|Title:||Call of Cthulhu|
Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)
|08.20.06||Alamo Downtown|| It was H.P. Lovecraft film festival day at the Alamo downtown. Kier-La got the guys that run the Portland fest to come down and show some stuff for us Austinites... While I was hoping that the shows wouldn't be too empty, I really didn't expect much turnout. Luckily though, Austin proves to be cool once again by selling out the first show, nearly filling the second, and leaving a healthy turn-out for a midnight show on a sunday night. In addition, we all bought tons of stuff from the merch table so I think we impressed the Portland guys enough to come back next year. Let's hope! It was also cool to see so much Cthulhu t-shirts on the crowd... this town is pretty damn cool.|
So for the first show, they played an old episode of Night Gallery adapted from the short story Pickman's Model on 16mm. It was very cool and probably one of the highlights of the day for me... I love that story (and even chose it as the basis for my near-fan-fiction series of stories that i'm working on) so it was cool to see it filmed.
After that they showed the silent film Call of Cthulhu. I actually own this on DVD but it's on my haven't-seen shelf so I purposely held off to see it fresh on the big screen. For starters, I am not a big fan of the actual Call of Cthulhu short story... Furthermore, although I like the idea of having it be a silent movie, seeing new digital video gone through the typical scratchy filters always kind of bugs me. Now if they actually got the old cameras... or even used cheap bolexes or something with black and white stock, that would work wonderfully... but of course these guys don't have the money for that so I have to consciously lower my guard and try to forgive that stuff and concentrate on the story... So, as such this wasn't bad. It was certainly better than Monarch of the Moon... and seemed to follow the story (or my memory of the story at least) fairly closely. It helps that it was only 47 minutes long... but it could've been worse I suppose.
Ultimately I still feel that the aspects of Lovecraft's work that I respond most to have never been put 100% effectively into a movie. Maybe it's impossible - certainly plenty have tried - or maybe the things about Lovecraft that I love are more from other sensibilities than I realize... but whatever. This was still just mediocre.
I think though, that if you're gonna do this whole old-style DV look... you should also do like a 5-10% blur on everything. Things look just way too sharp... even converted to black and white with artificial scratches and luminosity flickering going on. You need to darken the corners of the frame more than the center, and get rid of all those precise edges... grain wasn't fine enough to show that back then.