Posts Tagged 'art'

Here. My Review…

So I just saw “Here. My Explosion…“, the latest feature from indie filmmaker Reid Gershbein. The film can best be described as being a pseudo-mumblecore feature.

It’s about Sera (Eleese Longino), an artist who has a weird relationship with coffee. Or more accurately, coffee cups from which she’d drunk from. The empty coffee cups make magical things happen to objects around them, when she’s not watching. Yes, I think the basic concept is new and fresh too. And I like new and fresh 🙂

So the film basically revolves around how this “magic” affects Sera, her friends: Tom (Seth Burnham) and Francois (Jeffery Davis). And Francois’s two girlfriends: Lil (Lee Kuhn) and Tegan (Jennifer Jajeh).

The first thing you’ll notice about Here My Explosion is how over-saturated its colours are. To some extent, the effect works really well. I love how all the saturated establishing shots of the city look with the tilt-shift effect added in post to give the illusion of depth. I also like the wide shots that weren’t establishing. There’s this one shot in the beginning of the film of Francois and Lil walking into his house that stuck in head because of how magical and dreamy it looked.

HME_Magic

On the other hand, the over-saturated close-up shots don’t look quite as good. In some of those shots, the skin of the actors look too orange and fake. Other times, it’s not the actors, but an object in the background that’s distracting. There’s this one scene when Tegan and Sera first met that’s like that. Sera was trying to tell Tegan about her art, but I couldn’t concentrate because my attention was being distracted by the hyper-saturated red coming from the flowers behind them.

Why do I call this film a Pseudo-mumblecore? Well, it’s mumblecore because it was shot like a mumblecore film with multiple handled shots, shaky-cam and close-ups that wouldn’t have made sense anywhere else. It’s Pseudo- because it didn’t feel or sound too mumblecore. This is of course a good thing because nothing rapes my ears like the awkward filler-saturated dialogue of mumblecore films. It’s like, you know, kinda like, sorta… Goddamnit! Say something already!!!

Reid knows when to shoot handled and when to keep the camera stationary. He did an amazing job giving the film a “real” feel without being too distracting for the audience. For that, I give props to him. Although, there’s this one scene that didn’t feel right. Sera and Francois were in the car: She’s driving and he’s sitting comfortably in the back seat with no one in the passenger’s side. You don’t see friends driving around like that. It’s just not natural. The only thing missing was a  black suit, and she’d be his very own personal chauffeur.

Let me say it right here and now – I love the theme song. It is simple, yet very catchy. I simply love it. It appears in the very beginning, randomly in the middle and at the end credits of the film.

As for the audio, I have a love-hate relationship with it. At times, it’s clean. So clean, in fact it’ll have you wishing there was more background noise so you can have a more natural sound. Other times, the noise is too bad you’ll have to listen extra hard in order to hear what the actors are saying.

Also, there’s this one scene that was totally silent. Granted, no one was talking, but Sera was moving around and a little music might have helped. The theme-song maybe? Just saying.

Like earlier suggested, I like the dialogue. For the most part, it was natural without being too mumblecore. Everything a character said almost always felt right, with the exception being the ending. I didn’t buy that whole segment with the Colombians.

For the record, I like Sera’s final monologue at the end 🙂

Reid did a good job casting most of the parts. I like Eleese Longino, and I think she works really well as Sera. I buy her as an alternative-artist who’s a little confused about life’s little mysteries. Also, she’s beautiful. Really. Don’t take my word for it, all the characters think so too. They all have a crush on her. Yes, you read that right – ALL OF THEM! 😉

Jeffery Davis as Francois the Ladies Man was perfect too. Jennifer Jajeh plays Tegan well enough, and I think she’s very likable.

Two people I have a problem with are Lee Kuhn and Seth Burnham as Lil and Tom respectively. I don’t know if it’s Lee’s fault or Lil the character’s, but Lil is lifeless throughout the whole film. But that’s mild-criticism at best, being that she doesn’t have that much screen time.

My biggest problem though, was Seth as Tom – the multi-millionaire entrepreneur. To that, I say Bollocks! But that’s hardly Seth’s fault. I mean – Does the film need a multi-millionaire entrepreneur in the first place, who feels that he should tell everyone how much money he has every chance he gets? In my not-so-proffesional opinion, IT DOESN’T. Don’t get me wrong, the character can be there. He just shouldn’t go around telling everyone how much money he has. But if he must, then he should at the very least look the part.

HME2

In the end, seeing that I love the story, acting, music and the pseudo-mumblecore feel to it, I have no choice but recommend Here My Explosion. If you’ve seen a mumblecore film… or Dogme95… or any non “Hollywood” film… and liked it, then you should definitely see Here. My Explosion. It’s as good a film as any in that category.

Download/Watch HME right now – HERE.

Also, if you like it, follow Reid on Twitter – @thraveboy.

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Monday Morning Madness

So the idea is that I will write every morning, for an hour, about whatever. It was something I picked up on the “tips” section of a writers’ blog in the vastness of the Internet. That being said, not everything I write will end up here. And not everything that ends up here was… Well, you get the point.

Today however, is one of those days, when what I write will end up here, like it already has.

So what is on your mind today, Al?

That sounds like something my shrink would ask me. Not that I have a shrink, but if I had, that sounds like something he’d ask.

I would reply with something like, “Nothing at the moment, but I can make something up.”

At which point, he would say “Fine, then make something up.”

From there on, we would get into a long and complex, but strangely familiar dialogue, before realizing halfway that my shrink is in fact Dr. Jeffrey Squires, and I am still asleep, and dreaming like my life depended on it.

But come to think of it, dreams make life worth living. I mean, why exist if you have nothing to achieve? You might as well just die and make space for the dreaming humans, after all, resources are very scarce.

But right now, it is not the scarcity of the resources in the world that is on my mind; it is the Maths class I’m having in an hour that bothers me.

One morning, I woke up to find myself studying Artificial Intelligence. Funny thing is that I’m not particularly bright at Maths. Sure, I like computers (who doesn’t?), and have experimented with a few programming languages, but Calculus just isn’t my thing.

I want to be a filmmaker. No, not in a Hollywood sort of way, although I have to admit that’ll be quite good. But small scale, Indie, so to say. And not only direct my own films, but work on other people’s. Help and teach others in non-formal ways and just live in the filmmaking. Live in the filmmaking: That’s my dream.

But I have a problem. Maybe not a problem in the I-owe-the-mob-a-shit-load-of-money-and-they-want-it-by-tomorrow sort of way, but a problem nonetheless.

None of my close friends is really into film. Sure, we often have great times at the movies, and even talk about said movies afterwards. But there’s a way moviegoers talk about a movie, and there’s a way moviemakers talk about a movie. Not one of my friends talk like the latter.

I’m not saying they should. I like pizza, and If it’s hot and smells nice, I’m game. I don’t really care how it came to be.

But I have my artsy friends, only not as easily accessible as I’d have wanted, but what the hell. They are the kind of friends that you’ll need a computer with a pathway to the interweb just to say Hi to. But take my word for it, it’s worth it.

I mean, take when I wanted to get my DSLR for example. Sure, I could have thrown the problem at Google, and gotten a thousand fucking answers which I would spend the whole day checking. But no, I asked Sean, and he gave me his honest to God opinion, straight up. It is refreshing.

Or when I so much like to talk about a film related something, and none of my friends seem to be paying any attention. Then on, she comes and we argue for an hour. No, it’s not the kind of argument that frustrates; it’s the kind that liberates. There is just something relaxing about having a deep, but meaningless conversation about something you care about with someone you know knows their shit, even if they don’t agree with you. In fact it’s more fun when they don’t always agree. Thank you Nadira for being there, even if so rarely.

This is turning into some kind of love letter to my online artsy friends, which is fine. They keep me alive, fuel my dreams and give me a reason to live. I love them all.

I would probably die if I didn’t have such friends. Not a physical death of course, but what’s a body without a soul? I’ll tell you, a vessel for the body snatchers to invade!