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Alta Vista

USA 2020
produced by
Paul Beckman, Joe Clarke, John Rex Potts IV (executive), Alexander Harstrick (executive), Rob Van Dam (executive), Ray Chao (executive) for Backrow Studios
directed by Joe Clarke
starring Joe Clarke, Stacey Scowley, Paul Beckman, Tanika 'Tea' Vickers, Tyler Thirnbeck, Elwie Apor Harris, Dave Coyne, Jimmy Gagarin, Derek Severson, Heidi Li, Neel Ghosh, Bill Adams, Nick Harstrick, Adalgiza Chermont, Kyle Sing, Nancy Youngblut, Phyouture, Ray Chao, Meriette Saglie, Patrick Bottaro, Karl White, Kevin Delijani, JG Tunis, Pamela Marie Hobby, Ben Palmer, Jamie Newell, Ben Komar
written by Joe Clarke, music by Alex Kachingwe

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Sam (Joe Clarke) has only recently lost his father, and it's hitting him harder than he had expected. But he has decided to follow his dreams and go to LA to become a screenweriter - against the express advice of the person closest to him, his sister Sara (Stacey Scowley), who just knows how unstable he is. Now Hollywood doesn't exactly welcome him with open arms, and he has a bunch of less-than-perfect experiences, from being cheated into renting a rathole apartment to being stalked by a nosey neighbour (Dave Coyne), from having to duke it out with the mailman (Jimmy Gagarin) to almost being tricked into doing porn - something that also blows his chance to meet Steven Spielberg. But shit really hits the fan when his production partner Jake (Paul Beckman) first gets their production financed, but then takes off with all the money, and the financers come after Sam to get back their investment, if need be by force. And that's where Sam falls down a rabbithole, starting to believe he's a character in his own screenplay guided by some puppeteer (Nancy Youngblut) who has actually made herself known to him once - and at the same time he also believes that his dad is still alive (despite having witnessed him slwoly wilt away from cancer two years back) and held in a room in Russia. And he also believes the answer to everything can be found down in the sewers - and none of this of course helps with any of his ever-more-pressing problems ...

 

A very unusual film that at first feels a bit like your typical country bumkin comes to Hollywood-style story, but soon dumps all genre clichés for a narrative approach that doesn't necessarily follow a linear storyline and is rather associative in nature, to the point where things go absurd and/or surreal - and this approach actually works surprisingly well, as a tight directorial effort keeps things from just trailing off while a strong ensemble cast keeps things grounded even in the more over-the-top moments, and despite its non-orthodox nature, the story seems stringent while at the same time full of surprises. And all of this makes not your everyday movie, but cool, intelligent entertainment.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
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Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD