|Submitted by firstname.lastname@example.org |
(Mar 06, 2006)
Making an independent film isn't easy. There is overwhelming pressures of financing, casting, scheduling, equipment procurement, and the juggling act that is your day to day job, those of cast and crew, and the neverending pile of permits you must submit and resubmit just to be able to shoot a scene for a few minutes on a busy street corner.
Making an independent film that is actually worth watching is even harder, but Ian Keeney did it.
Dark Fantasy, like a lot of independent movies these days, was shot entirely on digital video. But unlike most digital video movies, Ian and his crew managed to exploit this format to its fullest. The lighting for this movie was thoughtful and inspired and enhanced the mood of the scenes very well. From a technical standpoint, this was perhaps my favorite aspect of the movie.
There are many levels to this movie, issues of responsibility and consequence of one's actions are central to the theme. Our protagonist, Art, a down on his luck recently paroled felon, wants to settle down and lead a normal life, like everyone else. Part of this normal life would be getting together with the girl he loves, the only problem is that her alcoholic father would never permit it. One of Art's co-workers takes him out for a cup of coffee after he witnesses their boss treat him like dirt. He suggests that he should just let go of the restraints that society has placed on him, and just do what feels good. If you want to fart in public, let one rip.
This seemingly harmless advice really has an impact on Art's thought patterns, and he decides to really let his boss have it when he is fired for being late for most of the work week. He calls him out on the street, and his boss, a real tough guy, is happy to oblige. Art kidnaps his boss, throws him in the trunk, and then takes him out to some desolate spot to slowly kill him. This all happens in our imagination as the Director chose not to show this.
As the movie progresses, Art is overwhelmed by his newfound barbaric impulses to kill those people he deems unfit to live, to rape those he feels either toy with him too much and never give him release, or who are too into themselves to think he was admiring their lip piercings and immediately think that Art was looking at them as his next sexual conquest, as is the case of a local waitress. At the same time he is trying to be with the girl he loves, the one who he feels is the only calming influence in his life, but it seems to be one step forward, two steps back with her.
We are introduced to two mysterious characters who burst into another killer's house right after he brutally drowned a girl and threw her naked body on his bed to defile her corpse. They find this monster cowering in the tub and decide to avenge his victims an eye for an eye style.
These two characters are at sometimes heroic, sometimes comedic, other times angelic, and other times demonic. They are a reflection of Art, who is all of the above throughout the movie. The duo begins trailing Art, and eventually their paths cross, and the movie jumps up another level. I will not reveal anymore spoilers, but will only say that you have no idea where this movie is going.
The original music for this movie, before I forget, is extremely haunting, and brings back good memories of the first season of Twin Peaks, before it sucked.
The director succeeded in making me empathize with Art, then despise him a minute later. This cycle is repeated throughout, and after you see this movie, you will understand why it was such an achievement for the actor who played Art and the writer-director.
If you like movies that keep you guessing, that are visually striking, and that will surprise you at the end, check out Dark Fantasy. It's part American Psycho, part Romeo & Juliet, with a dash of Kubrick sprinkled in for effect!
4 out of 5