Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: Dennis Hauck: Too Late (2016)

Dennis Hauck's first feature-length film is Too Late that premiered earlier this year. It's an exceptional film, filmed on 35 mm film and shown only on film. I don't know if there will be a DVD or Blu-Ray later on or if the film will be available on streaming sites, but I guess not. (Oh, it's available on iTunes.)

I was lucky to have the opportunity to see the film last week. While Too Late is not a masterpiece, it's an interesting film in its own right, while it's also an interesting experiment, as it consists only of five shots, each 20 minute long. (The length of a film reel.) This is not done actually very consistently, as there are some scenes with split screens, and there are some edits in the end, but all in all Too Late is a marvelous technical experiment.

Too Late is also a crime film, a neo-noir, if you will. John Hawkes is very good playing a private detective getting caught up in his own past, and there are some other known actors in small roles, like Robert Forster, Jeff Fahey (whom I didn't recognize), Joanna Cassidy and some others. The story is about a stripper working at a seedy club and getting to know some intimate secrets of the owner - or is it...? It's a bit like David Lynch and also a bit like Quentin Tarantino and his Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs: the story moves back and forth in time and you have to be careful to really understand what's going on.

The major problem with the film is that it's too talkative. The 20-minute shots get caught up in people talking, and nothing much happens on screen. There's also the familiar problem with many experimental movies: you don't really invest much interest in these people. It's more a like game, though the surprise twist in end feels more touching than anything else in the film.

Still, Too Late is a very worthwhile film and if you have the opportunity, check it out.

More Overlooked Films at Todd Mason's blog. (I hope there will be more Films.)

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