Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monsters: A brilliant debut

In answer to everyone's frequent question, no, I don't miss publicity one bit, but I do love movies, and once in a while a piece of work comes along that makes me seriously over-excited about a new talent.  And yes, I have a weakness for directors.

 "Monsters" by Gareth Edwards (not to be confused with the Welsh rugby great of the same name) is just the kind of movie that makes me giddy for the medium again. Shot on a shoestring in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Galveston, Texas, with a camera man, a sound guy and the two lead actors, Whitney Able and Scoot McNairy, most of the other characters in the film are regular folk found along the way.  Edwards says that he asked people he met, "Can I shoot in your house; may I photograph your baby" and mostly, people said yes.

Described to me as "'District 9' meets 'Sin Nombre'" I'd add "The Road" to that little amalgam. It's essentially a love story, with monsters.  Here's the premise: A photographer has to bring his boss's daughter back home through a quarantined area infected by big, scary aliens (that look like giant squid).  Horrible, right? Wrong. The film, Edwards' debut and made for little to no money, is beautiful, lyrical, huge, operatic, and doesn't hit a wrong note.  I am incredibly impressed by his talent.

Here's the trailer:

"Monsters" is in the theatres October 29, but available on iTunes to rent, or Pay Per View. There's a nice interview with KCRW here and the official site is here. A NY Times piece (which states the budget to be $500,000) is here.

Oh and by the way, my friend, the fiendishly clever Damon Wise from Empire, has added this blurb to the Magnolia Pictures website: “The Best British feature debut* since Christopher Nolan's Memento.” Love it!

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