Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)
|09.26.15||Alamo South Lamar||This Screening is part of event: FantasticFest 2015|
John Hawkes stars in this LA neo-noir constructed from five 20-minute takes. They're out of order kind of like Pulp Fiction so we have to figure out where we are and what happened between takes.
So, I like film as much as the next movie geek, but this movie seemed to really go out of it's way to call attention to the fact that it was shot and presented in 35. That length of each take matches that of a full mag, each scene cuts to black as if to accentuate the cigarette burns, and there's a lot of technical wizardry going on with cranes and steadicams and long lenses. Furthermore, the guy who intro'd this said that the producers refused to make a digital screener of the film and insisted that buyers watch it on 35. And also that they've had offers but are holding back because they want a long theatrical release like Magnolia. It seems a bit extreme to me.
So the first scene almost lost me. The dialogue was really stilted and the acting wasn't great and the camera moves were so deliberate that I felt like I was watching some student film trying to prove how savvy he is. Luckily, John Hawks plays a more prevalent role in the other scenes and I thought carried the dialogue much better. Plus there's a scene inspired by Julianne Moore in Short Cuts where a woman answers the door and spends 20 minutes with no pants or underwear on. That didn't win any points with the women in the audience (as I was walking out I heard someone talking with her friends saying, "I've never forgotten to wear pants when opening the door, have you?") but you know... pubes.
All in all I thought this was pretty good. It had problems, but it also had a couple moments. I still have a problem with these long-take movies in that you limit yourself from perhaps the most fundamental tool of cinema which is editing. It often felt like I was watching a play, although this movie did not suffer from other problems shared by filmed plays like limited setting and lack of movement.
So yeah, pretty good.