A friend of mine recommended Rob Gunnerson's ARC to me a while ago. He
had seen it at a festival and was raving about what a powerful piece of
film-making it is. I recently had the pleasure of catching it at the
Hollywood Film Festival and my expectations were surpassed by leaps and
ARC is packaged deceptively. It's opening is stylish, hip, disaffected and edgy. It's a world of drug dealers, smut hustlers and hookers, beautifully expressed in black and white with bursts of isolated color. What's brilliant about this film, however, is that about a third of the way through, it rips the unwritten contract between filmmaker and audience in half. The film abruptly shifts from edgy and disaffected to vulnerable and human.
It's in this jarring break that I truly connected with Gunnerson's main characters: a drug dealer and a prostitute. Regardless of what they do for a living or what they've made of their lives, what's at their core is made so identifiable by the filmmakers that it was impossible not to see myself in their shoes.
Which is scary as hell considering the world they're in.
Once he's cast his spell and has your gut, Gunnerson, takes characters and audience deep into one of the darker worlds I've seen on screen in quite some time. I could hear the audience around me squirm as the film edged towards a climax that is at once cruel, touching, and very, very powerful.
My hat's off to the entire cast (Peter Facinelli must be seen to be believed) for giving this indie film performances that can only be described as art.
The director and D.P.'s collaboration should also be celebrated. The film and its look feels so tailor-made for it's DV format that frankly, it doesn't feel like DV it just feels distinctly THIS FILM.
Clearly talented, Gunnerson has achieved the alchemy all directors strive for, which is creating, out of nothing, a powerful, unique and emotional experience that stays with you. I hope he makes more soon.
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
Set in the belly of Los Angeles' criminal underworld, Arc is the story of Paris Pritchert, a former police officer turned drug dealer and addict, who embarks on a quest to find a missing child in the hope of redeeming his eroding character. The only catch is, like all addicts, Paris' confidence completely relies on the drugs in his system and -- in this case -- his firm belief that he can succeed in his mission if he can just stay high 24/7 and alive long enough to see it through. To aid in the endeavor, Paris enlists the help of Maya Gibbs, an African American prostitute versed not only in the language of the street, but also in the words of Maya Angelou and Nadine Gordimer. And together, the path of this dysfunctional duo crosses with those of the child's parents, a doctor with a penchant for soliciting "Street Boys", a self-ascribed King Of Porn, a drug supplier with a gift for making impeccable hors d'oeuvres, and a hardened cop with more scams than the most adept street hustler. ...
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March 28, 2016 at 12:26 AM