Friday, May 27, 2011

Cold Comfort

(Vic Sarin, 1989)
Possibly, maybe, somebody could have made something out of this script - could have tweaked its gothic burlesque of rural perversity into something appropriately lively, without all the empty gestures toward beauty and mystery. With a rewrite or two, it might have even conceivably been possible to wring consistent, comprehensible characters out of the thing, instead of the unreadable jumble of tics which survives. I can even imagine that these particular characters could have been brought to life by the rather urbane trio of Maury Chaykin, Margaret Langrick and Paul Gross; all have been winning elsewhere and show glimmers of life here. But Sarin's debut at the helm affords an almost too-perfect illustration of directorial cinematographeritis. Not only are his pretty pictures static and meaningless, but the sound editing is incompetent, the dialogue looping is halting, and the too-atmospheric musical score is mixed ridiculously high, stomping all over the film's many inert tableaux in a desperate attempt to simulate content.

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