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Security, Colorado (2001)

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Andrew Gillis' debut feature, simulating a documentary film with its use of handheld cameras, was awarded an official certificate for following Dogme 95's rules for "cinematic chastity." ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Karen Felber ...
Chuck Snow ...
Chuck Snow


Andrew Gillis' debut feature, simulating a documentary film with its use of handheld cameras, was awarded an official certificate for following Dogme 95's rules for "cinematic chastity." Following college, Karen relocates to Security, Colorado, to be close to boyfriend Paul. With an apartment and a job in a record store, her life is in order, so she then embarks on her dream of becoming a writer. However, her job is unfulfilling, and when she spots a theft in the store, she doesn't report the shoplifter but instead attempts to befriend her. Unable to relate to life around her, Karen has a growing dissatisfaction with her existence, and an unusual psychological portrait emerges as she attempts to deal with everyday realities and find security in Security. Written by Anonymous

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User Reviews

Inauthentic in a different way
11 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Dogme 95 and independent film-making in general often seems to stem from a rebellion against the inauthenticity of Hollywood movies. "Security, Colorado" seems to be no exception, but in intention alone. It's inauthentic in a different way, however.

Although the two lead actors are good, their improvisations are not, which could have been remedied perhaps by rehearsal and fleshing out who these characters are and why. Granted, dialogue in real life is not as eloquent as in mainstream films, but it's not always as direction less as in this movie either, especially between lovers and people trying to express themselves to each other.

The improvisation often feels forced as if the actors are trying to further a discussion whose purpose is unclear. It feels more like actors struggling to find lines rather than actors who have fully placed themselves in their characters reacting naturally. There is a difference between actors not knowing what to say to each other and real people not knowing how to talk to each other, and it shows in this film.

The way it's filmed also detracts from any attempt at making a film that feels authentic and realistic. The camera was hand-held, but the shakiness and movement seems to be more than necessary and exaggerated without any reason that serves the film. The automatic focus feature the camera seems to have had did not help either. There were also jump cuts that did not "jump" chronologically but acted as sutures between takes mid-conversation rather than using a long take approach. These seem to be technical deficiencies that did not add anything to the film itself, and they ultimately disrupted any transparency that could have existed.

And as for being a Dogme 95 film, the director blatantly violated the Vow of Chastity by introducing music during the editing process that does not occur where the film does. Usually this is not the case in the film, but it also shows that the intention of those involved in the film-making was not carried out meticulously enough even in making a Dogme film.

Although it seems like a wholly negative review, the film is not entirely without merit. It's still an interesting film, if just for being different, although flawed. We simply don't get enough information to care about any of the characters or their insecurities enough to really be involved in the film. The lead actress, Karen Felber, does save the film with a good performance. But ultimately the film's attempt at showing the complexities of human emotions and relationships falls short and ends up being a meaningless and superficial exploration of those topics and more of a cinematic exercise.

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