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  • It seems that too many people have given The Unseen mediocre reviews, but I see it very differently. I recently saw The Unseen at the Chicago Film Festival, and I was very touched by the film. The relationships between the characters can be very subtle, but incredibly moving. Gale Harold and Steve Harris do a particularly good job, and the rest of the cast is brilliant. Although the beginning may have a bit of a slow start for some, it's all worth it in the emotional, beautiful ending. It's not often that a film can make me bawl, and The Unseen did just that. France has done a wonderful job, and I'd recommend this story to anyone who loves great independent work.
  • I am a photographer and recently covered the Starz Denver International Film Festival. I was lucky enough to see the film "The Unseen" and had the chance to photograph one of the actors (Phillip Bloch) and the Director (Lisa France). Before I'd seen the movie I asked Mr. Bloch about the film and he told me it was like a cross between Slingblade and Mystic River (two of my personal favorites). After seeing the movie I would have to agree completely with Mr. Bloch. The film is gripping, emotional and expertly acted by all involved. Standout performances by Phillip Bloch as Sammy, Steve Harris (The Prartice) as Roy and Gale Harold (Queer as Folk) as Harold are amazing. The Film takes you on a journey through the lives of three friends (Harold, Roy and Sammy) who as young boys are forced apart, but are brought back together years later due to the death of Roy's father. When he returns to his hometown to attend his father's funeral, Roy comes face to face with the secrets that drove him away and tore apart the boys friendship. Forced back together the three friends must come to terms with the secret they all share. The film has an amazing ending that will stay with you long after you leave the theater. Lisa France has written and directed a moving masterpiece of the highest quality. I highly recommend this film to everyone. It will make you smile, it will make you cry, but most of all it will make you think!
  • I was one of the few lucky ones who was able to attend the NYC screening in February 2006. I was first made aware of this film by seeing a "preview" of it that was included in a DVD box set I had purchased. I was immediately intrigued, but very curious if I would ever actually be able to see it. This movie was enjoyable and exciting mostly the whole way through. Well written, and extremely well acted. Some people can recognize 3 of the stars from TV: Gale Harold ("Queer As Folk"), Steve Harris (various appearances, including "The Practice" & "Law & Order"), and Phillip Bloch (who is most recognized for various appearances on the E! Channel). Each character is totally different from each other, and plays just as a dynamic role. Gale Harold's character is totally disturbed and enraged with fear, not anger, as that is what Harold (Yes, that's Gale Harold's character's first name!) wants to believe about himself. He was fantastic in this role. You felt the fear of Harold when he was on screen. You could see the fear of the other characters when Harold was present. Steve Harris' character of Roy also came off with a very strong presence. You felt such sympathy for him, but also a sense of inner strength. Harris' facial expressions coincided perfectly to what the viewer was to understand was going on with him. Much of the film was centered around the life, ideas and management of Phillip Bloch's character Sammy. You wanted to feel sorry for him, and you did even, but at the same time, Sammy was a joyous character and could evoke smiles and chuckles of laugher from the audience from time to time. His childlike wit was appealing, and at the same time, the fact that he had childlike wit was part of why you felt for him. Being Bloch's first full length feature role, he did it exceptionally well. The story of the movie, being based around sadly stereotypical old-fashioned race issues in the South, is something that gets portrayed in films very frequently. However, the catch is to make is come across interesting, gripping, and most importantly-different. This film does achieve that. Does it well, actually. There's a different synopsis than most might expect. This easily keeps the viewer's interest. The reason I voted 8 stars and not 9 or 10 is only based on the one thing that stood out to me in the film as too "over the top", and that was the Southern accents used/attempted by a few of the non-leading characters in the film. We know you're Southern, we know you're "gritty" and slightly dirty. The example that lays most prominent in my mind is Michelle Clunie's portrayal of Kathleen. It was easily viewable that in reality, Clunie has not an ounce of southern accent in her. Her tone, combined with her mannerisms, and even her hair and wardrobe made her character more annoying than she really should have been. All in all though, an excellent film. Definitely glad I was able to see it! I'll keep my fingers crossed for the DVD!
  • paris617-18 October 2005
    Sorry I am so late posting, but I have been very busy. However, I was extremely thankful for the person who posted the article about the Birmingham Moving Sidewalk Festival. Sept. 24th, I was able to go to Birmingham, Alabama (I only live 1 hour away), and had the honor of seeing The Unseen.!!!UNBELIEVABLE! I was so incredibly moved by this film. I probably would have been even if Gale Harold hadn't been in it, because it is a remarkable film. Next to QAF, it is the best work I have seen Gale Harold do so far! Awesome movie. Also had the pleasure of meeting Lisa France, the director, and Phillip Bloch, who was also incredible in the film as Sammy, the sheltered blind brother of Gale Harold's character! Both were very friendly, and Lisa France seemed in awe of the audiences reactions. She said, "Thank you for clapping and LAUGHING. You got it!" Even though this is a very serious themed film, there were some very humorous moments. The audience applauded I know for several minutes during the credits. It was really incredible. I was very touched by this movie. I think it made it more special to me because it was set the South, and I have been born and raised in Alabama. Lisa France and Phillip Bloch stayed for a Q&A after the film. It was very informative on the film. To anyone who has a chance to go to any of the other showings coming up of The Unseen, it is WELLLLLLLLL worth the effort to see it! You won't be disappointed!
  • OK up front I will say I went to see this film because Gale Harold was in it. But very quickly I realized I was watching an utterly moving film that was going to have a lot to say! Lisa France did a great job in writing this and knowing she would be opening up a couple cans of worms with the issues! There is a basic background one is given about an incident that happened to two boys and how each one reacts differently in their lives to cope with this event. Steve Harris and Gale Harold played their parts perfectly. Steve Harris (Roy) is brought back to the town he grew up in only to be ignored and verbally abused by Gale's character (Harold). You're watching this and thinking, there are no redeeming qualities about "Harold" and it's painful to watch. ...but you find after awhile, in spite of yourself, you do kind of like him, he is doing the best he can with the crappy life he has been dealt. For that I give merit to Gale's acting ability! It must have been tough job to pull this one off! It's a touching, sometimes disturbing and yet also funny film. Well worth seeing if you get the chance! Just be prepared to have a couple emotional reactions when the lights come back up in the theater.
  • trsnb21028 November 2006
    Took a long time to stop rolling this one around in my mind after it was over. I have distant family from that part of the country, these characters, their fears and issues, ring so very true. Phillip Bloch's "Sammy", his questions, sweetness and wisdom; conveyed in a brilliant 'Rainman' quality of acting; provide a focal point from which the other characters radiate forth ...Bravo! Gale Harold's "Harold", such a tortured soul yet Kathleen can love him and his efforts to please her are touching in their simplicity. This actor once mentioned that maybe hearts and minds can be changed through the dramatic arts, I think he is spot on with this heart wrenching effort.
  • I saw The Unseen at a NYC screeening Friday night and loved it. This film had a wonderful story, directing, acting, writing, editing etc. I was completely drawn in by the story and characters and I felt as if I was living alongside these characters in this small Georgia town. There was also some great humor in the film as well! Gale Harold was brilliant- he is one of the most nuanced actors I have ever seen and he blew me away in this role- I felt both afraid of him and compassion for him at the same time. The film is heartbreaking and hopeful and really beautiful. I hope so much that a distribution deal comes through because I will certainly buy it. There are so many parallels to catch in the film. I give it a 10. Amazing.
  • mlcpaprlvr14 November 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    I went to see The Unseen because I know Gale Harold from Queer as Folk. I had no idea what a treat the film would be, especially, visually. Lush and green, the town of Harelson reminded me of the small town I visited summers when I was a child and stayed with my aunt and uncle

    There is nothing about this film that would indicate it's low budget, shot in 19 days. Acting, cinematography, direction, production, costuming, everything is well done.

    The theme of the film reminds me of Tennessee Williams with the "secrets" the main characters share. I was hooked from first shots to the end. Characters are well developed and performances are real. There was no Brian Kinney present in this tale of family and friendship gone terribly wrong, somehow.

    Racism, homophobia, fear, hate and love abide (sometimes seemingly simultaneously)in these well drawn, well written and truthful characters. All characters are believable. There's enough humor and drama keep the film from becoming hopelessly dark.

    It was worth every penny. I'd give it a 4 out of 5 or 9 out of 10. They done themselves proud. Only a few spots I thought were over the top kept me from giving it a 5 or 10.

    See it. It's thoughtfully created.

    L
  • The Unseen, an undeniably impressive film, takes you into the bizarre and twisted Southern style life vicariously thru multiple intriguing characters. Dysfunctional families have never seemed so harmonious. The Writers have seemingly pulled out all the stops of "political correctness" to exhibit what true pain and suffering looks like when prejudice and hate are the bane of one's existence. Phillip Bloch's performance as "Sammy" is purely outstanding; his character will entice the range of emotions within you~~ one moment you're feeling the pains of embarrassment for him and the next your standing proud next to him with his mismatched attire for his "childlike" disposition brings the movies complexities back to simplicity; Simplicity which takes all the prejudice and hate that one has to offer and just asks "WHY~~ Why can't you just let me be who I am?" Gale Harold as "Harold", is simply sensational in portraying this cocktail of mixed emotions which stem from his post traumatic childhood psychological trauma coupled with his innate "goodness from within" that he has always had buried so deep from within. This film is sure to move you through a realm of emotions and realizations while at the same time discerning the truth which lies within "The Unseen".
  • I got a chance to catch The Unseen at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. The movie was great and really intriguing.

    Gale Harold played a tortured character. He does it perfectly, as usual. His portrayal of Harold was eye catching, and he basically made you hate his character, just like it should be. His treatment of Sammy just made you want to slap him in the face when he yelled at Sammy and beat him all the time. He really got into the character.

    Steve Harris was fantastic as Roy. You could really feel what was happening to him. You pretty much felt sorry for him that all the drama of the film got thrown at him, but at the same time, it helped him to clear up a lot of the demons in his life.

    Phillip Bloch, who played Sammy, was probably the most amazing actor in the movie. He brought out Sammy's innocence and was almost like a comic relief in some parts. When you watched him, you believed that he was this blind, naive man who has been tortured by his brother all his life. We actually met him after the screening, and he's such a nice guy. I told him he did a terrific job and he thanked me.

    Michelle Clunie was good, but not great in the movie. I think she got off to a slow start do to how she interpreted the character's movements. She seemed flimsy and fake throughout the introductions of the character, and I don't think it was because of the writing. But later, when her character had more emotion--more than being this ditz--she pulled it off. She was into it and she redeemed herself.

    Lisa France, wrote, produced, and directed this great movie. The movie was shot exactly where the movie was set, the story was intriguing to see--and not see, if you were following the point of the movie--and the characters were based on real people she had met. I also met her after the movie, and I told her I had been waiting to see the movie for such a long time. Although I had been intrigued with it before, I was glad to see that it went way past my expectations just from the trailer that I had caught on the website.
  • I really want to rate this film higher, but it just seemed a little slow at times. That is to take nothing away from a great story about friendship and love and secrets. You have to wait until the end for everything to wrap and make sense, but it was well worth the wait.

    Two boys, Roy (Steve Harris) and Harold (Gale Harold) were best friends, "like two ticks on a hound dog," as children. Something happened to break them up and Roy leave town. When he returns for his father's funeral, you see the tension and believe it to be racial. The woman who loves Roy (Catherine Dent) thinks maybe he "bats for the other team." There is a lot of humor when Sammy (Phillip Bloch) is in the picture. he is Harold's blind brother. Harold seems to relish picking on him, but he really seems to do the best he can in caring for him. Sammy may be blind, but he sees a lot of things better than many of us. he is unconcerned about what others think and dresses for comfort, and speaks his mind freely.

    The secrets are things that we do not like to talk about, but some of us have dealt with in profession endeavors. It is enough to keep the two men at odds. It is a tragedy that things ended the way they did, but then some really good things also happened as a result. Out of the bad, good; that seems to be the way life is sometimes.
  • Someone please tell Phillip Bloch to stick to styling the stars and never come near a piece of celluloid again. My husband and I during a screening last night at the Denver Film Festival laughed until we thought we would cry at the sheer awfulness of this film, and in particular Bloch's performance.

    This film is riddled with Southern clichés (The African-American lady who owns a diner and everyone calls "Mama", the town floozy looking for real love, the retard town shutaway, alcoholic, abusive parents, Dixie Flags etc...My god, cookie cutter film making, but even worse just HORRIBLE....
  • LawdyBee19 July 2009
    I can't believe anyone liked this film. The acting was poor...in particular the actor who played Sammy. Way over the top. I blame this on the director. Steve Harris is an excellent actor but even he couldn't help this flick. It appears as if the director has heard too many redneck jokes in order to help her "inspire" the actors to create their characters. Every southern stereotype was represented. Overacting. Under-editing. Poor dialogue. Bad direction. I was angry with myself for watching it to the end, hoping it would get better. I kept thinking as the movie dragged on, "If I ever met this director, I'd have to smack her for doing such a terrible job." Ugh.
  • I had not heard of this film and the actors are not household names. What you have here is a moving story about the loss of innocence, pain and anguish, suffering and forgiveness. A little film with a big and universal message.

    "The Unseen" depicts the worst and best of our natures. Kudos to Lisa France for her story and for the cast which brought this work to life. You should definitely make a date to see "The Unseen".

    "The Unseen" reminds me of "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "Crash" for its substance and theme. The narration and acting by Philip Block as the blind man Sammy brings clarity to the viewer as the past and present are compellingly linked together. Treat yourself to this fine film.
  • anniegirlsf9223 November 2005
    I saw both showings recently at the Denver International Film Festival. I only became aware of this film by being a fan of Queer As Folk and following the actors on that show, in this case Gale Harold and Michelle Clunie. There was a preview for this film on the Queer As Folk Season 4 DVD Extras.

    Although the movie definitely has that low-budget look and feel to it, the story itself is a good blend of drama, angst, and comedy with a satisfying ending. I was particularly glad we were privy to the big mystery of the film by the end or else I would have felt cheated. The lead actors, Steve Harris ("Roy"), Gale Harold ("Harold"), and Phillip Bloch ("Sammy") are strong and engaging.

    It was a great experience to be able to speak with the filmmakers (in attendance were Lisa France, Writer/Director and Phillip Bloch, "Sammy") after watching the film to hear their experience making this captivating film that is clearly near and dear to their hearts. I hope the film is picked up for distribution and shown to a wider audience. The Unseen definitely deserves to be seen! Good luck to all involved.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Having just seen the weak and disappointing "Hounddog" with forced southern accents, I initially had a negative feeling as the characters of "The Unseen" were introduced. Not another southern story of drunk rednecks and good old boys with bimbo girls etc. But after a few minutes, the film began to draw me in, and I found it to be quite well acted and directed. The theme and structure had some similarity to "Mystic River", as young boys secrets are revealed at the end. I actually found this film to be more moving than "Mystic River", and during the final half hour, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. I rarely watch weekly TV anymore, so I hadn't seen Gale Harold before, and Phillip Bloch and Steve Harris were also new to me. All three were excellent, especially Bloch as Sammi. It was about the most convincing blind man performance by a sighted actor I have ever seen. It was far more believable than Al Pacino in "Scent Of A Woman", and he won an Oscar. That this film has not found a commercial market beyond festivals is discouraging. It obviously isn't for the mass market audience, but fans of serious cinema and fine films would almost certainly find this worth seeing, and many a must see. I started out expecting to hate it and ended up wishing I could purchase it.