9 July 2005 | benoitlelievre
In Canada, we good good stuff, very good stuff
My second movie for Fantasia 2005 and...it got a lot better than I expected. I chose to see "Sigma" because I wanted to encourage local productions, but it ended up being just damn great. So great that I hugged the director after the film.
Even if the plot is kinda deep and researched, this movie is all about the format. Identified by the director Jesse Heffring as a work-in-progress made to push the mini dv format to his extreme limits...well it's the case. With more than 66 hours of footage Heffring and his production buddies cutted it back down to 85 minutes and are pulling out and putting in different parts at the same time, so we've been warned "it might not be the final version after all". It makes me enthusiast to think I might re-watch this movie and see like forty minutes of different footage.
The story of Adam Lemay, trapped into some kind of macabre game of collecting some unknown electrical pieces is constantly followed by security and hidden cameras throughout his journey. What makes the taste of the film is two things. First the intentional camera movements, that keeps you in a state of rush. Like famous theorist André Bazin was saying: When a film about catastrophe or urgency is made, a too good production and directing just ruins everything. The constant agitation and twirling of the camera keeps the spectator in the same state of mind than Adam, rushed and grabbed to the throat.
The other way that Heffring is bull rushing his spectator is with this delicious frame game. The frames are constantly switching sizes. from wide in the relaxed moment to a tiny square in the middle of the screen when Leah is menaced with drowning. The more it's tense, the more the frame is moving from wide to very close and hard to escape. I mean there is no escape point for the eye.
Seriously, I was arguing a lot with teacher about how genre cinema CAN be art cinema too, but Jesse Heffring RIGHT THERE gave me a weapon for this struggle. Thanks Jesse! And the other ones reading this critic...go to see this damn movie!