Saturday, February 20, 2010

Short Film Review: Contact

is a new short film directed by indie horror master, Jeremiah Kipp. To say that the film leaves an indelible mark is somewhat of an understatement. I mean, is there a director working today who can do more with 11 minutes of film? I dare say not!

Contact is an artistic and visually stunning display of workmanship, from the gritty black and white color of the film to the perfectly accentuated music, this is like high couture art house horror. The viewer is simply mesmerized and for the next 11 minutes, we're in Kipp's hands, the world around us, oblivion.

Perhaps what makes this film so remarkable is that it contains practically no dialogue. Facial expressions and music show us the core of this story, which in the end, the viewer is left to their own conclusions. The film stars Zoe Daelman Chlanda and Robb Leigh Davis as the two principal characters with brilliant turns by Allen Rowe Kelly, Katherine O'Sullivan, Tom Reid and Danny Lopes in supporting roles.

While watching this film, I was reminded of one of Kipp's earlier works, The Pod. Contact felt like a stripped-down, or un-plugged, version of that earlier movie. In Contact, the emotion of what's happening on screen are displayed in their rarest and rawest form.

In the end, after watching Contact, the viewer is left near breathless. Never before have I watched 11 minutes of film and felt as is if I had watched an entire movie. That's a truly remarkable experience and another reason why Jeremiah Kipp is one hell of a director.

I give Contact ***** out of *****. Want to see it for yourself, check it out HERE!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

DVD Review: London Betty

London Betty, the latest movie by independent filmmaker Thomas Edward Seymour, is one the films that I have been anticipating to see in 2010. It has done very well on the indie award circuit, having grabbed Best Connecticut Film at the Silk City Film Festival, Best Feature Film at the Accolade Film Competition as well as receiving the Underground Spirit Award at the New Haven Underground Film Festival. Not to mention the fact that these guys even got Clint Howard to do the narration on the film, Broadway starlet Nicole Lewis to star in it and Daniel Von Bargen to play a part as well. And with Seymour's past efforts being some of my favorite independent films (Land of College Prophets, Bikini Bloodbath, etc.), needless to say, I was stoked when I found it in my mailbox.

London Betty tells the tale of a girl (Betty) who comes to America from England in search of a job as a journalist for a reputable newspaper. Instead, she finds herself working for a recluse (Von Bargen), making friends with thieves, whores and a tranvestite ex-soldier, getting kidnapped, fighting for her life and more.

This film, like Seymour's past efforts, is filled with hilarious characters, each of which is wonderfully acted by the usual cast of actors, including Seymour himself, Russ Russo, Dick Boland, Phil Hall, Philip Guerette and Matt Ford. But what sets this film apart is that it shows a more mature directorial effort as the quality of the film is simply the best that Seymour has produced thus far. From his earlier efforts through London Betty, each film shows a progression in his experience as a filmmaker and this film has the awards to prove it.

Do yourself a favor and check out London Betty. This is a hilarious film that's definitely worth watching. I've been saying it for years that truly original movies are not coming out of Hollywood any more. They're being done by the independent filmmakers who unfortunately don't get the recognition they deserve. London Betty is a perfect example of my belief. With an excellent story, engaging characters and a few plot twists, London Betty is a fun movie to watch. And just wait until you get a load of Sgt. "Barbara" Stone!

Oh, and for fans of Land of College Prophets, keep your eyes peeled and you just might catch a glimpse of The Well That Ate Children. Nice touch!

London Betty gets ****1/2 out of *****. Mmmm...Tasty!