A very original vision
James M Fields | Brooklyn, NY USA | 01/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've actually seen a pre-press DVD package of this and all I have to say is it's great. The director, Scott King, designed the DVD packaging himself and it reflects the quirky and exceptional visual style of the film itself. It's really a cool thing to add to your DVD collection.I would recommend this film to any film noir fanatics out there. The film is heavily influenced by classic '40s film noir. King shot the movie himself using a vintage Mitchell 35mm camera and the results are truly remarkable. As for the story: it's a kind of psycho-sexual journey through the minds of two cryptographers during world war 2. Very original and definately entertaining. This is one of the coolest films I saw at the 1999 Sundance festival. I'm glad to see something like this get on DVD."
Provocative Independent Film
D. Bannister | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 07/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This winner of the Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival was directed by Scott King. Ostensibly it is about two WW2 cyrptographers who devise a plan of dropping false documents with a corpse to mislead the Japanese. Loosely based on the novel "The Man Who Never Was", King chooses to follow the darker sexual side of the duo. Each is gradually revealed by the strange influence of the corpse in a refrigerated coffin at their work.Reviews have been mixed. Some say that Treasure Island is probably the worst independent film honored at Sundance while others rave at its daring and imagination.Although the movie wandered far beyond my comfort zone I found it smart and compelling. It challenges both machismo and femininity and leaves you with some unsettling questions. As with all independent films there is a tendency to throw the kitchen sink at the viewer which can create discontinuity but here it is not severe and doesn't detract from the principal themes. The movie itself is beautifully executed in black and white and has a richness and texture that is unusual for low budget films.Although highly provocative I enjoyed Treasure Island. It remains to be known whether this is an insult or compliment to the director Scott King."
Thought Provoking: Too Bright to Be Dark
M. S. Athan | Birdland, USA | 02/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Treasure Island stays with you. It doesn't linger like the fragrance of gardenias in the summer air, rather it satisfies more like Thanksgiving Dinner. T. I. is still kicking around inside you late at night and hanging on for a day or so until it finally works its way through all the kinks in your intestines.The story involves two cryptographers charged with creating an ersatz identity as a ruse for the enemy. In the process of generating personal documents for a corpse they intend to leave for the Japanese, their own, polyamorous inner selves are revealed.Acting and casting are excellent. The actors' ability to stay in character, delivering absolutely canned dialogue, effectively sells the campy story of repressed sexuality and the need to "numb up", putting away personal feelings, during the war years. The gay character in the casket -- rather than the closet -- is a brilliant flashback to Liberace in Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One.The cinematography came close to film noir without the shadows. Actually, there were shadows in the credits that made the names a little hard to read, but more obtuse lighting throughout would have amplified the dark repressions of the era. It's an ambitious first film with near flawless attention to period details (except for ice in a drink in an early bar scene). I certainly enjoyed it more than Eraserhead, David Lynch's first jump out of the can. Waiting with baited breath for more work from Scott King, a very brilliant young man whose brain will, unquestionably, someday migrate north of his zipper."