Posts Tagged 'surrealism'

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 aย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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Motorola Is A Bitch, or High Phone Traffic Day

So there Iย  was, in the kitchen, cooking and minding my own business when all of a sudden, this tomato I was about to slice starts shouting,

“Wait! WAIT! WAIT!!!”

I freaked out! I have never heard a tomato talk before, let alone shout.

It was in that state of bewilderment that I said,

“Why?”

“I have one last dying wish”, the Tomato said.

“What?”, In a confused state of mind, you can only speak in single words.

“Call her Al. Call Barbie.”

This Tomato is crazy, I though. How did It know Barbie?

“How did you know Barbie?”, I asked.

The little fucker smirked, and casually ignoring my question said,

“Call her”

“I called her on Friday, but she neither answered nor returned the call”, I protested.

It started laughing. It laughed hard. It laughed so hard ketchup started coming out the top of Its head.

Dazed and confused, I asked,

“Do you know something I don’t?”

“Al, there are probably a lot of things I know that you don’t”, this was a smart ass Tomato. “But what you need to know now, because you need to know, is that Motorola is a bitch!”

I was in a state that can only be described as the lovechild of “madness” and “bewilderment”. My phone was a Motorola.

This smart ass tomato can’t just go around insulting people’s phones? It has to be stopped!

“You can’t just go around insulting people’s phones! You have to be stopped!”

I was ready to put my knife and slice the little fucker in half when,

“Relax big guy,” the Tomato pleaded with me, “It’s not Motorola I’m insulting, it’s their fucking Call Log!”

I didn’t follow.

“I don’t follow”

“You see, the log can only hold a maximum of 30 Dialed, Missed and Received Calls… or maybe even less”, It explained.

I use the bloody phone for crying out loud, so I know. But what has that got to do with anything?

“I know, but what has that got to do with anything?”

The Tomato looked at me. I think it was pity I saw in Its eyes.

“You’re not a smart one, are you?”, It said.

That was definitely pity.

The thought of a tomato that knows it is going to be in a soup by the end of the day feeling sorry for me was depressing, yet enlightening at the same time.

So like a good student on the road to enlightenment, I said,

“For the sake of this argument, let’s say I’m not. So please tell me, what has the Call Log got to do with anything?”

“You called her on Friday right”, my Sensei Tomato explained, “But before she saw the missed call, a hundred random guys called and wiped everyone, along with you and seventy percent of themselves off the Call Log. So you see, she never even knew you called”

Hallucegenic Tomato

For a tomato, my master was an enlightened one. It was the Buddha of tomatoes.

And It was right, Fridays are high phone traffic days for Barbie. I know this because she told me, but how did this tomato know?

“How did you know all these things?”

“I know, because you know”

“What?”

“Al, I am you.”

“What?”

Like I said, in a confused state of mind, you can only speak in single words.

“Let me put it this way: If this is fight club, I’m your Tyler Durden!”

โ€œWhat?โ€

It was exactly at that moment that I realized, fulfilling the last wish of a dying tomato is the least of my worries!

The College Diary

There I was, sitting in a very big hall full of weird strangers half of whom were as confused as I was. It was quiet, in the sense that no one was talking. The only sound came from an army of rolling black pens mercilessly devouring helpless white sheets of paper. Look at all these poor bastards spilling ink like their lives depended on it, I though to myself. Sadly, I’m one of them. But how did I get here?

Twelve hours before that, I was in a place that closely resembles a prison cafeteria. But when the big old sun goes to bed, and the little stars sneak out to play, it doubles as a study hall for the poor souls known universally by the same sad pathetic name – Students.

There I was, like an out-of-job poor man’s music producer desperately trying to prove his worth, with headphones twice the size of my head, eyes glued to the computer screen, and body moving to the rhythm of the music. I was listening to Coldplay and thinking to myself, Holy fuck! This band rocks! It was at that moment that I had an epiphany – If you don’t listen to music that can be played on an instrument, Die!

“Any form of cheating, or attempting to cheat… Copying or attempting to copy… is punishable by death”

Fuck! I was back in that bloody hell hall. What is it with these goddamn people always repeating the same goddamn instruction? Do they think that we are nothing but senseless animals desperately in need of constant reminding? Or is this just one of those stupid legal disclaimer things that have to be said?

In no time, half the hall was empty and a stack of papers was starting to pile in front. The rest of us poor souls still seated had less than an hour before we will be forcefully thrown out into the cold, whether or not we were ready for it.

The decision to flee this hell came sudden. I’m pretty sure the fact that I had nothing more to write had something to do with it. I quietly put my sheets together and walked to the front of the hall were a suspicious looking man with an ugly tag around his neck that says “INVIGILATOR” collected my papers. He gave me a list that says “ATTENDANCE” on the top, and says that I must sign it. I had no idea why, since I was clearly present and my goddamn papers were proof. Maybe it was another one of those stupid legal things again. All I wanted to do at that moment was sign his goddamn attendance list and leave the bloody hell hall!

Adios paper! I hope I don’t fucking see your goddamn ugly face ever again!