Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fantasia 2015 Film Review - H.

A tale set in Troy New York featuring two parallel stories both with lead characters named Helen as a Meteor strikes at the outskirts of town possibly signalling the end of the world is the premise for H. The elder Helen (Robin Bartlett) lives with her husband Roy (Julian Gamble) in their Troy home. They are regular seniors with growing aches and pains doing mundane daily tasks. The exception is Helen's "Reborn" vinyl baby doll Henry that she treats like a real baby. Helen dresses Henry, wakes up for feedings, washes Henry and puts him in a car seat when she goes out for drives.

The younger Helen (Rebecca Dayan) lives with her partner Alex (Will Janowitz). The pair are performance artists and expecting their first child. They battle each other physically and mentaly to create their art following their mantra: creation needs destruction. When out one evening Helen spontaneously lactates as the pair are giving a talk to a class. Then later outside a coffee house Alex hears a piercing sound that leaves him with one bloodshot eye a growing trend around town along with people standing facing walls rocking back and forth. This is followed by cars parked abandoned with the drivers side doors open left by the owners who have headed off to the outskirts of town.

The directors Renia Attieh and Daniel Garcia throw a lot of ideas at the wall but most fail to stick or fully develop. The narrative features several appearances of a black horse running though town and in the woods. There are no details on the origin of Helen's doll or why theses other women that come to rebirth party. When the story switches to Alex and Helen at their home they lose time in large chunks but do not seem too concerned that this is highly unusual. The only explanation for any of the events is a T.V. report stating that some members of the population have slipped into a Narcoleptic State. The high point of the film is the work of the sound department that produced the ear piercing noises, sharp instances of electric interference, pulses and hums that cause the towns people to act out of the ordinary.

Robin Bartlett performance as the older Helen is the notable. She is very convincing when she' s taking care of Henry in the early scene that the viewer is not sure if she truly believes that its real. Her later persistence search for her husband when he is linked to the missing townspeople is agonizing and in the end disturbing. Rebecca Dayan is sound portraying the younger Helen. She's a free spirit and open artist that begins to see and hear things after the meteor crash. Helen becomes compelled to go the gathering on the outskirts of town acting as if she is being called home.

H. is a valiant attempt to create an end of the world film set in a small upstate New York town. The creators have several good ideas and some sequence of the film play out well. The directors take a low tech approach to the apocalypse which could have some merit. But here too much is going on that make the film appear scattered resulting it a production that will not have wide appeal.

** Out of 4

H | Renia Attieh / Daniel Garcia | U.S.A. / Argentina | 2014 | 93 Minutes.

Tags: Vinyl Dolls, Rebirth, Performance Art, Meteor, Apocalypse, End for the World.

No comments:

Post a Comment