Alison

Movie Information

The Fine Arts Theatre will show Alison and the short Men of Persuasion at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14, and at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16. The director will be present at both screenings.
Score:

Genre: Drama
Director: Paul Schattel (Sinkhole)
Starring: Lauren Fortuna, David Macdonald, Bryan Marshall
Rated: NR

Local filmmaker Paul Schattel’s new film Alison is being screened this week at the Fine Arts Theatre. The film follows a stretch in the life of thirtysomething pregnant woman Alison (Lauren Fortuna), who leaves her husband (David Macdonald) and moves into a rundown motel where she tries to figure out how the life she had and the life she thought she would have went wrong. In most ways, the film is a significant advance on Schattel’s first feature. Although there may be a little too much hand-held camera, this is every inch a good-looking film. Many of the shots are interestingly composed and none are in the least awkward. It’s also a structurally challenging film, which makes it constantly interesting. How the film will appeal to viewers dramatically probably depends a great deal on whether or not the characters strike the viewer as sympathetic or identifiable. I can’t say that I found them either—and yet I also can’t deny that the film’s payoff (it isn’t a resolution) did strike a chord of emotional resonance.

It’s worth noting that Alison is the result of a scant 12-day shoot and was done without a script, making its technical achievements all the more impressive. It’s also simply another important chapter in the growth of local filmmaking and as such deserves our support.

Also on the bill is the 20-minute short Men of Persuasion—a cleverly scripted black comedy that was written and produced by Jamie Parker and directed by Paul Schattel. It makes an interesting companion piece to Alison, and is something of a contrast in tone and approach.

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress since December 2000. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

4 thoughts on “Alison

  1. Film Goer

    How the film will appeal to viewers dramatically probably depends a great deal on whether or not the characters strike the viewer as sympathetic or identifiable. I can’t say that I found them either . . .It’s worth noting that Alison is the result of a scant 12-day shoot and was done without a script, . . .It’s also simply another important chapter in the growth of local filmmaking and as such deserves our support.

    Mr. Hanke appears to be giving some clues about his critical judgment of this film. Is he being kind because it’s locally made and “deserves our support?” Potential viewers may want to check the trailer: http://vimeo.com/9379437

  2. Ken Hanke

    Mr. Hanke appears to be giving some clues about his critical judgment of this film. Is he being kind because it’s locally made and “deserves our support?”

    All low and no budget movies of this nature are judged on a different scale than mainstream films, but you failed to include the last part of my quote — “and yet I also can’t deny that the film’s payoff (it isn’t a resolution) didn’t strike a chord of emotional resonance,” which actually reads incorrectly — it should read “did,” a change that makes a significant difference.

  3. Ken Hanke

    By the way, I have now corrected the review. I’m only sorry there’s nothing I can do about the print version.

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