Archive for February 2, 2013

The day is an interesting take on the recently popular ‘post apocalyptic’ setting that many films seem to be using in recent years. Part ‘Mad Max’, part ‘Assault on Precinct 13’, the film strives to create an epic feeling in a very small environment.  Most of the film is set and filmed in a farm house in the middle of nowhere and as such saves a great deal of budget that has been put towards good actors.

The film focuses on a group of individuals who are trying to survive in a new hostile world after some big event happened (we never fully find out what this event is, and to be fair the film is possibly better because of it.) The group is led by  Dominic Monaghan (yep the one from Lord of the Rings) and his semi right hand man Shawn Ashmore (the Ashmore twin from X-men, not the one from Smallville. Ido find the fact that one has been in a massive marvel film series while the other has been in a massive DC tv series quite interesting.) This pairing is great and both actors play their parts very well indeed.

The group come across a house and soon trigger a booby trap alerting a nearby group of cannibals. The rest of the film is essentially the group fighting off the cannibals while struggling with their own issues and coming to terms with the fact that not everyone is who they say they are.

The film is quite short running at only 87 minutes but this is possibly for the better due to there isn’t much ‘story’ to speak of. The visuals are very desaturated which helps create a post apocalyptic feeling (I have no idea why it does but it always seems to work? Maybe it’s the fact the drained colour of the visuals parallel the drained world…. I dunno….) I really like the look of the film and I think it helps make the film look ‘more expensive’.. (That is not to say I believe every film should look ‘expensive’ but it does sometimes help draw you into the picture.)

While never as good as ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ the film does echo its themes of survival against impossible odds and for the most part succeeds. I would say that it is one of those films that is well worth watching, but may not hold up that well to multiple viewings (I’m not sure why. It may be because of the way the film interprets what you’ve seen. For me personally my mind has created a best of compilation which kind of sums up the film in a few scenes.) Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad film just one you may not want to watch again ( I think it could also be because it is not as good as the films it echos.) I’d say the film deserves a good score but because of the lack of replayability I’ll give it  6/10

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Let me start by saying that this is a very depressing documentary. For those who have never heard of the movie, it is a documentary covering the high number of suicides that take place on the Golden Gate Bridge and the reasons why this destination is the place where so many decide to end their lives. The crew set up cameras in two locations filming the bridge for almost all of 2004. This allowed them to capture nearly all of the two dozen or so suicides that took place on the bridge that year.  The footage is linked by a series of interviews with family members and friends of the unfortunate individuals who ended their lives.

The film is pretty powerful in its subject matter and the way it goes about telling each of the individual tales all linked by the bridge.  It raises questions about depression, suicide and ultimately the morals of filming such material. (I’m still on the fence about the final point. I understand why they feel the need to put the footage in a documentary about mental illness and suicide, but I also understand why many would think it wrong and ‘sick’.)

I’ve seen the film a few times and every time the same two questions have been raised in my mind:

  • Do the families that are being interviewed know that their son/daughter was filmed committing suicide?…. this may not seem a major point but for me on  a moral standpoint I’d like to know. It’s all well and good talking to the family and saying they heard about the suicide but if the family knew that the film crew filmed the death, would they react differently? (that is not to say that the crew didn’t tell the families and friends they filmed the deaths. I just don’t know.)
  • Did they use the story of Gene Sprague as a backbone to the film because he is the only individual the film crew managed to capture hitting the water?…. This is another point that may not affect anyone but myself but it does worry me that they use this story because they have a definite ending shot of the water impact. Throughout the film Gene’s story is slotted into the narrative to link all of the other stories (we keep going back to shots of him walking along the bridge and interviews with his friends.) I worry about this because when you witness the other footage the crew filmed of the other individuals, they never manage to capture the impact, they always just miss it (this again raises the question of ‘why would someone want to see that?’. again a good question. but one that my only answer to is ‘morbid curiousity’)

The film raises some really interesting questions and bring up emotions that are both good and bad.

should this film have been made? – I don’t know… I find it an interesting study on how some people deal with mental illness and how depression can effect those you may not even give a second thought. It’s a film that will haunt your mind for years to come and it isn’t easy to forget.

should you see the film? – again it comes down to your own thoughts on the idea of the film. As I’ve said, I find it an interesting study on suicide while also being an interesting study on how a filmmaker can use another person’s misfortune for their own benefit.

All of this makes it a hard film to summarise with a score out of 10. on one end of the scale if morals come into the equation the film probably deserves a 1/10 but as a study of all of the above subject matter I’d give it a 8/10.   I personally sway more towards the  8/10 .