For some people, the coldest, loneliest night of the year falls on Christmas Eve. "Solstice" tells the story of one of those people, Nick Allman (Mike Kelley), a disillusioned young man who...
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For some people, the coldest, loneliest night of the year falls on Christmas Eve. "Solstice" tells the story of one of those people, Nick Allman (Mike Kelley), a disillusioned young man who has lost touch with the true spirit of the holidays. Set in Chicago on Christmas Eve, it follows his day from morning till midnight as he encounters a variety of characters who help renew his belief in a season where everyone's expectations run high. Written by
Jerry A. Vasilatos <email@example.com>
Good Christmas holiday watching, if you are a fan of low budget, independent movies. This movie was apparently the first movie most of the cast and crew ever worked on, and I think they did a splendid job for newcomers to the art of filmmaking.
There are definitely nods to "It's a Wonderful Life", a Hollywood movie made for nearly $4 million in the post-WWII era. Doesn't seem like a huge budget now, but it was the biggest budget at the time.
I've read that Stanley Kubrick would take one shot several dozen times. He had the budget, why not go for perfection? A small, indy film like this probably had more like a 4:1, 5:1 shooting ratio. Basically, everyone had to be at their best, and all together. On a shooting ratio like that, the best performance does not necessarily match up with the best shot, the best sound quality or the best directing.
I think everyone involved in the making of this movie did a great job, considering working in the trenches of low budget filmmaking, first-time filmmaking, etc. The result was a sweet and honest look at the symbiotic relationship between isolation and hope, at a time of year that brings forth the conflicting emotions of joy and despair.
It's sad to see slower paced and meaningful Christmas fare (like 'A Charlie Brown's Christmas') go to the wayside in favor of fast-fast-fast paced, corporate synthetic music, more-more-more glut that passes for art today. 'Solstice/The Night Before Christmas' is a return to that purity for me.
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