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Vampyr (C.Dreyer), a 1932 horror film

In drama, horror, surnatural, Uncategorized on July 30, 2009 at 7:01 AM

vampyr-1932-horror-movie-review-38711When when Danish director Carl Th. Dreyer directed “Vampyr”  in 1932, he was far from knowing the influence that he would have on the horror genre. What is now called one of the best horror film of film history, was denounced by critics and audience at the time of its release in 1932, and was a huge financial failure.

Vampyr tells the story of Allan Gray, a student of the occult, visiting a countryside town of France.  After being attacked by various supernatural entities, he discovers the presence of  “vampyres”. Those deadly creatures, who suck blood out of children and young adults to stay alive,  pushes mortals to commit suicide and thus doomed to serve the Evil.

In this film, where most scenes happens at night, Dreyer creates an eerie mood, shown to us through a very washed out look.  In order to achieve this aesthetic, his cinematographer Rudolph Maté ( The Passion of Joan of Arc, To Be Or Not To Be, Lady From Shanghai), shot the film through a piece of gauze, hold few feet away from the lens. As we always sees it in Dreyer’s close-ups, he preferred to cast mostly non-professionals actors, giving us to watch, real faces full of expressions.

One of the most remarkable element in the film, is the thin boundary between dream and horror that maintains during the whole film. The supernatural entities are represented through the form of shadows, that our main character follows, and thus taking the audience through new eerie decors. However, the destruction of the human soul by the vampyres, makes more think of todays horror/torture film feeling that we can find in the “Saw” films. “Vampyr” gives the feeling of watching a nightmare awake, with a little bit of Freud’s unheimlich, “something that stepped out of darkness, but should have stayed there”.

“Vampyr” is available in a beautiful Criterion edition (http://www.criterion.com/) .

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Burn after reading…..

In drama, family, feature film on October 26, 2008 at 12:43 AM

Well frankly, it was quite a deception.Especially after No Country For Old Man. No real surprise. And an end that ends in a fishtail. The memoirs of an ex-CIA agent ( John Malkovich) ends up in the ends of two employees at a gym ( Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt), who think they can money talk the original owner of the document. The Coen brothers used a different DP, which can be felt in the look of the film. Brad Pitt’s acting was quite amusing in the role of the ambiguisly gay employee, but does not sell the entire film and the film in its globality really felt like a film commanded by the studios and nothing more.

“An Angel for Christmas”, every gift is not a good one.

In drama, family, horror, Short film on September 23, 2008 at 8:52 AM

This short horror film did its world premiere at the Regency Fairfax Theater ( former Laemmle Theater), the 18th of June 2008, here in Los Angeles California. This short thrilling horror piece features a young mother who finds an unexpected present under the Christmas tree. check out the trailer at http://fabienhameline.com/Fictions.html . Goosebumps garanteed.

The Moonlit Road in festival

In drama, family, horror, psychological, Short film, surnatural, thriller, Uncategorized on May 30, 2008 at 1:48 AM

Remember that film we reviewed few months ago entitled “the moonlit road”? Well it finally make it to its first festival!! I just received a warm letter from its director Leor Baum, asking me to spread the word. So here it is with the official poster. This fine film will be screened here in Los Angeles :

Friday, May 30th @8:00pm

Echo Park Film Center   MAP

1200 N. Alvarado Street (@ Sunset Blvd)

Los Angeles, CA 90026

http://www.echoparkfilmcenter.org/

Doors open @ 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10.

Drinks are free (Wine, Beer, and Dry Soda).

Q and A to follow, as well as a raffle. 

 

Hope to see you there!

 

The Indie Film Reviewer

“Taken” Jack Bauer in meaner

In drama, family, feature film, Uncategorized on February 2, 2008 at 6:15 PM

In this highly adrenalined action film, the daughter of an ex-Special Forces agent goes in a trip with her friend to France. Arrived there, they get kidnapped as the daughter, hidden under the bed describes what’s happening to her father, on the phone. He will be ready to do anything to get his daughter back, even to put Paris on fire. If the mix of American actors and French ones is a bit awkward by moment ( two different acting schools), it is well covered by spectacular scenes and a dynamic edit. The path of the film and the fighting skills of Liam Neeson, reminds of Jack Bauer in “24” but angrier. Before being a director, Pierre Morel has been a cinematographer and camera operator for several Europa Corp productions. “Taken” is his second feature, the first being “District 13”.

“Taken” directed by Pierre Morel, the last EuropaCorp ( Luc Besson) production will be released end of February.

I walk ” Into The Wild”….

In drama, family, feature film on January 13, 2008 at 11:19 AM

poster  Based on a true story, “Into The Wild” narrates the introspective journey of Christopher ( 23) in quest of happiness and what makes it reel. He back packs through the USA, meeting all kind of people, affecting their life in some ways.  Like in ” I am Legend,  “Into the Wild” deals with a character who’s by himself in a deserted environment. Thus the use of parallel editing is more than justified. It allows  to show the reasons why he left for this journey, and who he met until he arrives to his final destination: Alaska. Also, it allows to dynamize the moments of loneliness and contemplations. ” Into The Wild” invites to see what’s happening in the outside world to find who we are.

“I am Legend”, The last man on earth

In drama, family, feature film, horror, psychological on January 3, 2008 at 2:38 PM

i-am-legend-bigposter1.jpg

 

“I am Legend” is the second feature film of Francis Lawrence, important music videos director ( Britney Spears, Aerosmith) but also of “Constantine”. “Legend” starring Will Smith who plays the role of the last man on Earth, scientist still searching for a cure to a virus (created by the Man) that annihilated Earth. 

In this new film, Lawrence approaches the theme of the last man on earth. “legend”, coming from Latin “legenda” or ” thing to be read”, shows well the projection of the audience in the future and the not-to-far status of the man. The film is intercut between scenes of  Robert Neville’s lonely daily life in NYC, trying to find a cure, an between flashbacks showing the end of the days. The showing a NYC full of life ( flashbacks), next to a completely empty one with wilderness taking over the city, creates a very interesting contrast.

This film shows the Man should fear himself more than the end of times, or the Sun extinction.

Eastern Promises

In drama, feature film, psychological, thriller on October 15, 2007 at 11:41 PM

Easter Promises

David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises portraits the relations within the slavic mafia. After the birth of a baby whose mother died giving life to her, a foreign nurse tries to find the family of this newly born, without knowing where she is puting her feet into. Beautifully photographed by long time Cronenberg’s DP Peter Suschitzky, he gives the cold look of the Eastern Europe feel. A long research on the tattoos used in the film, has been done on Viggo Mortensen’ s suggestion during his own research for the role. Featuring Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, and French actor Vincent Cassel.

“The Moonlit Road”, a modern tale adaptation

In drama, family, horror, psychological, Short film, surnatural, Uncategorized on October 10, 2007 at 1:17 AM

The Moonit Road official poster

When Ambrose Bierce wrote “The Moonlit Road” in 1907, he surely did not think it would have been adapted into a modern motion picture a hundred years later. Young director Leor Baum adapted and directed what is now a modern tale adaptation. Modern yet poetic, the audience is taken through several time travels. Different families inhabiting the same space at different times, but facing the same problem: the divided family. Young French cinematographer Sebastien Hameline contributed to the look of the film, giving it an atmospherical look, and at the same time dynamic. Keeping this current subject of family issue mixed with ghost stories and lyricism, Leor Baum gives us a breeze of freshness ( and spookyness), in today’s short films. Trailer at http://www.myspace.com/themoonlitroad

Welcome on The Indie Film Reviewer

In Uncategorized on October 6, 2007 at 10:00 AM

Passionate film lovers writing about films . What to see. Who to discover. There are so many films released every week around the world, it is hard to process all these new materials. IFR is here for that. From short films to features. We’re currently looking for some extra help to review films so, don’t hesitate to write us!