25 August 2005

The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael

Utter rubbish. Out of all the "emperor's new clothes" films I've seen, this is the worst. The plot is paper thin, the dialogue flat and one-dimensional, the acting is so wooden as the actors are very green. The only reason why this film made it to Edinburgh is because they added in a "let's shock 'em and get publicity" scene at the end. The reaction they got was an unimpressed "that was a waste of nearly two hours" rather than the shocked one they hoped for. In the Q&A afterwards they admitted they were looking to provoke a reaction and also avoided any questions on what was the purpose of the film (to make a point or simple shock/entertain). Instead the director tried to hide behind the "I just create art, you define what it is" crap. A obviously intelligent reviewer over at IMDB (username Chris_Docker) makes an excellent closing argument: "Andy Warhol could paint a tin of soup and it was art. Clay Hugh would like to emulate the great directors that have made controversial cinema and pushed boundaries. Sadly, his ability at the moment only extends to making high-sounding excuses for a publicity-seeking film". Avoid at all costs (although I sincerely don't think it'll make your nearest cinema!) and don't talk about it as it feeds it publicity. Even Dominion has a better and stronger "anti-war" message.