Summer Film Festival 2017 – Day One

Summer Film Fest 2017 Day 1

I watched two episodes of Out 1 before moving onto shorter features. I don’t have the necessary constitution to watch a 13-hour French New Wave masterpiece in one sitting. Back at it after church tomorrow.

Blue Sextet

Director: David E. Durston 

Screenplay: David E. Durston

Minutes: 91

Year: 1971

Score:  4.20

Release: Grindhouse Releasing

This was one last preview and I almost didn’t include it. To be fair, this film was a special feature on the I Drink Your Blood set so I watched in to finish the disc off. This was a classic, low-budget, X-rated, who-done-it. The performances were mostly bad and I think it was just an opportunity to Durston to get some more actresses naked. This is a hard pass for me. The release is great and this is a special feature which will not likely ever get screen time again.

Director: 5 – Cinematography: 4 –  Edit: 3 – Parity: 2 – Main performance: 4 – Else performance: 2 – Score: 5 – Sound: 5 – Story: 6 – Script: 5 – Effects: 4 – Design: 6 – Costumes: 7 – Keeps interest: 5 – Lasting: 0

The Love Witch

Director:  Anna Biller

Screenplay: Anna Biller

Minutes: 120

Year: 2016

Score:  7.53

Release: Oscilloscope Laboratories


The Love Witch is a love letter to the giallo films of the 1970’s and 80s ad it loves it very well. Director Biller and DP M. David Mullen could capture the stylings and visuals of these movies perfectly. I highly recommend this film. It was on my list for a long time and I regret waiting.

Director: 8 – Cinematography: 10 –  Edit: 5 – Parity: 8 – Main performance: 8 – Else performance: 7 – Score: 6 – Sound: 5 – Story: 7 – Script: 5 – Effects: 7 – Design: 10 – Costumes: 10 – Keeps interest: 7 – Lasting: 10

Magnificent Obsession

Director:  Douglas Sirk 

Screenplay: Robert Blees

Minutes: 108

Year: 1954

Score: 5.87

Release: Criterion Collection

I love Douglas Sirk melodramas. He has a skill that is uncommon. He crafts a soap opera that captures my attention with a flair of classic Hollywood. Also, Rock Hudson, that is a handsome (read sexy) man. This is a great little movie.

But, if you stand this up next to Criterion’s All That Heaven Allows you will be disappointed because Magnificent Obsession has not had the same polishing that Heaven has and there are some moments which are down-right bad. I really hope they give this film the same treatment; Magnificent Obsession deserves it.

Director: 7 – Cinematography: 8 –  Edit: 5 – Parity: 3 – Main performance: 9 – Else performance: 6 – Score: 4 – Sound: 5 – Story: 5 – Script: 6 – Effects: 3 – Design: 7 – Costumes: 7 – Keeps interest: 8 – Lasting: 5

High Rise

Director: Ben Wheatley

Screenplay: Amy Jump

Minutes: 119

Year: 2015

Score: 6.20

Release: Plain Archive


High Rise was on my list from the first preview and when Plain Archive announced a release I am glad that I waited. They do a heck of a job putting their discs together even though the shipping is a bit prohibitive.

There are two things of note in this film. First is the first end credit, on the left side of the screen Amy Jump is prominently listed and on the right, is director Ben Wheatley. It is rare to have the writer receive a higher credit than the director; that is neat.

The second is Tom Hiddleston and his sculpted body. This is a very pretty movie, well designed and beautiful. It was a slight let down but enjoyable none-the-less.

Director: 7 – Cinematography: 8 –  Edit: 4 – Parity: 1 – Main performance: 8 – Else performance: 5 – Score: 6 – Sound: 6 – Story: 7 – Script: 6 – Effects: 7 – Design: 9 – Costumes: 7 – Keeps interest: 7 – Lasting: 5

Cat in the Brain

Director: Lucio Fulci 

Screenplay: Lucio Fulci, Giovanni Simonelli, and Antonio Tentori

Minutes:  93

Year: 1990

Score: 6.00

Release: Grindhouse Releasing


Have you ever wondered what 8 ½ would be like if Fellini was a horror flick director? Here is your answer. The film is a clip show from various Fulci films but it is an interesting tale in which Fulci, himself, plays the main character, a director, who has visions and difficulties in separating his job and his life.

It is very interesting, we have all had those dreams where we think we are working. The difference is that I dream about switch config files rather than chainsaws butchering corpses. I recommend the release, it was quite good.

Director: 7 – Cinematography: 4 –  Edit: 6 – Parity: 1 – Main performance: 5 – Else performance: 4 – Score: 8 – Sound: 7 – Story: 8 – Script: 7 – Effects: 9 – Design: 6 – Costumes: 5 – Keeps interest: 8 – Lasting: 5

Food. I made steak, a filet, using an immersion circulator, and it was delicious. I have a few other steaks and some salmon which I will be experimenting with as the week progresses. Before the boil I patted in a fair amount of salt and pepper and included a bay leave in the bag. After boiling the slab for about 48 minutes I seared both sides with some salted butter. Then I ate it, it was delicious!

As I am writing this I am watching Warren Ellis’s Castlevania on Netlfix, it went online yesterday and is a delight. The dialog is doubtless of Ellis’s pen. This is a nice way to fall asleep.