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Samantha is a schoolteacher lost in the netherworld of her late 20's - no longer young but not yet middle aged. She leaves her long-time boyfriend, who she's been living with in a "brother and sister" relationship for quite some time. Wanting change and searching for an elusive happiness, Samantha strikes out on her own. But she quickly finds the regeneration she seeks can be far from romantic. From the classrooms filled with smiling children, to the crowded bars of Los Angeles, Samantha goes looking for life; its fun, its love, its passion, and its meaning. This is a film about what she found. Written by
Lot 47 Films
In relationships, the worm always turns. We've learned this from a million cliché Hollywood movies. What they so rarely portray is how the damage inflicted along the way, to oneself and one's lover, is so often irreversible in so many ways. Very few movies deal with changes of heart as well as this one does. It's written with a golden ear for dialogue, and it's acted out with the kind of naturalism that can only come from what appeared to be a two-weeks-straight shoot in which the DV camera was probably never turned off for more than a couple hours. You get the sensation that this film was shot very, VERY run-and- gun. I doubt they even got the permits to shoot at LAX for that hand-held scene. I was nervous for the filmmakers while I was watching it. But they pulled it off beautifully. As an aside, there's a certain visual style, including jump-cut editing, wide-angle shot choices and lighting that ranges from extremely flat to extremely beautiful, which arises from on-the-run DV production where poor shot quality on the set is made up for by the sheer quantity of cuts to choose from later. It allows for a lot of improvisation. At one point, a character points to the sky and shouts, "full moon!" and panning up, we actually SEE the moon in the shot...the real moon. Ah, DV. The result of these liberties is a strange mixture of very fine performances and a severely jangly look that can work both for and against the film. In this case, it mostly works. But it reflects a directing style completely unlike traditional film directing, taking advantage of the super-low costs and shooting without setup, rather sloppily at times, and it may be less of a stylistic choice than a reflection of the medium. In any case, we'll probably be seeing a lot more features like this in coming years, as the costs plunge even more. In terms of script and character acting, this movie strolls over ground that others fear to tread. It reminds me most of Eyes Wide Shut, only the choices are real and their repercussions can't be undone. It's brutally honest, especially in dealing with how, often, the one who ends a good relationship is the one who suffers more, and punishes themselves more, and becomes more of a disaster than the one who was hurt and moves on.
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