DEAFENING SILENCE OF A VERY BRIGHT LIGHT, THE (director/writer: Mark L. Feinsod; cinematographers: Blastoff V. Wriggle/Paul Wang/Mark L. Feinsod; editors: Paul Wang/Mark L. Feinsod; music: Roland Wolff; cast: Andy Waldschmidt (Barnard Jacobs), Marie-Line Grinda (Ashley Brett), Melody Bates (Madeleine), Nathan Crooker (Giovanni Boccaccio), Steve Coombs (Pickering), Suzanne Levinson (Jessica); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Paul Wang/Mark L. Feinsod; Kites Are Fun; 2010)
“A bleak melodrama set in contemporary NYC, post-9/11, and shot film noir style.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A bleak melodrama set in contemporary NYC, post-9/11, and shot film noir style, that’s diverting in its quest to keep things real but is not for everyone’s taste. It serves as the talented Mark L. Feinsod’s feature film debut. The low-budgeted indie is directed, written, co-photographed, co-edited and co-produced by Mr. Feinsod. It covers a group of mostly arty pretenders and gold digging chicks, who are all seemingly twentysomethings, trapped in a hedonistic druggie lifestyle and are either physically or mentally dying. They say such catchy things as “love could be fun” and blindly pursue relationships built on need, deception and security.
The drama’s moral compass is Barnard Jacobs (Andy Waldschmidt), a successful artistic photographer who is dying of an unnamed illness apparently exasperated by cigarette and alcohol abuse. The gentlemanly Barnard is first seen on a date with an inebriated grasping Frenchwoman named Madeleine (Melody Bates), who wishes that Barnard could score some cocaine. This leads Barnard to call up Ashley Brett (Marie-Line Grinda), an old flame, to score the coke. Later at Ashley’s pad, the gold digging Madeleine latches onto the young Internet tycoon Boccaccio (Nathan Crooker) at a cocaine snorting party and without a hesitation ditches Barnard. The central part of the film flashbacks to how Ashley met the photographer and she posed for him in a series of eye shot photos, and how she broke his heart by seeking to marry only someone who was well-heeled. As these two reconnect, it asks the $64 question if they can still bridge the gap between them before it’s too late.
“Deafening” makes good use of the city scene for atmosphere, and Waldschmidt and Grinda give convincing performances. The film’s main problem is how to make these less than likable characters more sympathetic and their problems more universal, which is attempted by making the story allegorical. It works out better than I thought possible. I at first thought I could never get interested in these superficial ‘beautiful people,’ but soon fell in step with the film’s theme that all relationships in the post-9/11 city are damaged for various reasons and that the most vulnerable are the true artists, the sensitive and those who are capable of loving with their heart.
REVIEWED ON 2/27/2010 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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