Saturday, November 13, 2010

"The Farewell Wake," a digital movie by Charles Deemer who I think is saying to me, "Go ahead, make a movie!"

I decided I could not wait to review this movie. After all, I am 79 years old and time is flying by, so I must get started tonight to review this movie and talk about all the thoughts that tumbled through my head as I watched it. In fact, I could not sleep until I did get up and review it. First of all, you are going to have to put up with a little slowness from me when it comes to technology. I have forgotten how to make those little links in my blog, so I have to refer you to Charles Deemer's blog on my blog list called "Writing Blog II". Click on that, and several entries down you will find links to this movie where you can watch the Director's Cut on a small video screen which I did. It is 96 minutes long. I just watched his side video on small screen video, too, so that I know who he was playing in the movie (the older brother). He talks about being semi-retired and forming a group of interested people mostly retired to do these movie projects using inexpensive camcorders. I have a camcorder which Doc and I use to make our videos. He didn't want just any little inexpensive jobby, he wanted the best, so he is still paying on a Sony which was on sale for $600 and something.
Anyway the group made several short film, one called Deconstructing Sally and one called Karaoke Live Tonight, both of which I plan to watch at some point. (not tonight)
Anyway let us get back to this full length digital movie which is a movie about making one of these movies. The younger brother tells the older one he wants him to carry his camera around and film people he has asked to come to what he calls "The Farewell Wake". The older brother is alarmed and wonders if he is dying or something, but he says no, he just wants to see how people react to the idea of a farewell wake, something like that. So his ex wives are filmed reacting to an invitation to his wake, who each have very different reactions, some hostile and some affectionate and appreciative of the avant guarde filmmaker's ideas and creative force.
Then the older brother finds out from reading AARP magazine that Robert Duvall has already filmed a movie about his own wake and he thinks he should just drop this project as Duvall has already beat him to it. This infuriates his younger brother who insists Robert Duvall sold out and his movie will not be anything like that, it will of course be more real and honest, so he is not in the least bit deterred by this news.
Well, finally they stage the wake but another poet crashes the party and insists that Connie, the movie maker, stole her idea which was to be called "The Last Funeral" or something like that, and Connie tries to throw her out, falls to the ground, in what we learn later was a staged heart attack. No, he does not die at all, not then, not until the end of the movie when he really does get sick with the big C he thought he had beaten. The brother reunite and the older brother offers to take the younger brother in, but he prefers to stay where he is.
The older brother feels he should get out of his doldrums and pack away his wife's things who has passed and sell the house. He is busy and out of touch while he gets this taken care of, and takes a trip to enjoy himself after months of gloom. He returns to find out his brother has been shot and killed and the media has run with the story, accusing the woman and the organization back of her at his wake of doing the dirty deed, which causes a world wide reaction and the coining of a slogan, "No poet is safe", the idea of which made me laugh as I think the media does take false information and runs with it when none of it may be true. His brother was instead the victim of an accidental stray bullet with no murderous intent by the shooter.
I liked this movie because there was quite a lot of complex interaction by the characters with not much attempt to simplify for the simpletons, which I think causes many movies to be practically empty of content.
I cite "Up in the Air", a hit movie starring George Clooney which I thought was popularized by the media with less content than I have practically ever seen in a movie. I could not believe they would call this a movie.
On the contrary "The Farewell Wake" is satisfyingly full of content that held my interest all the way through. In fact, I barely met this guy Charles Deemer in his blog. I could not believe that I would sit for 96 minutes and watch the movie he and his friends just made and enjoy it, so as I see it, they have accomplished their purpose. They have proved that you can make a movie that could compete with Hollywood versions (Robert Duval's Wake movie) for the small screen without big stars or well known names. What is the world coming to?
Of course there are some people who must have a famous name attached to anything they are going to peruse, but Charles Deemer thinks as I do that there are more people out there who can make movies you might want to watch than just Hollywood stars. He thinks movies for very small screen are going to be the coming thing.
More people might get the idea and be encouraged to express themselves by this movie. I know it can be done. I have been on the road to movie making for a long time, using very modest means. So now I have found another believer who is doing it.
I could not be more pleased.

PS: My header is still my son Raymond who is also a movie maker and looks vaguely like Charles Deemer in his blog photo. I hope Charles Deemer does not mind all the details I included about his movie. I don't think that will spoil it for anyone or I wouldn't do it. Ambitious movie makers will want to become a Charles Deemer fan.


Cathy said...

Veyr interesting - I've seen more "writers blogs" since jopining Facebook - which has taken away all my blogging time - haven't been to visit anyone in soooo long!! And only made 1 post last month, for shame1 Used to talk my head off lol. Anyway the header shot looks great and this is a heavy topic for some. Keep me up to date!

Anonymous said...

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