Right well i found this one a little hard to follow (plot wise) - which kid was who, and what the relevance of Ghost Boy was. Of course we see that our main character is an albino, and the nick name would seen obvious enough. But the role Marcus played, in so much as a bully should perhaps have been expanded - the dynamic of there childhood relationship should have been more interesting - and with more relevance i feel to there adulthood circumstances. Perhaps its there in subtext but i just didn't get that? That said the film feels poignant (even if it isn't meeting that potential imo as fully as it should) and does have a haunting and beautiful atmosphere about it. Well performed (though our kid gang looks a little too unintimidating!!!) A serious film, with minor inconsistencies in story i felt, but a solid and enjoyable effort!
Righto this is a classic setup. One man with a gun... does he shoot or not! Fair enough! Its a particularly American concern whether a guy can 'pull the trigger' to shoot his dog, infected wife etc and so on. In British films our focus is on a humourous regional accented introduction into a characters life while he wakes up and cooks fried egg to alternative reggae music. (Won't become a cliche soon in dvxuser but just you wait...) Its ambitious to try and tell a personal story set amidst an apocalypse and while this film doesnt build the necessary suspense or emotion (for me) i applaud the effort. I think more of the personal story, to make us care about this guy, his wife, and a less cliched' set up, (don't give him a gun...) would make for more interesting character choices.
Giving your characters a gun is like giving your audience a remote.
The Charlyie Factor
Okay, not a lot to say here on the story - its fairly similar to the others revolving around the theme of affairs and betrayal (the eternal hangover of all things anglo-saxon!) Yep the two frame idea is a nice experiment, its applied here attractively, looks pretty, but whether it really adds to the story, or is a clear motivation in storytelling is perhaps questionable. For all intended purposes it does give us a 'reveal' of our lovely casted hitman (i like him!) but meh, could not this method of storytelling be applied to a much more interesting story? I think with your technical/craft skill and decent casting - it could and should have been.
Song of the Whippoorwill
Refreshingly original, adult, erotic and poetical. I liked this, i think there is also a definate step up in the cinematography seen here too - its more sensual (low key) works well. However, there is still potential for improvement here, and with more sophisticated lighting - setup, this film, epecially with its nude sequences would have looked better. Your pushing the envelope on sensuality and nudity (i mean lets be honest, how many filmmakers are confident dealing with these issues here bar tv soap land) You might be the only filmmaker in the fest to have gone through puberty zaza! An entertaining entry, let me know i could maybe help you a bit with grading / post, if you like, on your nude sequences, make them a little less 'in the corner of my garage'. Well done mate and to your actress.
A story of marital infedelity and betrayal. Now stop - breathe deep. Think - why? Why?! Whhhhyyyyyy?! Is this not a theme and story visited by every made for television murder mystery there exists. The glamorous secretary, the drunken wife... the teenage daughter who sees all. AAaaaall!!!!
So utterly unoriginal story and execution of story in my book. It does look attractive, nice cinematography, and it is well acted, nicely cast. It all looks and feels just fine, but with such a turgid story the question of why becomes prominent. Its a short film contest, not a show and tell for filmmakers? Would you enter such an unoriginal story in any actual film festival? These questions are not being asked by scriptwriters here, and while thats fine because we can and should enter what we wish (abiding the festival rules.) We should at least ask ourselves more questions... thank i think are.
Results 11 to 20 of 47
04-04-2010 05:57 PM
Last edited by lawriejaffa; 04-05-2010 at 03:04 PM.
04-04-2010 06:01 PM
Yeah well, Chris i 'get' them as works trying to make me feel, but failing to do so because there is no thought out intellectual reason coinciding with 'dramatic emotional' visuals.
I found Schindlers List Moving, I found Killing Fields Moving, I found Hotel Rwanda, and I found Into the Wild and Milk (we're talking about films with points beyond say drama.)
If there isn't an established rational for the feeling , then its just caatharcis. The nature of your film is hard to criticise because its not comfortable for many to say, oh i didnt feel anything with your work - everyone does, but whether they feel for the right reason (just the image you present) or the idea and the image, is whats in question. Your defending your work by saying i dont get it... well just because others might be effected emotionally means zilcho that the idea your presenting is actually making a mark.
If your not bothered about that, then sure, you can make a whole montage of sad scenes for sake of emotion ;) If not, then consider my criticism instead of thinking i just don't get it... because what im saying is - imo you need to do better to make me feel about the issue your talking about instead of presenting me feel first/think not material.
04-04-2010 06:09 PM
Lawrie, I'm really glad you've watched the film 8 times. That is quite excellent, it must have at least been entertaining which is obviously a huge goal.
You're also not the only one to find it campy, which was not what I was going for, but I certainly will not say that you were wrong to say Ugg boots and thrown together costumes weren't super-professional. I was just making do with what I had (and realizing that I really didn't have the resources to accomplish all my goals as I went on, but not letting that stop me).
I am curious why you think the human huntress was miscast.
I do want to defend my girl dancers. While not professionals, they are both strong dancers, and would have come off better if they had more rehearsal and I had allowed them enough takes to perform flawlessly. I take full blame for any less than perfect dancing that made it to the screen.
Thanks for doing these reviews, BTW.
04-04-2010 06:18 PM
The Ballad of Lorna and Baxter
I think this is a film that could benefit from a more though out visual scape for these characters to occupy. I'd love to have seen this with a cgi / green screen background, or a theatrical set. That said its barren landscape and goth/punk costumes is charming but all a little irreverent and amusing (not irrelevant!) I think the music is repetitious however, and i did find myself fast forwarding through this. If we were presented with greater visual change, more amusing text slates and an original score, then this might hold greater interest!
There is some great style here, and it gets off to a roaring start, Love the shots, fast and slowed edits - insane grading and colours, and what feels like a great pace but then SLAM... It slows down in the middle and the story becomes incoherent (at least for me) I get it in vague terms - this is a gangsta hit, but it becomes so much less sophisticated it feels than the promise at the start! And the bosses wife... cooooome on!!! Do gangsters still do that?! There is a danger of style and no substance with this film, and that might not be true - it may just feel like that as the story and edit becomes too innaccessible to follow easily. When you have such a strong visual style, its easy to start bullying it if the story is pushing you out - especially a fast paced jazzy edit. It's a delicate thing to pull off, and so with so many interesting elements, its a letdown that the story, somewhat cliche and inaccessible in parts to understand, lets the film down from meeting its full potential. I do admire your style though, and loved your last film.
The Kiss that Kills
This unnecessarily black and white film, set in one room, really does have some amusing quotes 'hanging out with my favourite girl' or 'man cave' from a guy with as much sophistication and charisma and your local IT consultant! Following similar themes as marriage, monitoring infedelity and so on etc. Its important to bare in mind that your film will be watched among all the others that share your idea, and that it will have negative consequences if viewed last... After so many marriage related films i really had to pin my eyes open? So always go with a bold idea is my suggestion! The safe option is NEVER safe in a festival hehe!
Okay this film built a great atmosphere, sure the grading and pace was a little bit crazy sometimes (saturations were overkill for me) and i was kicking my slippers for it to move on a little! The crazy dude was a little cliche i was thinking but then how it was used to deliver on a disturbing moralistic send off brought me right back. A nice dark little tale of Southern Gothic. Good work.
04-04-2010 06:19 PM
Hey Jason thats cool we can always chat on facebook etc, i'll fill you in with more personal feedback there etc
04-04-2010 06:21 PM
The hitman says thanks.
Canon 7D+Teddybear T-Finder+Tamron & Canon Glass+lighting+a bunch of other stuff+2 Beautiful Babies.
"Torn" Available now!
Vimeo Channel: http://vimeo.com/channels/47561
"RaZoRbLaDe cItY" December 2010. A Maverick Entertainment Release
04-04-2010 06:29 PM
The Perfect Heist
I have absolutely no idea what was going on with the ADR sound and the melodramatic dubbing! It was like a group of foley artists and voice over experts from the latest Shaw Brothers classic were brought in especially! That said the typical betrayal perspective here was tired (despite the excitement of our booby shot!) while the unexpected intro of our broken hearted third criminal was all the more silly really (followed by flashbacks!) This is a very rough assembly and while it does tell a coherent story, there are some wild technical and performance inconsistenceies that marr this considerably! Kudos to the actress though.
The Rule of Thirds
Now if only the rule of thirds was applied to the composition of shots here! What we have does produce an interesting effect though and the location is atmospheric but then the film and story doesn't go anywhere. Thats it - it seems tbh like a lazy effort (with the ending and phone call.) I imagine that our would be initiate would be screened for such an obvious betrayal before getting the rule of thirds pep talk.
The Shell Game
Excellent example of simple and entertaining storytelling thanks to an excellent script, and with modest (but well used production resources) including decent casting. Extra kudos to the little girl, whether or not this polled high, its streaks ahead of most in the fest. I honestly laughed, and think this is a charming and well rounded entry. Well done guys.
04-04-2010 06:30 PMUltimately, it's all the director's fault, no matter what.