Monday, 5 August 2013

Whee! I'm excited!

UPDATE: The DVD arrived, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and you can read my review here.


...because I've ordered a copy of Rob Ager's 2012 zombie film/cinematic brain teaser Turn in Your Grave.   It's an independent film so you may not be able to find it at your usual retailer, but you can get it on DVD via Ager's website where I got mine for the very reasonable price of £10.00, including shipping.


Chris Honey make up test for Turn In Your Grave
Actor Christopher Honey did his own make up for this film.  Now that's talent!  Image from www.turninyourgrave.com

I'm a big fan of Rob's film analysis work, and can't wait to see him put into practice all the surreal subtext he likes to explore in his analyses.  I don't normally buy DVDs, but I bought this one because I like to support independent artists as much as possible.   My opinion of Turn in Your Grave is likely to go one of two ways:  either I'll think it's okay, but nothing special, or I'll love it to the point of obsession and watch it a zillion times.

That's because Turn in Your Grave is a puzzle.  You don't figure out the plot just by watching it and following the surface narrative.  The film's real narrative is encoded in a complex system of background clues and images.  I expect to have to watch it several times with a pen and paper before I figure out what's really going on.

Turn in Your Grave begins with several people waking up to find themselves trapped in a warehouse.  Or maybe it's an artist's studio, since there are paintings stacked against the walls.  But why?  Is it a dream?  A reality TV show?  A crazy practical joke?  Have they died and gone to hell?  More importantly, will they be able to escape and avoid being killed by the mysterious enemies who also lurk in the warehouse?

The premise is not unlike Lost, except that Ager started with an overarching narrative in mind and wasn't making it up as he went along*.

Are you interested?  Mystified?  You will be when you check out the trailer:







In truth, one of the reasons I'm itching to see this film is that from what I can see Ager seems to have used art as a major narrative element.  The warehouse the characters find themselves trapped in contains enigmatic paintings and drawings that reveal clues about what's happening.  I can't think of very many films where art plays an important role that aren't either a) films about artists, or b) films that rely on special effects and/or animation.



That's not an indictment of the Lost scriptwriters, mind you.  They didn't know the show would run for six seasons and hadn't planned the story arc that far ahead.