Peter, a young filmmaker, uses his camera to transform the banality of his Wisconsin hometown into art. Distant from his family and environment, Peter isolates himself in an aesthetic realm, one in which filmmaking grants him control, a control that reduces, simplifies, and purifies. Joining him on a documentary project, Vera - the daughter of a prominent local businessman - attempts to become the star of his cinematic and romantic universes. However, when Vera vanishes unexpectedly, Peter's creative detachment quickly gives way to deepening obsession, intensified by his fascination with a bit of scandalously suggestive footage. As Peter struggles to separate filmic fiction from reality, he uncovers a troubling explanation for Vera's disappearance . . . one that puts him on dangerous ground. Driven by loneliness and desire, Peter ignores warnings and threats - both well-meaning and sinister - on a mission to solve his own narrative. Whether daring or delusional, Peter's investigate ... Written by
Brando Colvin's "Frames" is excellent example of Formalist Style from beginning to end. It is amazing to me that he can achieve this on a low budget.
The concern here is on how "reality" is "perceived" within the context of what is captured in a frame of film. This idea is communicated not only in the reality of the leading character's view of his world, but in the view that Colvin provides to the audience.
The film's actors prove to be quite effective in adapting their performances to fit within the context of style. Their performances are almost avant-garde as "truth" is communicated in specifically nuanced and almost emotionless ways.
The film continually references Hitchcock's "Rear Window" in interesting ways that serves as connection to limited information leading to what a character perceives to be "truth" --- Though the stylistic manner of the film is really much more tied to Robert Bresson and some of Michael Haneke's earlier work. I can also sense some inspiration coming via the way of Michelangelo Antonioni's work (particularly "Blow Up" and "La Notte"
Once the viewer adjusts their own frame of reference, Colvin's film takes hold and results in a surprisingly intense little thriller.
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