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The film opens with the cast gathering after the funeral of Jude to see a film he had been working on for two years. It turns out that the film is secret videos of all those gathered together in their most despicable moments including thievery, spousal abuse, adultery, etc. The revelations remove the masks from the so-called close friends. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Directors Ray Burdis and 'Dominic Anciano' prepared a "bible" that detailed all the characters' back stories and motivations. This was sufficiently detailed to eliminate the need for endless rehearsals. Instead, each scene was shot on the first improvisation. New content was then added to each subsequent take to keep the scene fresh and original. See more »
Who was that? What was she doing? Well, I might reveal it... and I might not. I have to keep you on the edge of your seats. You see that's the joy of making a cutting edge film. Real life on celluloid. Stay tuned!
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Jude is dead(and not in this all that much). At his funeral(note that there are almost no real introductions, you're just there and you gradually figure out what is going on, what you're seeing), his widow Sadie asks that the group of friends and couples sit down and watch the movie he was working on, and that they allow themselves to be filmed(and for some reason, while they do behave like there's a camera near them some of the time(and these operators appear to not know how to zoom, so they shove it into their subjects face instead), about half the time, they apparently completely forget it; yeah, some of this utterly falls apart beyond restoration when you stop to think about it). It turns out to be a documentary, assembled largely from footage captured with hidden recorders(there are a few interviews), and that is what we follow, as well... the two layers of fiction pretending to be fact. It'd probably work better if there were more reaction shots. Anyway, secrets come out and we see how their relationships are(are they playing themselves? Possibly). I should clarify something; this didn't bother me from the cruelty of the stunt, and the "different" style didn't ruin this for me... make your piece however you feel it should, and don't let people complain just because it isn't mainstream. The thing is, this really had potential... and still does. I'm sure this wanted to make some significant point, though it didn't get there. Yes, this is nihilistic and cynical... I didn't mind that. Others will. The pace is uneven and this comes off rather unfocused. You know, what little exposure to reality shows(yes, I hate them; that wasn't my issue with this) I've had, they actually do have plot lines and encourage continued viewing... this comes off as not wanting you to watch. I mean, you feel bad about it. OK, maybe that was the idea. If it was either real, or credible through the entire thing, maybe it would still work. Or if it didn't eventually go for a coherent story structure, at the end when it also stops being believable(and don't get me started on the anti-climax). The "twist" is so predictable you're sitting there wondering if they're serious. Winstone dominates this unchallenged... and yes, he(and the other men in this) delivers a great performance(good thing, because the women do *not*). The man is quite imposing... but you need counterweight. Some of these characters *really* don't need to be there, you could cut them out and you wouldn't miss them at all. None of them are wholly likable. This has a lot of improvisation and they used the first takes(they would add content if something was reshot... it shows). The editing is reasonable. This has odd framing and this feels "natural"(...a bit of the way, at least), with fast talking and slang(you'd better be British or have better subtitles than the copy I got as a gift did). There is a ton of strong language, a little bloody violence, disturbing content(this is gross at times) and sexuality and brief male nudity in this. The DVD comes with 8 trailers for different flicks, one of them for this. I recommend this low-budget 87 minute(sans credits) indie to those who merely want to see the concept of witnessing humanity's true ugliness... regardless of how well-executed it is. 6/10
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