Astron 6: A Night to Remember

On the whole, the night was fairly disappointing for me, however, I must admit that I did find Goreblade 2: Chat Quest quite amusing and Steven Kostanski’s surrealist vision Heart of Karl was worth the price of admission alone. In fact, in my opinion, Heart of Karl is one of the stronger short works made in Winnipeg in recent years. Many of the other Astron works are well crafted but lack any significant content. Furthermore, they rely heavily on juvenile humour and inside jokes. For instance, consider the faux sexual tension between Matthew Kennedy and Conor Sweeney. The only people who find this funny are friends of the two actors. The other people who might be interested in seeing these two young, good looking straight boys making out and touching each other would likely to be offended by the occasional derogatory use of the word “faggot”. For me, the thing I find most upsetting about their work is that their incredible craftiness and talent seems, for the most part, wasted.

Heart of Karl is cinematic achievement. The film is well written, well crafted and, above all, original. Despite the film’s harsh visceral tone, that is, its gory and often hideous visuals, the film contains a much softer message. The film is ultimately about our love for those close to us despite the occasional periods of frustration when we lack the ability to communicate with or understand each other. It is easy to see why this film continues to get good reviews wherever it plays. It is impressive in both content and form.

All of this being said, I am looking forward to a time when the content of these filmmakers work matures into something beyond crass humour and the need for regular (almost constant) uses of the f-bomb. Given these filmmakers attention to detail, with better content these films would reach a much broader audience and would stand a much better chance outside of Winnipeg. I am looking forward to seeing what comes in Year 2.

At Winnipeg Cinematheque 7/17/09

– Clint Enns

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~ by cineflyer on July 18, 2009.

One Response to “Astron 6: A Night to Remember”

  1. I don’t think I knew Steven Kostanski was from Winnipeg. My own review of the film focuses on the effects and make-up too much, but I think you’re absolutely right about the emotional underpinning of the brothers’ relationship is what makes the film ultimately so successful. The grotesqueness of the film is a bonus.

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