young man would simply step away from life because he has connected himself to someone whose soul has already flown away.
But this isn’t simply a nihilistic snuff film. There are deeper questions asked; about the existence of God and the contradiction of cruelty – and even more importantly; what is our responsibility to each other? Sin and Lyle both absolve each other of any responsibility for their ultimate attempt at suicide, but where does that emotional distance leave them – and us?
The technical aspects of this production serve the story well. For example, Scott Beckley, director of photography has created and captured some evocative images that capture the reflective darkness of the story. The musical performances by Jocelyn Kay Lee and Joe Delgado as well as the music composition by Michael Patterson are beautiful and haunting.
Sin and Lyle is a thought-provoking short film that will stay with the audience for a long time – as long as their souls stay firmly attached.