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Butter on the Latch (2013)

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At a Balkan folk song and dance camp in the woods of Mendocino, California, Sarah reunites with her old friend Isolde and with a song she learned years before about dragons who entwine ... See full summary »

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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Isolde Chae-Lawrence ...
Isolde
...
Guy
...
Steph
...
Sarah
Yury Yakor ...
Guy
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Storyline

At a Balkan folk song and dance camp in the woods of Mendocino, California, Sarah reunites with her old friend Isolde and with a song she learned years before about dragons who entwine themselves in women's hair and carry them off through the forest, burning it as they go. When Sarah pursues a romance with a new camper Steph, the nights of sensual secrets and singing with Isolde come to an abrupt end. Sarah and Steph explore a simple attraction, but in Sarah's dreams, women spin their wild hair and Isolde darkly approaches. When reality and fantasy collide, Sarah finds that the dragons she's visioning may be inside her. Written by Anonymous

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Drama | Fantasy | Horror

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13 September 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Maslo na zasuwce  »

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User Reviews

 
An entire film lost in the woods
19 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The film started off rocky for me, as the opening scene was so disjointed from what followed that for a time, I was wondering if that was actually a very quick short that preceded the film and had nothing to do with it. And in many ways, that scene doesn't seem to have anything to do with the rest of the film, making for the most peripheral and unrelated opening scene since Beast of Yucca Flats. That is always a concerning sort of movie to be reminiscent of.

The largest and most glaring problem, I found, was the cinematography. A frighteningly large amount of this film was shot out of focus, giving everything a very vague and undefined look. While this can certainly be used to good effect sometimes, when it feels like it's every other shot, or is for very long shots, it starts to lose its efficiency and just becomes somewhat disorienting and disengaging. It's also the sort of effect that I've seen more to highlight confusion, or intoxication, or being a daze... here it just seems to be done without a reason behind that choice that I could see. Some of the shots also just hold far too long.

The story itself was weakened by a combined set of frequently boring, sometimes repetitive, dialog and a plot that may count as only the vaguest of plots. The dialog between the main two characters has so many superfluous conversations that just repeat or don't go anywhere that it seems to really not excuse later in the film when their conversations seem to contain no useful information (either for the audience or for one another) while seemingly treated like actual conversations of substance. The plot, on the other hand, seems to be more like a series of scenes, without really what seems to be any rhyme or reason to how those scenes are put together. There's long chunks of film that carry the vibe that they are meant be symbolic, not of anything in particular, but just representative of what symbolic things would LOOK like. It's not exploring the mind, it's not setting the atmosphere, it's not foreshadowing or something, it's just things that are meant to look symbolic that seem to carry no actual meaning, and in some cases actually came off as humorous more than sensical.

When this ended, I was just in my seat for a few minutes trying to figure out how any of that was meant to fit together, as as the film goes on, it starts to make less and less sense, with multiple narrative jumps, wild swings in characterization that feel inconsistent, long scenes that don't seem to convey anything, and a very unusual choice of what scenes to feature. I really don't know what, if anything, I was actually meant to come away from this film with beyond a vague familiarity with the eastern European folk music that is a constant background throughout.


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