“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.” -Bertrand Russell
The opening scene of Thomas Vinterbergs (2014 Best Foreign Language Oscar nominated) film encapsulates the overall theme of the film in a subtle but powerful way. We are introduced to Lucas a character who appears uncomfortable while everyone around him is laughing and having a great time. None of this is said outright, it's told through our main characters eyes and posture. His smiles are forced and his body language conveys how anxious this particular group of men make him feel. We have been introduced to a man who is so guarded with his “friends” he jumps in a lake with all his clothes on while his peers are naked. The following scene shows Lucas in a different light. He appears comfortable and more content with his surroundings. We see a different man. In those scenes he is with children. This is an effective way to set up our story. The dichotomy of our protagonist has been clearly laid out and the story is ready to unfold. We have a man going through a bitter divorce fighting for the custody of his child who has lost his teaching position and lives alone with his dog. A man who becomes the victim of a lie. The Hunt is both a character study and a study of society on a micro level. After watching the film I was thinking about capital punishment, the media and criminal justice in modern society. While this story is very small in its narrative scope, the subject matter reaches into and overlaps with all facets of societal existence.
This film is about mob mentality. How innocent lies can build momentum and crush the lives of the people in it's wake. The way we treat members of the swarm who show independence or unconventional behavior hasn't changed much since the beginning of human civilization. We view the unfamiliar with fear and treat them as interlopers. Most of us will not admit to how truly unevolved our reactions to these people are. Finding the truth is rarely our top priority when we have the taste of vengeance on our salivating tongues.
Don't watch the trailer (below). I've intentionally avoided discussing most the specific details of this movie. The less you know about this film when you see it the better. We are smack in the middle of summer movie season and while I enjoy giant monsters, robots and mutants crushing national landmarks it was refreshing to spend two hours with an adult film. PS- This film is in no way refreshing. It is a brutal self portrait we should all experience. The Hunt is currently streaming on Netflix and available on VOD
SLEEPWALKER is the latest film from director Elliott Lester. Troubled by bouts of sleepwalking and disturbing nightmares, graduate student Sarah Foster goes to her university's sleep research center for help. When she wakes up after her first night of being monitored, the world she lives in seems to have changed in subtle, Twilight-Zone-esque ways. In fact, every time she goes to sleep now, she wakes up in a slightly different version of her world. With the help of sleep researcher Dr. Scott White, she tries to work her way back to the reality she started in. But when they finally succeed, it’s revealed that Sarah’s world is not what she thought at all.
Today my guest is one of the stars SLEEPWALKER, Richard Armitage. Tonight we talk about his work on that film as well as his work as Thorin Oakenshiled in The Hobbit Films, as John Proctor in The Crucible, and his upcoming films Ocens 8 and the Julie Delpy directed film My Zoe.
Sleepwalker is Now Available on Digital HD and On Dem…
Directed By: Savannah Bloch
Starring: Tania Nolan, Rachel Crowl, Mary Holland, Karan Soni, John Kassir, and Anne Gee Byrd
Alyssa (Nolan) wakes up to find her home pillaged and her husband missing. The burglars have taken everything, down to the photos of her husband. The police offer little help so she turns to a friend of the family Eve (Crowl) for assistance. The film is less of a "who done it" and more of a "what happened."
The prolonged second act of the film focuses on the relationship between Eve and Alyssa. The suspense of the film lingers in the background while their relationship grows. In fact, clues of what is to come are clearly laid out in a way that allows the viewer to see where the film is headed before it gets there. I'm not sure if this is by design but the effect of having the stories trajectory clearly laid out gives the audience permission to accept this blossoming relationship.
Nolan and Crowl both give stunning performances that anc…
SWEET PARENTS review
Directed By: David Bly
Starring: David Bly and Leah Rudick
Written By: David Bly and Leah Rudick
Moving to New York City with ambitions of making it as an artist is an uphill battle. Hell, moving to New York with ambitions of breaking into fast food is an uphill battle. Exorbitant rent makes it difficult if not impossible to get a temp job while you audition, paint, write, or sculpt. And paying $28 for an artisan PB&J not only has a heavy tax on your pocketbook, over time it can carry a greater burden on your soul. Spending tons of money to only feel like you are barely keeping your head above water is a crushing way to exist.
SWEET PARENTS is the story of a young couple who have been living the artists struggle in NYC for close to 8 years. Will has dreams of making it as a Chef and Gabby wants to become a professional sculptor. Both start side relationships, as last ditch efforts to support their careers, in what becomes a choice between ambition and lo…