Thursday, July 10, 2014

Black Fawn DVD Review- Discopath

Winner of the Best Feature award at the 2013 Blood in the Snow Film Festival and an official selection at Fantasia 2013 Discopath gets its home video release through Black Fawn Distribution.

The film tells the story of Duane Lewis (Jeremie Earp) a New York City short order cook in his mid twenties at the outset of the film who has a strange reaction to the beat of disco music stemming from a childhood trauma that leads him to violent acts.

Director Renaud Gauthier initially had the idea for the film 10 years ago.  His original concept was to make a film about a guy that kills someone in a packed disco without anyone knowing. The film starts out in New York City in 1976 for the opening act but soon switches to Gauthier's hometown of Montreal where Duane flees to the morning after a violent act.  The story jumps ahead four years to 1980 where Duane now using the name Martin Lopez is working as a handyman in a Catholic Girls boarding school where his propensity to violence is triggered again.

The audio commentary featuring Renaud Gauthier, actor Ivan Freund and composer Bruce Cameron gives some insightful behind the scenes information about the film. As Gauthier speaks about the film the viewer gets the sense of how much this is a really personal project. Gauthier talk about the vintage vehicles as the come up on screen, how much he paid to get a city bus for one scene, a chevette, to rent a school bus for another scene and for a hurst which was unfortunately white because it was the only one of that vintage he could find. Gauthier also speaks to the work of the effects department especially how they phased in the twin towers in the New York Skyline in the opening Roller Skate park scene in New York then removed the modern buildings from the skyline shots of Montreal.

But the key to the film is the music starting with Flight 76 by Walter Murphy a must have by Gauthier and the backbone of the film. Among the other tracks featured prominently in the film are I'm Your Boogie Man by K.C. and The Sunshine Band and I Was Made for Loving You by Kiss. The Quebecois song Stop Ou Encore is featured in a key scene at the Catholic Girls School. It's the perfect light airy background to the extremely violent acts that occur on the screen while it plays.  Gautier promises that the soundtrack will be out on vinyl this year.

The DVD also has a 24 minute behind the scenes featurette that gives a look of several different days of filming with comments from the cast and crew. It's an insightful view of what occurs during down time between scenes and these features are always informative on scene shooting order and the length of the shoot.

As I stated in my original November review of the feature Discopath is a very specific genre film. It's over the top and stereotypical New York and Montreal mid 70's and early 80's send ups are part of it's charm. If you like this era, slasher films and a delicate balance between horror and camp. I recommend you check out this DVD.

*** out of 4.

Discopath | Renauld Gauthier | Canada | 2013 | 82 Minutes.

Tags: DVD Release, Behind the Scenes, Blooper Reel, Director Commentary, Passion Project, 10 Years in the Making.

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