A quiet exploration of the philosophies of freedom and existence set in the guise of a minimal science fiction tale, ala Solaris or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Chloe374 lives a bland and unquesti... Read allA quiet exploration of the philosophies of freedom and existence set in the guise of a minimal science fiction tale, ala Solaris or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Chloe374 lives a bland and unquestioning life in an underground facility governed by Orwellian forces. When she is given char... Read allA quiet exploration of the philosophies of freedom and existence set in the guise of a minimal science fiction tale, ala Solaris or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Chloe374 lives a bland and unquestioning life in an underground facility governed by Orwellian forces. When she is given charge of a disobedient resident, her curiosity is spurned, and she decides to explore the for... Read all
Resident of bland and confining futurustic dystopia lives underground, then gains the idea that they need to see the above-ground world.
Yawn. FADE captures this notion perfectly for the first 48 of its first 70 minutes. The visual design is a bit remarkable in that the director and his production team have found a real bland generic facility in which to film; where Lucas went just a little whizz-bang with some futurism props.
FADE differs in that the life above-ground is explored in minor detail, and another existence different than that of our protagonist (Chloe374) is introduced to the audience.
As other reviewers reflected, FADE feels more like an art project than a movie or a narrative. Yet it was still good visual art, creative design and fine to look at.
Where FADE suffers is the audio engineering. Since the late 1930s, and certainly as a finished concept by the 1940s, Hollywood film production learned that actors often needed to record their lines at greater than a whispered voice. And the MPSE specialty has known forever that whispered lines need to be ramped up farrrrrrrrrrr into the audible range, and all dialogue needs solid transmission, enough to overpower the film's music portion, which is intended as a pure background or mood-establishing portion.
Director Beer and his team have found some nice musical pieces, yet I will repeat: they belong in the background, not overpowering conversation.
Yet FADE apparently occurred without the use of any audio engineering, and it suffers considerably because of this failing.
At mid-film, critical dialogue which inspires Chloe374 to look further is whispered a foot and a half across pillows upon a bed. Sadly, director Christopher Beer chose to record this dialogue as the same filmed whisper, using apparently the camera-microphone, held 4-5 feet away. Absolutely unintelligible.
Later in the progression, there is apparently more expository dialogue between Chloe374 and the beings which make their life above the surface. Again, absolutely unintelligible.
'Shots' like these were meant to drive the film/art forward, and their lack of listenable dialogue had really derailed the film/art for me.
To barely salvage the notion of continuity, the director inserted chapter-like titles such as: "Sadness, loneliness, exhaustion". These helped but didn't save the narrative.
I welcome the notion that director Beer went beyond G. Lucas's story, and showed what a train wreck the surface world seemed to be.
But the pivot of this film/art was the notion of escape or progress, and I was honestly unable to catch on to how that occurred.
- Jan 4, 2012