My Induction into “The Secret Society for Slow Romance”
I was privileged to spend part of the pandemic watching the creation of The Secret Society for Slow Romance unfold on social media, and was absolutely thrilled to get a chance to be one of the earliest screeners for the movie. While I was worried about how Sujewa Ekanyake’s movie would handle a comedic romance during a global pandemic, I was delighted to find that it dealt with the pandemic (and a variety of deep subjects) with a heavy dose of wit and a sprinkle of intelligent, disarming earnestness. The movie is like a warm, cozy blanket — soothing and comfortable, and good for uplifting spirits. Ultimately, The Secret Society for Slow Romance is a cozy love note to cinema, independent film-making, and New York City.
I can’t be sure of how I initially started following independent filmmaker Sujewa on social media, but it probably has to do with our shared love of David Lynch (and an admiration for what Dune was). I was certain I’d watch anything he made once I watched his incredible slow cinema comedic noir “Werewolf Ninja Philosopher.”
On the most fundamental level, The Secret Society for Slow Romance is a slow cinema romantic comedy that explores what happens when two extraordinary people go on a few dates in New York City. The slow cinema styling allows us to explore big questions and even larger answers as filmmakers Rene (Sujewa Ekanayake) and Allyson (Alia Lorae) share take-out, conversation, and beautiful views of New York City. Throughout the movie, shots are allowed to linger on interesting spaces, objects, and people — the soft, welcoming glow gives character to the camera itself, which should be no surprise in a movie focused on two filmmakers.
Rene and Allyson aren’t just any filmmakers. Scientific studies found Rene to be the Happiest Man in North America. Allyson was voted The Most Productive Person in NY City by an independent film site. Through conversational exploration of the differences in their approaches to independent movie making, as well as their respective interests, we’re invited to contemplate all that cinema has to offer the world and just what a vast scope the word ‘film’ encompasses.