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Somebody Someone Oliver Roozen

41 Reviews

Reviews

Velociraptor

Well... crap. Something I asked myself when watching this film was whether the dialogue was awkward because the acting was lackluster, or, was this how people really talked? This prompted quite a bit of contemplation but I suspect that wasn't entirely related to the narrative at hand. 11/10 twist ending and I couldn't have asked for a better film to end the heat on.

A helping hand

Rather novel getting to see my hometown on film. You just didn't quite convince people. The film is what it is, and on the whole there seems to be a complete lack of character motivation, of consistency, though the attempt to weave the jokes into the narrative is excellent writing and the beginning of something brilliant. What I mean by 'failed to convince' is that, as AJ so valiantly notes, it seems to neglect the craft -- little attention paid to cinematographic nuances, emphasis of sound, or tailoring of soundtrack. When you really break it down, that is how your story is told. People talk about the story as being the most important thing in your film, but film, like the camera, is a machine. A sum of its parts, there truly is no story without the art of telling it.

Four's A Bunch

Seeing this on the screening room reminded me that I was meaning to review it. It stood out considerably as a sitcom parody -- in this way I very much enjoyed it. The 'twist' of the cameraman being shot was fairly interesting, however the fact that the film is basically 3 shots does get accentuated by this aspect. The writing, I guess, is a little flat too, with not much going on beyond the use of sitcom tropes and the profanity of the disgruntled actor. I can also see a number of issues with sound peaking, and a bit of a weird interaction between the high-key lighting and the main actress's makeup. But that said, the fact you used high-key lighting otherwise so effectively is really impressive, and the imitation of the retro sitcom format is actually very convincing. On that point you guys should be proud. Post-credits granny had everyone laughing. I enjoyed this, I must say, even if it was largely for the novelty.

I'm Gonna

I don't have too much to say other than that I still cannot believe this film was done in 48 hours. True to the theme, it feels as though it spans decades. It's one to remember.

The Stile

I found this film extremely unsettling, but no doubt that was part of the idea. By far this film's strongest aspect is the cinematography; never before have I seen camerawork so expertly tunnel-visioned onto the sheer anger, sadness, and guilt of a single face. The high focal length that stayed consistent throughout had a tendency to lift shots into the abstract; and it was here that I found the film the most powerful. The flat white sky, filmed with no horizon or land to draw a reference, indeed appears as though the character is floating through 'the light'. Beth Walsh's performance was indeed on point and entirely convincing. The makeup and colour grading really brought out her distress. I don't quite understand why Death was cast as a kid, but I'm sure it fits into something. I'd say that the film's weakest point is the sound. The deep, constant rumble was well-placed and lifted the tone immensely, however it lacked any dynamic qualities, and its fading in/out and mixing came across as rather careless for such a dramatic element. The dialogue had a bit of audible background noise but outside of that it was crisp and tight. An instant classic.

Its Not a Pirates Life for me

Really exceptionally cute. Family team? I wrote one word in my notes: "love". That is what I feel here. So cheerful and with such a genuine flourish, and yet so unexpected! The Wellington City Council! Pirates! The two combined! It's so wonderful that I cease to be able to accurately describe it. In terms of actual film making, sure, perhaps it isn't the cleanest or the most controlled; but the script is incredible and wonderfully creative and the acting is lively. This was a film I thoroughly enjoyed.

Sleeper

This movie has gripped my attention. It seems like the exact kind of thing I would want to make -- and you, having made it, have shown me all the flaws that so often come alongside a film that is so auterial, so arthouse, so deeply emotionally inspired. There's a lot to talk about, and I think I want to work through the film with you here, in the pursuit of uncovering that fine line between the movie in our minds and the movie in the audience's eyes. Genre. Nature run amok. Others have called the movie out on this and I can understand why, however I can definitely see a lot of ways that it can be interpreted. The disease that Quinn gets at the start of the film -- is that not nature running amok on this relationship, and that man's life? I think some of the other reviewers missed that point -- but that exact aspect, the fact they missed it, is just as much a problem with the film as it is with them. The audience, I guess, was not expecting your unique take on nature run amok -- and perhaps you failed to give enough explicit screen time to this idea of the disease (if that is indeed what you were going for). But that brings me onto this second idea. This idea of literalism, or realism, or whatever you want to call it. After the climax, when Quinn sees Eliza in the dark, it's implied that she's a vision of sorts, she isn't really there. Is this a kind of personification of nature, perhaps, death coming to take him? It very well could be so - and if so - it puts your film fully in the scope of nature run amok. But that's the thing, it's so subjective, so deeply subjective, and I'm not sure this is what the audience is looking for. In my own films, I've had a tendency to do the same thing -- to shy away from ever telling the audience exactly what is happening. It's an extension of the whole, 'show, don't tell' philosophy, but when it comes down to it, the audience wants to know what's going on -- THEN they want to think about it. And this creates a tricky dilemma for your ending sequence, because a surface-level interpretation tells us that nothing happens. A deeper interpretation, well, who knows. I've watched you film several times now and each time I feel it much more strongly. The emotions you are trying to conjure, as another reviewer pointed out, are definitely difficult to earn in five minutes. With the complexity of your narrative, and the relative 'flatness' of the music and cinematography, your challenge is made even greater. But I think, when you really pay attention, there is a lot going on here. The cinematography is not flashy but it is purposeful (and extremely impressive for a duo team). There's these incredible moments -- moments with flickers of light -- that feel so accidental yet so purposeful and immediately evoke images of A Ghost Story. Let's talk about sound. Fuck ADR. Who cares about the sound quality? I can hear the lines well enough. Of course it isn't perfect, but in the climax of the film, the strong ambiance was really powerful and builds quite a bit of tension. The music in the film is quite good too, fitting at the very least. In terms of acting, I thought that Eliza was played perfectly convincingly, though Quinn, while being otherwise pretty spotless, has one moment when he makes the phone call where he literally sounds like a monotone Adam Driver. A little underwhelming for such a climactic moment. I feel a great level of attention to detail in the film, that comes through in a way that people don't expect. This might be me looking too far into things, but shots which might otherwise seem throwaway, feel like they have intentionality behind them. The short sequence where Quinn wakes up and looks out the window -- the flashbacks, and the reflections, seem connected. The scribble on the wall, half-lit in the low sun, the theme of white, coldness, nothingness, white like the blank page of Quinn's notebook and the flashes of light as Eliza approaches. My media studies teacher always asked me, when I was making a film, who my target audience was. Now I really understand why. I'm sure you love your film, and it has managed to reach me too. But were you aiming for wider 48 hours appeal? The wider 48hours audience that expects a solid depiction of genre, a strong, fast-paced narrative, a confronting mixture of drama and comedy? I guess I shouldn't presume to tell you what you should aim for, but I think it's worth taking a step back, to find that fine line, where the most amount of people can share in your vision. Then again, maybe it's all the conventional beats you miss that make this work so appealing to me. Oh it's so easy to over-think. Your film is not nothing. Your film feels. Now you just need to find a way for it to talk.

Unquenchable, Undying

This film looked good. And was pretty polished. And had good acting and set design. But for me it was the perfect example of the problem that looping time travel movies have -- we're seeing the same thing too many times. The concept in itself... I'm unsure as to its viability, but this film, I felt, was just way too repetitive. I don't want to see everything twice or three times, even if the character reacts differently. I think looping time travel has to be treated differently, where we see something new every time, and while there were things I progressively noticed, this film was frankly one of the hardest to watch. It was made worse by the several other similar concept films in the heat.

Bullies, Nerds and a Weirdo

I think this was a school team? In any case, I feel like this film really captures a school team's spirit. Low budget looking, often lending to further comedy, with hilarious moments. Kicking the book had everyone laughing. Gratuitous V product placement. THE BUSH IS SHAKING. This film had a flourish, a flourish visible even in the rather dark beginning and endings. It's a flourish I admire, even if the filmmakers aren't ready for prime time just yet.

Eyes Crust Shut

Thanks! I hate it

The Prepper

All I was thinking while watching this was, wow, there is a lot of antagonistic swearing in this - the kind of stuff that we were scared enough to cut from our own film this year - so I'm happy you guys made it in. Quite a gritty film right up until the end, where it really takes on a transcendent power, becoming one of the funniest of the night in an instant. I can still remember that face so clearly. Brilliant, although so much of the movie lives in the shadow of the final moment.

Hairmonal Creatures

A great concept with a great tone, and the practical effects to back it up. Good job finding a way to get the spicy drone shot in there. Some impressive cinematography and honestly just a fun film overall. Not too much to say beyond that really, I have to admit that I didn't personally connect with it as much as others.

The Clock Is Ticking

I enjoyed this movie somewhat but I guess it was on a somewhat surface level. The elbow pads on that guy's hoodie are hilarious. All the jokes about Britney were... interesting. The double take, while being so far the most obtrusive I have seen in any film, was HILARIOUS. I really enjoyed the slurriness of the first two characters, and as others have supposed, it could've perhaps taken on a Spud from Trainspotting kinda vibe. I feel like I need to give recognition to your VFX because that was certainly probably harder than anyone gives you credit for. That said, the clock ticking felt like a bit of a... cop out, somewhat, despite the film actually conforming to the prompt.

Laundry Time

Slightly unusual indeed that this film featured Lana Del Rey. And definitely there were a ton of issues with this work. But there's something about it that spoke to me on some level, a semblance of style or meaning or perhaps even beauty. The blinky-light machine really spoke to me visually, and I found many of the shots to be, though clearly forced, somewhat beautiful. I see a lot of my own work in this, and a lot of my own downfalls. I also sense the direction, or the desire, that drives this. I think you should persevere, for though this film may be a mess, with practice things will become clearer.

Utka

Of course you don't often see an animated film, so I was interested right from the start. If the narrator didn't naturally have that Russian accent, then I must say that I am very, very impressed. What I found was that Utka's cute crayon-drawn world was deceiving, for its visual design is impeccable. The cat especially; diamonds everywhere; thin, slippery lines. Spectacular. The music was also a strong point, and alongside the brilliant narration, this film really had a flow that gripped me right the way through. I want to say that the animation should've been a little more ambitious, but choosing animation in the first place is ambitious enough.

Shed

Wow! Rather beautiful cinematography and really punchy sound effects. Nice bit of VFX mixed in there. You've gone with an incredibly simple narrative and that has granted you a streamlined film but it also feels a little bit unlikely (and don't mean the time-travelling shed. It's a great subtextual action to stroke the belly but there's so much attention drawn to it it's a bit TOO conscious, if you get what I mean. Those head flashbacks as well I feel were an imperfect choice and could've been better portrayed through mishmashing flashbacks. This is something I tried to explore in our own film this year, where we treated flashbacks in more of a minimalist way so as to make them almost indistinguishable from cutaways. That could've been an interesting concept in this film too. Perhaps it would've taken too much time. I thought costuming and acting was really good (and Stu you look great in it too). In some ways this film is the opposite to your last one. Admittedly The Stile is hard to beat (that should've been a finalist film).

I really enjoyed this, I think it's comprehensively entertaining though it has its rough edges (par for the course) and it really makes me look forward to the work you do in the future. I might come back to expand this review later on, and near as I can tell they don't have a star rating system anymore, but I'll going to give this a 3.5/5. I haven't actually seen anyone else's movie yet though.

The Art of the Deal

There's not a lot I can add to from the other reviews, but there are a few main points I want to hit on. Firstly, I definitely agree with the sentiment over the color grading. There was just something off about it -- it's clear that you were intentionally going for grim, scary, whatnot, but the grade felt obvious and almost oppressive. Whatever camera you were using, it was also considerably over-sharp, and it really brought out the quality issues in the recording I think. It's tricky to make comments on the cinematography because it felt like everything about the camerawork was trying to hide what was actually happening, which somehow didn't work for this setting in a library. The split-screen idea as a solution to keep to real time was pretty cool (not sure why you were DQed, but that part I liked), and the credits, while mayyybe being "self indulgent" were at least very eye-catching. Sadly more eye catching than the rest of the film perhaps, and that is exactly the sort of thing you don't want to hear. I liked that you were whispering in the library. It felt real, in a film which seemed so adverse to realism.

Pop goes the Weasel

Impressive production value and acting; came across almost exactly like professional-level television. Narratively speaking nothing was held back, but I did feel the slimey tentacles of television-budget-restrictions grasping at this film's cinematography. I was repelled and attracted simultaneously. Oh god, should I even say that?

The Wind in your Heart

This film does have its weaknesses, it's of course not perfect, and it doesn't really extend beyond shallow comedy. It's also the most joyful, funny-tear-inducing, enjoyable film in 48hours this year. My first time watching it had my friends and I jumping in our seats clapping and cheering with massive smiles on our faces. This is Wellington, this is joy, and it is DISGUSTING that this film did not win best use of wind. I mean what the heck?! Thank you so much for making this film.

END

Finally, I get to review this. You can imagine me rubbing my hands together in anticipation. This is an excellent script. Unquestionably. Good to see Beth Walsh back at it again. She gave a very confrontational performance this year as last, and I felt she was the foundation behind the film's control of tension. I'm going to level and say I did not enjoy this as much as The Style, for The Style had much more style. This was a penetrating character study into the realities of a relationship, somewhat juxtaposed against the finality of the world coming to an end. It was very simple in concept, somewhat simple in cinematics and overall execution, but the writing is where the finer details flourish. Your work is observational, a pretty thing to be looked at, admired, and the sheer realism of it inspires meaning. The Jenga tower was no accident, right? It did not fall down. Daniel's "but that's none of my business" pin, eerily fitting. Daniel Mathers, now I think of it, was my biggest issue with this film. He had no chemistry, his performance felt flat, and the only thing I am more displeased with was the decision to cast him. I swear to god he was playing himself. Your film, so deeply focused on the connection between these two characters and the realistic portrayal of their picnic, was let down by my utter disbelief that they could ever actually be together.

Potem Immortales

This film was so much fun, and you really took the musical genre and ran with it. I was incredibly impressed by the location you filmed at, it looked incredible. Acting was appropriately over the top, especially from the guard, and really carried the film along. I can't imagine how hard it is to write and record three or so songs in under 48 hours. The masks were a really cool too, and work well as part of the motif for the film . As has been pointed out already, the cinematography was a bit hit-and-miss, with some shots being very well executed while others fell a bit flat. It appeared like it was shot on a phone too; one specific detail I would've changed is that it would probably have been better to focus on the gun when it was pulled, and not the person pulling it. But of course phones don't pull focus too well. Overall this was an incredibly quirky and fun film (with a great title of course) that is very enjoyable.