Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Trunk" reduces horror to two people and a very confined space

I suppose that Straw Weisman’s proof-of-concept film “Trunk” shows what you can do with just two characters in a movie taking place in a very confined space.  I don’t know that this is too helpful, except that it might give a novice filmmaker an idea “where to start”.
Jennifer Day plays Megan, and I suppose it can be dangerous for a young woman to walk alone to her car in a commercial city (probably Toronto) garage at the end of the work day.  David Blanchard plays George, her captor. That’s about it.  You can imagine she’s in the worst possible trouble – again, urgency and dire straits are what they teach in screenwriting.  (She tries cell phone 911 calls, but not the escape hatch idea.)  And he invokes an almost Alfred Hitchcock response – he has no MO, no motive.  
The film, from Maverick, (site) mercifully runs less than 90 minutes.  If you rent it, you’ll want to be doing something else while it plays (like solve computer programming problems if you’re self-employed).  
We’ve seen with “Old Joy” or “My Dinner with Andre”  (or, for that matter, “Brokeback Mountain”) how films with (almost) only two characters can be fascinating; with this one, we see how it can become boring classwork. 
Maverick offers the whole film on YouTube here.

 I notice that "Saratoga Trunk", a classic, is not listed on Netflix but is "manufactured on demand" when ordered from Amazon. Haven't seen this situation before.  I've never seen this noir 1945 film. I wonder if Netflix rental and video won't be adequate to get everything.  (I did find two versions of the full movie on Youtube "free"; I don't know if they're "legal".)  A subscription model that works for all films is an important strategy in preventing piracy in the long run.
There is a much "better" movie that shows what can go wrong in a parking garage, "Family in Hiding" (2006, Timothy Bond) from Lifetime, where a woman (an executive played by Brenda Strong) witnesses a hit on a DA in a garage and her family is put in witness protection in Seattle, which is very hard on her and the kids, and very hard to watch.

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