Friday, October 15, 2010
A New York Jaunt, an Intriguing New Film
Playing the cancer-stricken wife of the soon-to-be widowed Jim, Vanessa takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster ride. We’re devastated by her prognosis, encouraged by her near-recovery and then bludgeoned by her sudden demise. Her dying scene is so authentic that her mother (the executive producer of the film) cries every time she watches that scene. A review in the New York Times noted that Vanessa’s work “stands out” in the film.
Notwithstanding my 'cousin' status, I was immensely proud watching Vanessa's dramatic performance. My friend Trish, perhaps a less biased critic because she’d never met Vanessa before, was equally impressed. The lead actor, Dan Illian, also making his film debut, came across a seasoned screen actor, immediately drawing us into his character’s miserable plight. The rest of the acting, the music composition, the special effects, the filming and editing, all came together in a seamless way, engaging the packed theatre for the full hour and forty minute duration.
After the movie was over, we were treated to a Q & A session, where the producers and some of the cast and crew provided insights about the making of the movie. When Jeremy was asked, “What’s next?” he said he needed to focus on the film’s distribution and then take a breather, but I got the feeling from talking to him later that he’s also itching to move on to his next project.
Here’s the plot as described on the film’s website http://www.jimthefilm.com/:
‘Jim’ is a new science fiction drama that juxtaposes a seemingly inevitable near-future of genetic commercialism against a distant post-human dystopia. A desperate, unemployed widower seeks to salvage his legacy by hiring Lorigen, a biotech firm specializing in genetic wares, to create an enhanced child in memory of his wife. Meanwhile, a corrupt industrialist presides over a dead planet awash in genetic inferiority. Nature intervenes and these two worlds converge through an impossible shared dream which will make or break humanity for the long haul…
The film offers a powerful vision of the difficult choices that advancements in science and technology will be forcing people to make in the not so distant future.
Click on the above website if you’d like to see the trailer and if you want to learn more about the movie and the people behind its creation.
As a writer, I know how difficult it is to make headway in the cash-strapped, competitive, ever-struggling world of ‘the arts’; it often takes years of doggedness to finish a project and then additional years of tough slugging to get your work out into the marketplace. You also need really thick skin to withstand the slings and arrows of rejection and criticism. To put things in perspective, Stephen King wrote five novels before he finally got published (Carrie was his break-out novel).
My hat goes off to Jeremy and Vanessa, the production team, and all the cast and crew who joined forces in making this movie a reality. JIM just may be the precursor of the blockbuster waiting to emerge. The Village Voice, the first and largest alternative newsweekly in the U.S., says, “His (Morris-Burke’s) technical virtuosity and thematic ambition mark him as a filmmaker of promise.”
What a thrill to partake in this occasion and to experience the palpable excitement surrounding the opening of a new film. If you happen to be in LA this week, or in any of the places where the film will be playing in the next few months (see the website calendar), be sure to check it out. You will see a mass of young talent who are sure to reappear in other great projects down the road.
JIM is playing an extended run at the Quad Cinema in Greenwich Village until Oct. 21.
Posted by Carla Sandrin at 4:39 PM