Thursday, March 24, 2011

SXSW 2011 -- 96 Minutes

96 Minutes
Dir. Aimee Lagos

Synopsis: Four kids. One night. One shocking event.  In 96 minutes, their lives will be changed forever.  (This film held it's world premier at SXSW, but I attended a later showing)

This movie was pretty powerful.  The writer/director mentioned in the Q and A that it was based around events that had actually occurred, although it was a mesh of stories.  It still seemed like the story itself was very close to her heart.  She worked with underprivileged youth in Atlanta, where the film was also shot. So, she seemed to be working with things she knew well, and brought a lot of herself into the project.  Which completely shown through to the end result.

The whole idea somewhat rotated around the idea that in some college cities, especially Ivy League, there becomes two worlds.  There's the college kids that are surrounded by sometimes the most slummy parts of a town with gangs and violence just a walking distance away.  So, when these worlds could collide so easily, and do on a seemingly average Friday night, (to steal from the synopsis) lives change forever.

The whole idea was extremely original, and not like anything I had seen before.  At first, it seemed like it was just going to be some kind of remake of Crash, where they just show how everyone is interconnected, but instead, they take a huge turn and go in a different suspense thriller/horror direction.  So, I found that really refreshing.

In the same note, the person they had score the film, they said, had never worked on a movie before.  But you wouldn't know it.  The score was very powerful and moving.

And finally, the acting was very strong.  Brittany Snow was the only bigger name that I recognized, but they all seemed to be very tight and knew what they were doing.  Ugh, and the messed up kid just made me want to punch him in the Eminem-wanna-be face.  Good casting there.  So, kudos to having an amazing cast and crew pull together such a powerful and moving piece.

Run Time (funny enough) 93 minutes + 3302 = 3395