Stars: Ryan DeLuca and Paul Hickert
|This film was an official selection at the Phoenix Film Festival in 2015. Here's an index to my reviews of 2015 films.|
That's clever filmmaking, but we have to wonder if we got the right picture. Perhaps that's the point. The director and co-writer, Nickolas Duarte, may have had a completely different vision of the story than I do or you do. He could make three more films about the same subject from different perspectives, then tie them together into an episodic feature and call it Rashomon. When the credits rolled on the big screen, I had a good idea what was going on but wanted the film to start afresh and let me check my theory. After a second viewing, I'm relatively sure that I have a crystal clear vision of the big picture, but I'm also well aware that it's entirely fashioned from my personal interpretations which could be completely off base. I would recommend this to any university film class as it really ends with an unspoken suggestion that the entire audience should immediately form groups and dissect the film frame by frame to check their own interpretations and figure out what it's really saying.
And when it does erupt, the sound kicks in beyond the ambience that's been droning quietly behind it all. 'My body is a cage,' sings Daniel Vildosola, who composed the wonderful music that is so relevant that it always had to be original. The cinematography of John Sears keeps the violence as impressionistic as the script, shooting so closely that we see blurs that only occasionally manifest themselves into recognisable clarity. You know, like a fight really is. Ryan DeLuca does a magnificent job as Brandon, screaming at us in silence until Duarte ramps up the volume to eleven. Paul Hickert is almost as good, a sort of Willem Dafoe next door who seems to be one thing but might just be another; even though he has more dialogue, he's still acting mostly with body language, which tells its own story. Once I post this review, I'm going to ping Nickolas Duarte, who wrote the script with Drew Grubich, and ask him what he believes he said. I wonder if it will match what I heard him say.