Sunday, May 17

French & Zombies

Magnet's "Six Shooter" series has been the distributor to watch so far this year! Not sure if this is going to be a recurring series, but their first round has been exciting. 'Special' (see Merrick's review) and the critically deified 'Let the Right One In' have gotten the most recognition, but check out the rest of the titles here. (VX currently has all of these but Big Man Japan, due in July)

'Eden Log' is the latest to hit the shelves and I sat down with little more than expectations . Trying to synopsize 'Eden Log' would be nigh impossible. It's high concept, yet very personal. A man wakes up in a puddle of mud.

That sounds dull, but the first 20 minutes or so are easily the most gripping of the film. Light and sound are rarely as harrowing as seen here.

The expectation is that the audience is as bewildered as our protag, capably grunted by France's answer to... uh... Bruce Willis x Andy Serkis .

The mysterious journey is shared, and while that may seem fresh for moviegoing audiences, I couldn't help but notice the plot development strategy was taken directly from video games. Not to say that that's bad. But my mind kept going to the critically deified Bioshock, which is one of the better games of all time. The gimmick of a clueless antihero staggering through a decrepit and eerie world, finding little clues to his identity and surroundings runs very parallel between these two. Add a dash of Half-Life and... I'm getting away from myself...

At first I was sure 'Eden Log' was shot in black and white, but some very tempered color began to creep into the film over the time. The visuals in the beginning were so crisp, though, that I couldn't help but wonder if B&W would have served it better.

The acting felt a little stilted, but in retrospect I realized I was watching the dubbed version. Originally in French, the dubbing is hard to notice because of the sheer lack of dialogue - maybe 15 minutes of dialogue of 100.

The story becomes pretty muddled at the end, but the focus on 'Eden Log' should be 'pretty.' I may just be drooling over my new blu-ray capabilities, but the look of 'EL' is easily worth the price of admission. For a recognizably low budget and limited set capacity, the filmmakers manage to evoke HR Giger, Gilliam, Jeunet and a wee bit o' Lynch.

See also: Cube, 12 Monkeys

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