8.2/10
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Lines of Glory (2009)

Trailer
1:40 | Trailer
The making of the latest masterpiece - Crest of Senses - by renown cult film director Jack Gattanella. It's getting weird, and only weirder still, as the weeks go on and Zack and Hayley hold on for dear life. Maybe the dolphins will help.
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Jack Gattanella ...
Cyrenne Laljie ...
Script Super
Hayley Raphael ...
Anthony Thompson Jr. ...
Sound Guy
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Storyline

The making of the latest masterpiece - Crest of Senses - by renown cult film director Jack Gattanella. It's getting weird, and only weirder still, as the weeks go on and Zack and Hayley hold on for dear life. Maybe the dolphins will help.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Be one with the dolphins.

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Romance

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 December 2009 (USA)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was inspired by a couple of message board posts made on Jack Gattanella's IMDb page by his wife, Korey Hughes and Eric Luszcz. They were jokingly written about how Jack Gattanella went on a "drug-fueled frenzy" as a famous filmmaker. A conversation developed between Gattanella and friend and collaborator Zack Abramowitz about developing this concept into a mockumentary, along the lines of Living in Oblivion (1995) and Christopher Guest comedies. See more »

Quotes

Jack Gattanella: Dreams! I'll tell you how dreams go!
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User Reviews

 
On the Edge of Glory
15 March 2012 | by See all my reviews

Lines of Glory is a unique mockumentary comedy about a pretentious director making what appears to be a trainwreck of a film, his insane behavior pushing everyone to the breaking point. From time travel to snorting cocaine off his lead actress's foot...it is actually one of my favorite short films of the past few years! The film stars Jack Gattanella, Zack Abramowitz, and Hayley Raphael all playing caricatures of themselves (NOTE: For the sake of reference in this review, I'll refer to the characters in the film as Jack, Zack, and Hayley, and to the actors as Gattanella, Abramowitz, and Raphael).

In lesser hands, Lines of Glory could have just been a goofy comedy, but it has a few extra layers that make it more than that. I think anyone who has ever been on a hectic film set, especially with an unstable production, can relate to the feelings of unease and extreme discomfort that Zack and Hayley feel. Jack is nutty but also a little creepy; at one point he gives an interview stating his preference for a crew made up of dolphins, and in something of a Monty Python moment, throws his head back into a creepy laugh. This takes the film into an original level; it isn't just a straight comedy but a bit of a surreal experience. I also find it interesting that Crest of Senses, the title of the film within the film, sounds similar to Lines of Glory, as if fiction is overlapping with reality. Lines of Glory and Crest of Senses do seem to have quite a bit in common; they both have the same director and cast, they both have scenes of the director walking "into" his film, and they are both experimental works.

All three of the lead actors are ideally cast, though I suppose that's due to the fact that they are playing themselves. Gattanella hits just the right note at making the audience both laugh and squirm with discomfort. Raphael is ideally cast; her line about being the original crack baby is brilliant. Abramowitz is an actor I've seen in a few other films, mostly related to Gattanella and frequently involving comedy, but I actually find him much stronger at playing the straight man as he does here. It is because of him that the opening scene is so strong. The film begins with Zack and Hayley acting in a romantic scene, delivering melodramatic lines with deadpan sincerity. Zack's line "I've loved you my whole life. And I know I only met you two hours ago" immediately communicates to the audience what kind of a film we're in for, but it's his delivery and facial movements for "Wait, I have an itch" that create the biggest laugh in the film. The scene is such a home run, that it makes the whole film seem larger in scope. Despite there being only three actors and a limited location, the film seems larger than life.

I do have a slight criticism, and it may be a subjective issue: I've always disliked it when films are overtly-improvised. When done well, you can have a masterpiece (This Is Spinal Tap); when done poorly, you can end up with the awkward experience of watching actors make up scenes as they go along, turning the story into a mess, with scene after scene of what feel like watching bloopers that got left in (Pineapple Express). From what I understand, Lines of Glory was heavily improvised, and while I cannot honestly discern what parts were planned and what parts are made up on the spot, the fact that it lacked a solid screenplay becomes a bit apparent at times. The actors talk over each other a bit, they sometimes have a crack of a smile on their lips, some scenes go on maybe a beat too long, other scenes feel less like scenes in a movie and more like just random recordings of people talking and take too long to get to the joke, etc. I realize that overlapping dialog is realistic and something that you would see in a real documentary, but there are occasions where even what would be the punchline of a joke is not quite as effective because actors talk over each other, throwing off the timing. Worst of all is a scene near the beginning when Jack is directing Zack to put a condom over Hayley's head, and the two appear to break out of character and start cracking up, despite Jack then saying "Don't laugh! I'm directing you!" When seeing this for the first time, my friend turned to me and said "That was definitely a blooper that they left in" and I have to agree that the scene feels like a mistake. The Jack character is a pretentious idiot who takes himself too seriously, and it is out of character for him to laugh at his own direction.

But this is a minor nitpick of my personal taste. Lines of Glory succeeds because of its fun and eccentric factor that is willing to go outside the box. It reminds us that filmmaking is a crazy experience. Without spoiling the end, I'll just say that the ultimate fate of Crest of Senses rings true. Sometimes the most insane things happen on a movie shoot, but the only thing that really matters is the final product, which may be the surprise no one ever expected.


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