interstellaraltartowrkThere is no denying one thing about Interstellar:  it’s an epic space adventure made for the big screen. It features set pieces that will dazzle and impressive alien landscapes that will enthrall. The effects, which include a near-scale spaceship seemingly tearing through the stratosphere and popping into the silence of space, are unforgettable. The appearance of an intergalactic wormhole that will carry our brave explores to another galaxy against the stark backdrop of what looks like a painted planet Saturn is both surreal yet geeky cool.

There is no need spoiling what lies on the other side of the titular crossroads, and I would hate to reveal how director Christopher Nolan presents the theory of the wormhole in not one scene but two that occur at different points of the movie yet are still connected to the moment of the spaceship’s penetration of the portal both narratively and visually. He’s a smart filmmaker, but I feel obliged to warn viewers to lower their expectations.

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It will be easy for ticket buyers to understand why plot points were held so secretive ahead of the release of Interstellar once they see the film. It’s a preposterous yet sprawling movie filled with several overwrought pauses in action for lots of tearful emoting or explaining of theoretical astrophysics between sequences of action, and then there’s the ludicrous third act. As opposed to the much more interesting Inception, this film feels clunky, arriving at a trite finale that’s more supernatural than scientific.* Both films share an action-packed climax that unfolds in alternate levels of time and space featuring fast-paced inter-cutting, but one did it much better: Inception. In that film, time felt reinvented like Chinese boxes on a plain. But with Interstellar Nolan pads nearly three hours full of expository theory to inform the viewer with a weird logic that actually disarms anything interesting about the impressive visuals and ideas that occur throughout the film. To end on a note that does not so much defy astrophysics as it does wash its hands of it, devolving into a convoluted idea that feels more desperate to tie up loose ends in a fantastical reach for closure betrays much of what’s impressive about the film: the awe-inspiring visuals.

It’s so ironic that in this near future version of our planet, children are being taught that the Apollo 11 lunar landing in 1969 was staged. We learn this when the film’s hero, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), INTERSTELLARis called to a parent-teacher conference regarding his daughter Murph’s (Mackenzie Foy) defiance to the idea that a conspiracy theory has become a fact. After all, she has a legit, vintage text book her dad had given her, and he was an astronaut for NASA once. But in this dystopian future, NASA has been dismantled and people have more earthly concerns. Mother Earth is revolting against human kind, and people cannot grow corn fast enough to sustain life on a planet overcome by dust storms.

To double the irony, Nolan has made no secret about the influence of 2001: A Space Odyssey, a film that downplayed emotions and exposition to achieve moments of transcendence that are rarely achieved in film. Of course, Nolan also qualified his comments to say he was not trying to match the masterpiece by Stanley Kubrick. I studied the movie for my Master’s thesis (you can read an abridged version of my analysis beginning with this post: How Stanley Kubrick broke the rules of Classical Hollywood cinema and made a better film with ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’: My MA thesis redux – part 1 of 4), and I can tell you, if Nolan would have taken the fundamental notion of presenting a film that relies more on visuals over language, viewers would have come away with a more memorable experience.

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By no means did I enter Interstellar expecting a film equivalent to 2001. It would be unfair considering the influence 2001 has had on so many films since its release, not to mention the era when it was released, so many decades ago, and the changes to commercial film since then. What I did expect of Nolan is to place some trust in the power of visual language without weighing it down with characters continuously declaring their feelings tearfully or espousing theoretical knowledge as the narrative bumbles along. Adding to the encumbrance is an operatic, overly present score by the often cheesy Hans Zimmer. So he uses organs, but anyone who has heard the impressionistic work of Philip Glass or even the bombast of early Yes, has heard the instrument used more effectively.

The film pays off when the extraneous noise, like the music and dialogue, are toned down. It’s hard to buy these emo astronauts. Thank goodness they have a pair of robots, voiced by Bill Irwin and Josh Stewart — who look like monoliths with inventive articulation and act like R2-D2 — that are programmed with senses of humor. Then there are even more secondary characters, including a surprise appearance by a famous actor, but none ever feel written with the right amount of sympathy, and too much repetition of how they feel comes across as patronizing to the audience instead of adding dimension to their characters. The most sympathetic performance of all turns out to be that of young Murph. Foy plays a frustrated young woman desperate to be taken seriously but also reaching out for the love she needs from her too-noble-for-his-family’s-good father.INTERSTELLAR She brings the right amount of restraint and spunk to the character that makes her the most endearing element of the entire cast. Her absence in the second half of the film feels pronounced after a capably somber Jessica Chastain steps in as an older Murph after one of the film’s genuinely emotional plot twists creates a powerful leap in time for the space travelers.

As for some of the other performers of note, Anne Hathaway plays Cooper’s foil Amelia, and though she is a wonderful actress, there is not enough substance in her role for Hathaway to pull out a dynamic enough performance to remember. She played a much meatier character in The Dark Knight Rises as Catwoman. Her acting chops are betrayed here by a mostly hollowly written character, which deflates a key speech for Amelia at the center of the film. Finally, as for McConaughey, the dude knows how to push the waterworks from his tear ducts, but sometimes he comes across mush-mouthed in his attempt to ground Cooper as the modest hero of the movie.

It’s not like the stakes are not heavy in this film. This space journey has both the human race at stake as well as the personal baggage of the astronauts. It’s just delivered with so much sentiment that it all feels rather strained. Some will roll their eyes, thinking, “enough already!” Others who love being spoon-fed emotional drama, will go along with this melodrama and have a cathartic cry. As for the film’s finale, I love mysticism in the movies, but the tonal inconsistency of so much astrophysical theory, INTERSTELLARwhich is suddenly allowed to be subverted by another force that is grounded in a convenient kind of supernature makes it all hard to swallow. But if you can forgive Interstellar’s redundant sentimentality and a final act that will invariably disappoint anyone with some knowledge of theory and astrophysics, the movie’s still worth the price of admission. Those splurging for the IMAX experience will feel less ripped off than those waiting for a home video release, so take advantage. Much of what works in the film is purely visual and kinetic, and Nolan is at the top of his game at least in that sense.

*Last year Gravity received the ire of popular astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson for its slips in logic, but at least that film tried to seem realistic.

Hans Morgenstern

Interstellar runs 169 minutes and is rated PG-13 (there is some light cussing and some moments of terror and startling deaths). It’s in theaters at every multiplex in the U.S. today, including IMAX. Paramount Pictures invited us to a preview screening in IMAX for the purpose of this review.

(Copyright 2014 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

Edgar Ramiraz in Zero Dark ThirtyWhen I got the assignment to interview Édgar Ramírez for his small but key role in Zero Dark Thirty, I jumped at the chance. I respected this actor immensely for what he brought to the title character of Carlos the Jackal in the miniseries Carlos (2011). I caught that film as a marathon cinematic  five-and-a-half-hour experience at the Bill Cosford Cinema on the University of Miami Coral Gables campus. I came for the filmmaking of Olivier Assayas but was blown away by the performance by Ramírez.

Though an hour late to start, the low-key but charming Ramírez made the resulting round table interview with a group of five other local journalists a pleasure. The resulting piece was published early yesterday morning for the “Miami New Times” Arts and Entertainment blog “Cultist.” I think the story I wrote up captures the subtle intelligence and charm of this talented man. Read it by jumping though the blog’s logo here:

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Of course, plenty more information was covered, so allow this blog post to stand as a supplement to the above piece. I was interested in the working relationship between director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal, as much has been about the writer’s constant presence on the set (here’s a great “Hollywood Reporter” article about it).

“He was always around,” Ramírez confirmed of Boal. “He’s very involved. It was a huge privilege to have the writer there, in case we needed to change something, in case a line was not working. Then, you could always discuss it with the writer, so it’s always very helpful, and you don’t get that privilege very often to have the writer on set. For me, it was very helpful also because it was a very fast-changing situation, and also because of the location we were at, the tension that was there because of the stakes, then we had to change and re-shape things as we were shooting, so it was great to have that.”

Ramírez also noted Boal’s producer credit, a rare thing for a writer to achieve in a Hollywood picture. However, Ramírez said, Bigelow had a firm hand on the visual elements and working with actors. 1134604 - Zero Dark Thirty“She’s directing. She’s directing the movie. She’s directing the actors, and Mark is there to support as a producer and to support as a writer when we needed him for something … There are certain things that look great on paper, then, for some reason, they don’t get to fully work on a scene, so it is great to have someone who understands, who has an overview of the whole script, who can tell you, ‘Well, this is what you should say because everything was related to something in other places of the script.’ Sometimes you can improvise things on movies, you get stuck, then you improvise, but in a movie like this, so accurate and based on firsthand accounts, you could not take the liberty of just changing one term for another.”

Another good question worth noting, which circled back to his role of playing Carlos the Jackal, is how the film handles history. He offered a very astute observation that too many take for granted while watching what is ultimately entertainment. In my review of the film (‘Zero Dark Thirty’ brings obsession with elusive truth to vivid light) I link to an interview with Karen Greenberg, the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School and editor of “The Torture Papers.” Jason-Clarke-Zero-Dark-ThirtyShe argues that history remains unclear on how fruitful torture was for crucial information in the tracking of Osama bin Laden. Yet one of the reasons the film has received so much heat for the torture scenes is that they result in the first utterance of the name Abu Ahmed, bin Laden’s courier, who ultimately leads CIA operatives, including the character Ramírez plays, to bin Laden’s hideout.

Though, again, more information can be found in the “Cultist” piece on how he felt about the torture scenes of Zero Dark Thirty, Ramírez put the narrative into perspective: “We were recreating reality. It’s impossible to reconstruct reality. It happened once. What you do is re-interpret, you recreate, and that’s what you try to do. Even if you have the person who lived it, the person who did it next to you, that happens just once, and I know this. I’m familiar with this because of Carlos. We also had first account information, very accurate research and navigation of facts, and however, it was a work of fiction. There’s no way to imitate reality because it’s not about imitation, it’s about realization.”

So, ultimately, remember, it’s just a movie.

Hans Morgenstern

(Copyright 2013 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

Zero_Dark_Thirty_posterZero Dark Thirty hits theaters in limited release tomorrow riding a wave of critical buzz but also controversy. Having had the opportunity to attend a preview screening early last month by the invitation of Sony Pictures, I can understand why both the hype and concern would crop up. The film opens with 20 minutes of the intense and persistent torture of a prisoner by CIA operatives that had me noting the duration of these scenes when they finally ended. Media analysts and even political figures have protested that the film endorses torture. The filmmakers, director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal have been on the defensive ever since.

No matter what anyone says, the answer to the question in a film about linking together pieces for a greater whole, comes from one’s ability to put together the film’s components. It’s a poetic notion for this episodic film that covers 10 years of investigations that led Seal Team 6 to Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan. The film sets out a clear correlation to the end result with its first narrative scenes: the torture of a man called Ammar (Reda Kateb) at a “black site” in an “undisclosed location.” Secrecy and mystery abound in this film, even though everyone now knows how it ends. But it’s all about finding meaning in associations in the selective dramatization of events, from the vivid recordings of suffering and panic during the Sept. 11 attacks against a pitch black screen in place of the opening credits to the film’s final emotive shot of the its key character played by Jessica Chastain with a concentrated potency that belies a human fragility transcending gender.

The drama of this film lies in the main character’s zeal to keep alive what she believes are credible clues in the face of countering facts and doubts by everyone around her. Throughout the film, the CIA operative Maya (Chastain) tries to keep her beliefs alive by repeating her information to any doubters. The truth lies within her repetition of the importance of a courier’s name gleaned from Ammar, the man so thoroughly tortured by Maya’s PhD-holding colleague Dan (Jason Clarke) during the film’s opening scenes.

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Dan is vividly established as a genius at his craft. “In the end, everybody breaks, bro. It’s biology,” he tells a wiped out Ammar strung up by his arms in a large, cavernous cell. Maya stands in the background throughout most of these scenes that span the gamut of all torture techniques you have ever heard about. Though Dan coolly repeats lines like “When you lie to me, I hurt you” to  Ammar, Maya stands back. She recoils from the beatings, waterboarding and humiliation Ammar endures.

What Maya’s face shows is put into words by a soldier who observes Dan toying with monkeys in a cage outside another black site: “You agency guys are twisted.” In the end, as Dan predicts, Ammar breaks. It looks like kindness finally does it. Maya and Dan sit with him outside in the sun, as Ammar enjoys a meal and spits out various names. But that does not discredit any contribution of the torture prior: the beatings, the degradation and sleep deprivation all build up to the relief of this meal out of the binds. Though Maya recoiled in the early scenes of torture, she is all too eager to reap the rewards after Ammar settles down to name names, including that of the courier who ultimately led the CIA to bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan: Abu Ahmed.

The middle of the film is all about keeping that name relevant. The names of Ahmed and bin Laden appear in subtitles during many other interrogation videos Maya watches (again, the association of torture and relevant information). Zero-Dark-Thirty_10However, the film also spends lots of time throwing up obstacles of relevance against that name. She is told she is “chasing a ghost” by both terror suspects and colleagues alike. Her station chief, Joseph Bradley (Kyle Chandler), tells her, “You’re fucking out of your mind.” However, while Bradley plays politics, Maya persists, even as her clues seem to crumble around her. This middle part of Zero Dark recalls David Fincher’s slippery use of clues and obsession that fueled his underrated 2007 masterpiece Zodiac. Though lives are lost and even her life winds up on the line, Chastain plays Maya with edgy stoicism throughout, earning the film’s closing shot powerfully. This mission is all the emotional attachment she needs, and in uncharacteristic Hollywood fashion, no love interest is involved. Women will love her for her power as a strong self-supporting female, and men will love her for the power she brings to statements like “I’m going to smoke everybody involved in this op, and then I’m gonna kill bin Laden.”

It all leads up to that grand finale when Maya’s information leads Seal Team 6 to the complex bin Laden has hidden away in. This is when the score of Alexandre Desplat swells up to swirling strings and the cinematography and editing takes over. 1134604 - Zero Dark ThirtySeal Team 6 becomes an extension of Maya’s fatal reach. The men are obscured by night vision goggles and heavy gear. The darkness of the scene is all shifting shadows. The distinctive voices of Chris Pratt and Joel Edgerton sometimes stand out, and close up views of their eyes are some of the brief glimpses of humanity in the film’s most cold and distant yet intense scene. Little terse whispers of “Khalid” and “Osama” by the soldiers lead to fatal mistakes by those hiding inside who dare to peek around corners before precision-like shots and double taps take out the near helpless targets. It’s a brilliantly choreographed and well-earned climax to a film that has earned the recognition and buzz leading up to awards season. It should be an interesting contender for Bigelow and Boal who once again prove they are a directing/writing team to contend with when it comes to intimate war films.

Hans Morgenstern

Trailer:

Zero Dark Thirty is Rated R (these are some angry people throwing angry words and acting angry) and runs 157 min. It opens in limited release in only two theaters in South Florida this Friday, Jan. 4: the AMC Aventura and the Cinemark Palace 20 in Boca Raton. The following Friday the film will open wide at most theaters.

(Copyright 2013 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

A film telling a story from the perspective of a schizophrenic personality makes for an interesting subject via the cinematic art form. It allows for wide-ranging amounts of mystery. But it can also be a harrowing experience, as one can never tell what lies around the corner from one scene to the next. Some film goers who prefer to know what is really happening might feel frustrated. You could even boil down the “action” from one frame to the next, as even the edits can be hard to trust in such a movie. I personally love to get lost in these kind of films, as they thrive on inherently unpredictable qualities.

There have been only a few such movies, but this year’s Take Shelter rises up among the best in recent times. Curtis (Michael Shannon) is growing more aware that either his sense of reality is falling apart or he has developed some sort of unique clairvoyance giving him visions of an impending epic storm. In a way, it recalls the original cut of 1999’s Donnie Darko. In that film, however, the imperfect mess in the story involving worm holes, a specter in a bunny suit that only the titular character (Jake Gyllenhaal) can see and hear coupled with an airplane crash that has yet to happen actually supported the notion that the protagonist may indeed be schizophrenic.*

Take Shelter is much more focused and character-driven. Despite some key awe-inducing scenes of special effects, the effects never overshadow the drama at the heart of the film. It also offers a brilliant “out” at the film’s conclusion that most will never see coming.

Curtis is the main bread-winner in a family of three living in a small Ohio town. He oversees a team of workers at what seems to be a rock quarry. The decision to not bother with the details of the job adds a nice layer of mystery. Beyond some conversation with his boss in an office, the viewer only sees Curtis at work with a co-worker, Dewart (Shea Whigham), using giant industrial equipment to drill into the ground, a dangerous job for a man in Curtis’ state. His wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain), in the meantime, occupies herself by putting her stitching skills to work, scraping together a few bucks for a trip to the beach. The couple have a deaf 6-year-old daughter Hannah (Tova Stewart) who is about to have surgery for an implanted hearing aid, thanks to Curtis’ health insurance from work. It is clear this family needs Curtis.

You follow Curtis as he gradually becomes aware of his hallucinations, which include visions of swelling storm clouds that no one else sees in the waking world. Meanwhile, his subconscious begins to feel more real to him during dreams that leave him with phantom pain all day long. When his dog bites him in a dream, he feels compelled to move the animal out of the house and fence him in the yard. He later admits to Samantha that he could feel the bite on his arm long after the dream had occurred.

As Curtis seems to unravel, something indeed feels at stake throughout the movie. No wonder he wants to resist his visions, despite wetting the bed and the fact his mother had to go into assisted living due to her own mental illness, which overtook her at around the same age as Curtis.

As the days go by, Curtis grows more concerned, while the visions and dreams grow more violent. To say more would be to spoil the experience of seeing the movie. First-time director Jeff Nichols does a brilliant thing to make viewers feel as though they are seeing these things as Curtis. He never preempts a “dream” sequence with a set up of Curtis going to sleep. This, in turn, allows the viewer to sympathize with the visions in the waking world that no one else but Curtis seems to notice.

It does not hurt that the film features sensitive and sincere performances by all involved. Chastain won the Hollywood Breakthrough Award as “Actress of the Year” at the 2011 Hollywood Film Festival for her presence in several great films this year, which have also included the Tree of Life, the Help and the Debt (Here’s a nice image gallery from “Rolling Stone” highlighting her roles in 2011). As a result, Shannon does not have the same star power, but he has already established he can bring the crazy out of his characters. He breathed some insane, creepy warmth to the otherwise cold and dull Revolutionary Road for which he wound up earning a best supporting actor Oscar® nod in 2008.

In an inspired bit of programming, it is worth noting that capping the screening week of Take Shelter locally at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, that same theater will host a one-night only screening of Shannon’s star turn in 2006’s Bug. That film also happened to deal with the gray world of perceived mental illness. It was a labor of love film by director William Friedkin, who saw Shannon in the stage play that he would adapt for the screen with the same title. It confounded critics, audiences and the studio’s marketing department. Who were these down-in-the-dumps, messed up people portrayed by Shannon and Ashley Judd, who take a mutual mental roller coaster trip into the depths of private hell, fearing their bodies were nothing but producers of tiny bugs? Where are the monstrous creatures? Do they even exist? This is a movie by the director of the Exorcist, after all. Critics were divided and most audiences hated it.

What was even stranger about Bug is the question whether so-called “body bugs” actually exist or is indeed a mental illness. A local news station (full disclosure: I work there), did a series of investigative reports on the phenomena (read the scripts to the stories by 7News’ senior reporter Patrick Fraser in Part 1 and Part 2). All that baggage aside, this film indeed walks that disquieting line of mental breakdown as related to paranoid schizophrenia in that inspired, ambiguous way that might be upsetting to some viewers and thrilling for others.

At the heart is a tight story involving the dynamics of three stellar actors who also include a mean Harry Connick Jr. Then there is the choice of some expressive lighting by Friedkin, who does know a thing or two about thrillers, be they horror (1973’s the Exorcist) or action (1971’s The French Connection). As an odd side note on Friedkin, he is also the director once in talks with Peter Gabriel of adapting a film version of the 1974 Genesis album, the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, about a New York street punk on a mythical journey of self-actualization via encounters with sex and death. Friedkin knows a mad experience, and he puts it on full intimate display in Bug.

Call me biased to these kinds of cryptic movies that both exploit the medium of cinema, defined by editing and special effects, playing tricks on the mind of a viewer, and offering a puzzle of a story that, by definition of its genre, can never offer pat conclusions. It celebrates both the inherent quality of the art of a movie and story.

Some of these movies wait until the end for a great big reveal that rationalizes the puzzle presented before it. It’s the easiest abuse of the schizophrenic character at the heart of such films, and movie goers looking for a true mystery might feel cheated. It’s akin to ending a story with “and then he woke up.” Some great directors have fallen back on this trope, like Martin Scorsese with Shutter Island and even David Cronenberg with Spider.

Though Spider did have an amazing mysterious mood throughout, Cronenberg would more powerfully capture the mood of schizophrenia with eXistenZ, though the film was about role-players or “gamers,” to use a more modern term, involved in fantasy worlds akin to taking on a persona in real-time games like World of Warcraft. However, in eXistenZ players tapped directly into a fleshy “game pod” with a plug that connects to a “port” implanted in the player’s spinal column and participated in games that only dealt in plots surrounding the creation of role-playing games that tap directly into a player’s spinal column, and on and on, from one alternate layer of existence to another, until reality becomes blurred and imperceptible. It is one of my all-time favorite movies, having the elements of a similar film that came out the same year, the Matrix, which I did not like at all. eXistenZ never tried to rationalize what was real with boring exposition that some might feel more satisfied or at peace with, as it explained what was reality and what was not. In my opinion, eXistenZ blew the Matrix out of the water as far as creating a true feeling of living in an alternate reality by never short-changing the mystery at the heart of the film, creating that sublime sense of helpless schizophrenia that is existence.

This year, you can also add one other movie along with Take Shelter that captures this similar theme: Martha Marcy May Marlene. I caught that movie at a multiplex only a few weeks ago. The film, also by a first-time feature director showing great promise (Sean Durkin), has had to rise above a stellar performance by the triple identity character within the title: Martha, Marcy May and Marlene, played by Elizabeth Olsen (the younger sister of the Olsen twins). While most everyone in the audience that day may have been drawn to the movie for the rising star at the center and the baggage her name carries, she compliments the film with a delicate performance that reveals her presence as but a cog in a twisted tale, told through a twisted knot of edits that continuously flashback to Martha’s life in a cult as Marcy May. She somehow escapes the cult, returning to the open arms of her sister (Sarah Paulson) and reclaiming her birth name Martha. However, she cannot seem to shake her past, which may or may not be catching up to her in real life. The film’s ambiguous ending did tremendous respect to this mixed up character. However, I was surrounded by a cantankerous crowd of people who thought the movie “terrible.” But I thought the director did the story a great, if risky, move, staying true to the feeling of helplessness of a person who cannot tell “reality”— whatever that is— from fantasy, imagination, hallucination, dreams, what have you.

To reveal the ending of Martha Marcy May Marlene would be to do the film an injustice. It comes as a surprise, as you certainly want resolution for the character, but it feels right, considering the confused character at the center of it. But even more tidy, if there can be a tidy schizoid movie, is Take Shelter. I refuse to be specific for fear of spoiling the film for viewers, and some might think this concluding statement reveals too much, so read this last bit only if you do not care if some of the magic of this movie is spoiled before experiencing it for yourself:  Some might say there is a big reveal at the end of the film, yet you cannot really trust where the filmmaker decides to place the final frame, as this is a story from the perspective of Curtis. It’s a nice (possibly) ambiguous ending.

Take Shelter is rated R, runs 120 min., and opens in South Florida Friday, Dec. 9, at 6:50 p.m. at the Miami Beach Cinematheque. It also opens that same day further north, in Broward County, at 9 p.m. and Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale. The Miami Beach Cinematheque has also programmed Bug (Rated R, 102 min.) for a one-night only screening during the theater’s on-going Cinephile’s Choice series, on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 8 p.m. MBC members get free admission to this special screening. All others will pay $10 ($9 for students and seniors).

Hans Morgenstern

Notes:

*The director of Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly, would later extend the film in a “director’s cut” with less ambiguity, which even saw re-release in theaters, as a cult following had grown around the DVD because of the film’s mysterious elements.

(Copyright 2011 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)