Sunday, 12 April 2015

Pieces of Talent (2014) and a Missing Piece

Pieces of Talent (2014)

‘Pieces of Talent’ is an independently produced and distributed feature by Shutter Blade Media that has earned a bevy of awards from its film festival screenings and has garnered both critical and fan acclaim across the board since its release last year. It is directed, shot, edited and scored by the multi-talented octopus armed filmmaker Joe Stauffer who co-wrote the screenplay with fellow North Carolina native David Long (credited as Dustin Lewis as co-writer) the co-developer of its concept and is its star playing a character of the same name in a meta role. It takes the old serial killer snuff film premise and does something uniquely different with it. It is a tried and tested formula but it is the extra solution added to it that uniquely separates this from its peers in the sub-genre - some of which are great such as Last House on Dead End Street (1977) and more often than not are terrible such as ‘Snuff’ (1976).

Friday, 3 April 2015

Opera (1987)

‘Opera’ (alternative USA title ‘Terror at the Opera’) is Dario Argento’s reaction to being refused his wish of directing a stage adaptation of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera ‘Rigoletto’. British filmmaker the late Ken Russell had previously in 1984 directed a version of Giacomo Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’ that veered away from the classical to something very weird not going down at all well with the management of the opera house and was met with an at best mixed reception from critics and audiences. This dissatisfaction with Russell’s vision meant that a risk was not willing to be taken with Argento, as he is a genre director - an auteur of graphically violent giallo mystery thrillers and supernatural horror. With that, the filmmaker got cracking on a screenplay for this opera themed entry into gialli that would go on to be considered by many critics and fans alike as his last great work… although I cannot see why as that honour goes to 1982’s ‘Tenebre’.