Wednesday, October 25, 2017
DARK NIGHT (2017)
Written & Directed By: Tim Sutton
Cinematography By: Helene Louvart
Editor: Jeanne Applegate
Cast: Eddie Caccoiola, Shawn Caccoiola, Anna Rose Hopkins, Robert Jumper
The lives of six strangers intersect at a suburban Cineplex where a massacre occurs.
The film offers a non-linear look at life right before a tragedy
I can understand why some people might not want to see this film as it might seem to be more exploiting or cashing in on a national American tragedy. I wish I could say they are wrong as at times there does seem to be some elements that seem tied directly to the tragedy. Like various characters wearing the Batman mask. Various characters using guns or carrying them around. As we still don't know if one is or if there is even going to be a killer displayed on screen.
As we wonder is this a case of a tragedy with us seeing it more from a victims side of things as we watch the characters go throughout their day or are we supposed to figure out which one of any is the killer.
As the film at times gets confusing in a sense as it also tries to be meta. Like right before the end we see the actual film we are watching movie poster in the lobby under the now showing lights. Also we see a tv screen partially that looks like the shooter James Holmes real life. As a news reports on the case. So we are not sure if this is based on that case almost a copycat crime or is that in some way the after.
I can applaud the film for most of the choices and chances it makes. Like Gus Van Sant's elephant this seems to be an examination more of the day and what happens right before. Though they film had more of a narrative. It was still essentially a ensemble.
Only here the same is true of it being an ensemble but we don't follow anyone in particular. as the scenes are more like snippets of actions the characters are doing or more the situations they are in. Not necessarily important more like a glimpse of their day to day lives. Some just doing normal chores. As we in the Audience know they are headed towards tragedy.
So It might seem cruel as we don’t see the aftermath or the crime just everything right before and as we know they are victims. So showing us them before in their day to day lives only hammers the pain and emotions harder as we recognize these people that could be anybody, us, friends and/or family.
So it doesn’t seem like there is a reason to law the film.
This film seems more of an artistic expression on the whole ordeal. As the film time to time tries to go into more a documentary mode. As it will have interviews with the characters like they are real people. These interviews seem to be conducted after the tragedy, but are interwoven into the film like it is the same day as the tragedy. Going along with the other scenes.
I will say that while the film sometimes feels lost. As scenes more resemble simplistic montages. As mundane action goes along with music. That seems to try and create poetic moments of it's own. The film at times can be powerful, even if at times feels misguided.
This feels more like a film where maybe the filmmakers heart was trying to be in the right place, but comes across In Different ways for the audience. Rarely in a purely innocent good way.
At times it just feels slow, very slow and though you never question what's the point. You might wish that it moved more cohesively. As it comes across plain with no particular control.
I can understand why the film was made even if to quite sure if it actually needed to be made and it can't escape the feeling of the filmmaker exploiting the circumstances for yes artistic expression and inspiration. Though also exploiting it to make more of a name for himself on a controversial topic. That was more recent allowing his film to make a bigger splash than it might normally. As even in the case of ELEPHANT it was done by a known and established filmmaker.
It tackled the situation but offered something of an idea and felt fresh and like it was a fresh perspective. It might be that the film also had more a before and after. As it showed the massacre. Where as here we know the ending but only shows the lead up. So that there is still that tension and sense of tragedy. Leading our imaginations to fill in the horror. Which is probably worse than anything shown.
Based on the James Holmes case in Colorado where he murdered 12 people during a midnight screening of THE DARK KNIGHT. It's respectful As we see glimpses of people in the film watching his trial. So we know this film is more inspired around it. As well as including some details like a skateboarder dying his hair the same color of orange that Mr. Holmes did
It seems like some of the characters have inspiration or clues offering up signs of alienation for the characters but only 2 seem more angry and violent always framed from the side or from behind.
Trying to show something but not offering anything. Doesn't feel cohesive or that strong like it's reaching and want to be reactionary.
Seems more like someone trying to get across a theory but that argument isn't strong or is so all over the place you recognize it's truth in moments. It then Get's lost. So that the film seems to try to humanize and expose how normal and unexciting the people we see are leaving us feeling the same way. But seeming like they will offer a clue. So it feels wasted or offers a more unobstructed bit stylish. Look at them that conjured up middle class or small town disenchantment
At the end we see them all go to a movie titled which might be the movie we are watching ourselves showing it could easily be any of us In The audience.
A shooter comes in seemingly to offer another case in the middle of all of this are clues laid out that seem part of the tapestry. As the film show and return to various characters. But some show up more and more the. Others and some come off as menacing. Leaving us not to know which one.
In being based on a true story. Not only should it be better. As it is well made and has a good idea behind it, but also carries a certain responsibility to be respectful to the victims and survivors. Where as the film Isn't blatantly disrespectful, but seems to treat them more as a means to an end
It's worth a watch, but not essential viewing. As it comes off as an experimental thesis more than an actual film. That seems more like a dare