Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jace Gaffney, Phil Hooven, Nathan Hopson, Terry Jones, Moira Rankin
Similarly Requested DVDs
A Godard Admirer
(3 out of 5 stars)
"FROM THE BACK COVER:
"WANT TO BUY SOME ILLUSIONS?
Magdalen is a tavern Scheherazade, a prostitute who sells stories in a seedy Philadelphia dive bar. Her clients include Mr. Jones (HORRIBLE acting!), an angry black businessman who wants to hear the same graphic, sexual fantasy every night; Jace, a droll, Mishima-loving slacker/writer looking for an ending to his novel; Phil, a precocious skater-boy who wants to understand his dead father; and Edward, a shy 53-year-old virgin looking for love.
Alix D. Smith is Magdalen McElhinney, a tough, brainy femme noir, whose name suggests that the film's director is the father she talks about obsessively. In a solo session with a video camera, Magdalen's one stab at self-narration rapidly morphs from self-portrait into a portrait of the filmmaker - brillant, destructive, god-identified, narcissistic and absent from her existence.
Littered with literary and cinematic allusions, the film's unreliable narrators make Magdalen part Warholian confessional and part Brechtian taproom comedy."This film tries really hard to be smart and sometimes succeeds, mostly, through the efforts of Alix D. Smith's droll, deadpan, world-weary delivery. She is the best part of Magdalen.I enjoy films that attempt to interject philosophical ideas into, or at least, in support of, the story and I give credit to McElhinney's script. The scene where Magdalen interviews McElhinney is interesting.Although McElhinney dedicates this film to Louis Feuillade, (Les Vampires - by the way, a MASTERPIECE!! and whose film making history dates back to 1906 and over 700 films), Magdalen has the "FEEL" of a Jean-Luc Godard French New Wave film such as: Band Of Outsiders, Les Carabiniers, My Life To Live (before any Godard fanatics claim blasphemy, please note I said -FEEL- of course, it does not even come CLOSE to any of Godards films!).However, where Godard always, masterfully succeeds and excels with interlacing philosophical dialogs with, sometimes, banal plot devices, McElhinney seems to just throw stuff out and see if it sounds profound (even so, it's worthy of a look).The DVD is acceptable in overall quality, although he sure could have used a compressor to edit out the annoying hiss throughout the film.Overall Quality of DVD: **1/2 /**** Sound: *1/2 /**** Plot: **1/2 /**** Acting: **/**** Cinematography: **/**** Direction: **1/2 /****"
"Art Is Narcissism ~ Regret Is An Essential Component To Hap
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 10/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's rather amazing how a camera shot of a burning cigarette smoldering in an ashtray or one lone martini with olive can emote so much loneliness and melancholy in the viewer of this obscure, intelligent little indie production `Magdalen" released in 1996. Or quite possibly it's the accompanying soundtrack featuring the haunting, angst ridden voice of the legendary French icon Edith Piaf that is pushing all our emotional buttons.
Filmed in black in white, the perfect medium for the film, all the corresponding elements are there; the seedy bar in a long abandoned and forgotten section of the city, the non-descript clientele with nowhere else to go and the working girl, Magdalen (Alix Smith), sitting at the bar waiting for her next customer. Only in this story Magdalen is not offering sex for money, her occupation is storytelling. "What would you like to hear" she asks her customers and with that established she spins tales to suit the need of the listener. As we listen in we learn much about not only the storyteller and the customer but also about ourselves.
`Magdalen' is definitely one of those films that you have to be in a definite mood for to be enjoyed. You know, one of those evenings when you're all alone, reflective and looking for something introspective. Maybe a glass of wine would be nice while viewing?"