The Grand Bizarre (Jodie Mack, 2018): USA

Reviewed by Ryan Wildermuth. Viewed at the AFI Fest 2018.

There isn’t really too much to say about the plot of “The Grand Bizarre”. But that’s ok.  The film doesn’t need one as it does three things exceptionally well. Editing, sound design, and shot composition. The entire movie is pretty much a very long music video. Fabric is a reappearing motif in the film, moving and changing on its own using stop motion. All of this is accompanied by a unique and catchy soundtrack. This film has a lot going for it, but there are a few issues as well.

Firstly, this film really is a real treat to watch visually. So much is happening on the screen that you might even get a sensory overload (do not watch this film if you have epilepsy). The constant, ever changing style keeps the audience entertained, and the use of ambient noise will slowly turn into the soundtrack. This is extremely commendable and my favorite part of the movie. Hearing crickets on the country side slowly turn into the high hats of a beat

Posted at 11am on 11/15/18 | no comments | Filed Under: AFI Filmfest 2018, Films read on

Communion Los Angeles (Adam R. Levine, 2018): USA

Reviewed by Ryan Wildermuth. Viewed at the AFI Fest 2018.

Communion Los Angeles is directors Adam R. Levine and Peter Bo Rappmund’s interpretation of LA through ambient sound, non-linear editing, and photography. This film, while gorgeous at times, has similar problems to most experimental and unconventional films. The pacing is incredibly slow and the repetition slowly begins to seep in the longer you watch.  And while that may be the intention (to create a very slow and repetitive movie to represent a commute in LA), it doesn’t make for an engaging movie. The entire film is time lapse footage, photos blending into one another. And in the beginning, it looks very beautiful and the movie start relatively strong. But after awhile I began to realize that the film doesn’t have much else to offer besides these time lapse shots. So for a full 68 minutes, you’re watching the same effect done over and over again without any real break or pacing to try and even it out. There simply isn’t enough substance to keep the film fresh and entertaining, and similar to the movie

Posted at 11am on 11/15/18 | no comments | Filed Under: AFI Filmfest 2018, Films read on

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Film Review Club: Reviews of current film releases, DVDs, and revivals by student members of the SBCC Film Review Club.

Film Festival Course: FS108: Film Festival Studies: 10-days or 5-days (2 or 3 units). Field course at film festivals to study U.S. and international fiction, experimental and documentary films. Fee required.

Contact: Prof. Nico Maestu (maestu@sbcc.edu)

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