20 June 2014 | eventide72
my dark, mercurial heart awaits you
I was lucky enough to attend the London premier of Rudolf Buitendach's wild excursion into the shadowed souls of the LA art scene and, whilst I expected great things, the movie, so resolute and confident in tone, caught me off guard. Firstly Dark Heart's freshness, much like the tubes of blood dimmed paint that scatter Buitendach's canvas of broken, sometimes lost characters, chimes through on every scene. There's also a knowingness and grasp of genre but a giddy willfulness to play the trump card and subvert expectations. It's true to say the threads of Jarmusch, Lynch, Bigelow and even perhaps Hal Hartley wind their way through this shady pantheon of the downtown LA art scene but director Buitendach juggles and panhandles them into his own unique voice. There's so much to admire here and so much fun to be had. The kind of stylistic bloodletting we haven't seen in such a long time, a smoky, mercurial turn by a wildly beautiful and wanton mysterious Sonja Kinski, a strong, soulful discovery in Lucas Til's Sam, who, ensnared by the brutally sexual and fetishistic interplay of our main characters, becomes our voice in the wilderness, our 'conscience' when the insanity kicks in full tilt. A special mention must also go to Suzanne Barnes costume design, sparse and dense in equal measure, which in itself very cleverly becomes indivisible from the set and production design. The use of Guy Theaker's moody, murky score shades and colors our ensemble of broken souls nicely whilst Kyle Schmid, Juliet Landau, Goran Visnjic and Rachel Blanchard all turn in compelling, memorable performances in a feature film debut completely worthy of your attention. Buitendach is clearly a director to watch, and watch closely. Delve in to Dark Hearts. You'll come out bloody and tangled, delirious and spent...but it's a exhilarating trip you'll want to savour again.