March 2006

Doomed to Failure

Doomed to Failure Doomed to Failure is the story of a group of aspiring filmmakers and their first film. As the title suggests, things did not go to plan.

The story was written, the actors were cast, the crew was ready, and then things started to go wrong. And when things started to go wrong, they went very wrong indeed. In fact, everything that could go wrong did go wrong for this story of three pizza delivery men.

But rather than admitting defeat, the four filmmakers involved have turned their experiences into a very funny documentary that thoroughly explores the pitfalls that face inexperienced filmmakers with broken equipment.

I’m not sure whether Doomed to Failure will encourage aspiring filmmakers to keep going in the face of adversity, or scare them away entirely – possibly both – but, as a low budget Lost in la Mancha, Doomed to Failure is unmissable.

Clarinet

Poster for Clarinet Clarinet is the story – told in voiceover – of musician, Henry Soja (Zac Hayes). It starts off cheerfully enough as Soja recalls his first clarinet and fondly remembers the pleasure it brought him until the instrument was stolen.

After this things started to go downhill increasingly quickly as he effectively gave up on life.

As the sole actor in the film, Zac Hayes puts in an excellent performance of a man becoming increasingly erratic, but the real stars of this film are the cinematography and the imagery.

The washed out photography of the film creates a very bleak atmosphere as we follow this young man’s downward spiral and gives a genuinely disturbing feel to the – often quite mundane – images around him.

With its depiction of the downward spiral of a man succumbing to the depths of depression, this beautifully shot but downbeat film makes for an eerily effective look at an unfulfilled life.

Sane: The Story of the Boredom Killings

Sane poster From the opening titles of Sane, we learn that teenagers, Keith Slater (Jeremy Williams) and Miles Rapaport (Shane Ryan) were each sentenced to life for three counts of murder. The only motive they would give for their killings was boredom.

And then we’re into the film itself. The premise of Sane is that the two teenagers filmed their actions and that what you’re seeing is, therefore, the evidence that was used to convict them.

The first murder most closely adheres to the ‘real footage’ premise of the film and, as such, is the most disturbing. The victim is a lonely drunk found in a playground and the film is shot at night using the night-vision feature found on most modern video cameras.

The footage is jerky and unclear – leaving much to the imagination - and the two teenagers come across as being on the verge of panic throughout.

There are a few splashes of colour, but these add to the atmosphere rather than detract from the premise of the film.

And from here on in, the boys become increasingly bizarre and violent.

Interspersed with the murders are a series of short sequences of drinking, boredom and pranksterism that attempt to provide an insight into the minds of the two boys.

Sane is a very nihilistic film and one without any real narrative. Instead, the audience has to piece together the characters of the two teenagers at the centre of the film for themselves.

As such, it doesn’t so much explore the theme of youth violence as ask you what your views are.