Director: Tim Sutton
Cast: Eddie Cacciola, Anna Rpse Hopkins, Robert Jumper
Country of Origin: USA 2016 85 mins. (15)
Winner Lanterna Magica Award 2016 Venice Film Festival
Released by Thunderbird Releasing
With its narrative documentary-style and the use of non-professional actors, writer-director Tim Sutton's 'Dark Night,' drops into a defining box of fascinating or write-it-off as an art house bore. Loosely based on the 2012 massacre in a multiplex cinema in Aurora, Colorado screening 'The Dark Knight Rises,' Tim Sutton's critique of America's gun culture won the Lanterna Magica Award at the Venice Film Festival and clearly owes a lot to 'Elephant,' Gus Van Sant's take on the 1999 Columbine High School shootings which won the Palme d'Or at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.
The film follows six strangers from dawn to dusk on one day. Aaron Purvis likes snakes, dreams of being headline news and sits passively next to his mother while he's interviewed. Andres Vega skate boards and loves his orange dyed hair. Would-be actress Rose Hopkins does selfies. Rose Rodriguez and Karina Macias work in a large store on minimum wage. Robert Jumper walks his dog and dreams of killing the girl who jilted him. Veteran Eddie Cacciola cleans his guns. Will they be victims and is the killer amongst these six? Shot in Sarasota, Florida, Helene Louvart's stylish cinematography takes in a lonely, isolated suburban landscape with long tracking shots and close ups of faces framed in a documentary style. We don't witness any shootings in this near silent film with brief, jolting bursts of sound. It's a glimpse at six lives which as said, either will or won't work for you. It worked for me.