Friday, March 23, 2007

Welcome to the Underground?

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I try to explore the ever evolving shape of cinema these days, yet it seems to change constantly. One of the web sites I've come to is that of alteregocinema. The film that came to my attention was AMATEUR PORN STAR KILLER. I haven't heard of this film, and the title alone makes it seem almost questionable, but after reading an unfavorable review at microcinemascene.com I just had to check it out. Shane Ryan does some interesting editing, and I like the way he makes the footage look degraded, and even a bit inferior. Someone said it probably was to cover up the bad production values in the film in the first place. After all how many of you have heard or said "we'll fix it in post". What attracted me to the guys work is the stark reality of the films. In an era of reality TV, and YouTube I do think the work has some merit, but at what expense. Certainly these films aren't real snuff films. Would some others think that the films can be actually real? In a society that loves to blur the line between reality and fantasy can this be what it's come down to for entertainment?

I think not.

I admire filmmakers who work with what they have. Hell! We all do it at the sub-basement budget level. We all work with what were forced to work with, but isn't a film suppose to have a point? Isn't that what a film is suppose to do? Someone I know once said that sometimes making a film that conveys a special atmosphere is enough for him, but what about the story. I too like atmosphere in my films, but sometimes it isn't enough. Okay two killers on the run. Killings happen every several minutes, and each one gets more and more visceral. So what? Why should I care? Is there a point, or why should I even watch this. To me it's like watching a torture session, and I'm not comfortable with that. Yes I know it's fake, and yes I know it's actors doing the screaming and the killing, but I just don't like it. Not my cup of tea. Films like Hostel, and Saw just seem to be cruel torture sessions for its audience. That's my take on those films, but maybe I've just gotten too old & my tastes have changed. But I do enjoy films like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or "Halloween". Make no mistake about that. The difference between these films and those I've mentioned earlier is that films like "Saw" and "Hostel" are just one note films. You're not invested in any of the characters. All you care is to see if you can get through the "gross out" scenes, and if anyone gets out alive. It becomes a spectacle like a sport.

That's what director Ryan's films seem to me. More spectacle and less a film. I'm not sure I'm willing to shell out the ten bucks to see the movie which Mr. Ryan is doing currently and only for a limited time. Maybe this leads somewhere better & to better filmmaking. In a world where you need a hook to grab attention to ones self, maybe it might just work for Mr. Ryan. Although I'd think that making better, more profesional films would be a better route. If you're all interested check his films out at alteregocinema.com.

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