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quietearth [Celluloid 03.25.08] movie review scifi

Year: 2007
Release date: Unknown
Director: Paul Todisco
Writer: Paul Todisco
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 8.5 out of 10

There's got to be a first time for everything, and this is a first for Quiet Earth. Two of us have now written reviews of Paul Todisco's One Day Like Rain, the first coming from Ulises Silva, but I have to throw my 2 cents in. Why? Because I found this film utterly poetic, brilliant, and overall I think it will stand the test of time to become a hardcore cult classic. High school kids will write papers about ODLR and it's mysteries, guessing at the plot details that aren't filled in and comparing it's message to modern society's obsession with self-destruction. It's just that good.

When I found this movie, I immediately fell in love with it because of the photography and scifi storyline shown in the trailer. Shot in a style which might simply be something I haven't learned yet, there is a cloud over every single shot, as if the camera announces right from the beginning that something bad is going to happen. From a couple of the screenshots inserted here, you can see animation was also used (although minorly) in a psychadelic meandering, but not to tell part of the story, it's used more to tell about the lack of story. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The reality of the film is so much more epic in proportion. It's vague, but the good type of vague, providing enough definition to be a mystery but allowing you to wander, filling in the gaps.

Let's sidestep from my fanboy-ism and let me tell you about the storyline. One girl from a pair of friends apparently has some "lost vision" or "old knowledge" about the impending destruction of the earth. She is also strangely drawn to the grave of a woman from 100 years previous and upon returning from that visit, both her friend and boyfriend ask "who is Mary Carter?" without her telling them. Her boyfriend also shares this knowledge as well as a group of hobos and miscreants camped out in some forest (this was really weird). In an attempt at fixing things, this girl procures 5 chemistry sets from a local hobby store and proceeds to do some type of experiment which results in her drinking some of her manufactured liquid and growing some type of crystals. This basis for our storyline is mixed with the usual teenage angst, somewhat reminiscent of Pump Up The Volume.

With a wide variety of music, somehow fitting for each scene, the film manages to elevate even the most mundane moments into something I loved. There's one piece played along at a party scene where one of the girls boyfriends shows up dressed as an alien. He sits down and they kiss, with the other girl looking on in admiration (but not jealousy), then shots of the back of the neck, the hands holding the face. It was quite moving. Along this same line, the photography also titillates and sometimes even immerses (as in that scene I just mentioned). I would highly HIGHLY recommend seeing this at a festival if you can, and if not, we'll let you know when it hits dvd. Getting to see this kind of film is what really makes what we do here at Quiet Earth so enjoyable.

And yes, we'll be looking forward to Paul's next work.

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Mary Carter (13 years ago) Reply

Great review. I wasn't sure why I liked the movie and felt the need to explore it further by reading reviews online - but now I see. The music, cinematography, and acting were all well done. I wanted to understand the story, hoping that my understanding would make the cinematic beauty all worthwhile, but alas, the gaps were just too large for me to leap across. I couldn't connect the dots without adding too many dots of my own. If I came to any understanding at all, it was only through mentally rewriting the story in an effort to make some sense of it.
Maybe that was Todisco's goal: Everyone who understood the story did so by mentally co-writing in the missing pieces - making it a movie with thousands of different outcomes, each as unique as the individual watcher.

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