Starring: Jason Alan Smith, Carlee Avers, Margaret Rose Champagne
Directed by and Written by: Michael Mongillo
Running Time: 82 minutes
Reviewed by: Dan Oles
I don’t go out of my way to be disapproving despite my position as a critic. Critique and condemnation are two different things even if they can get entangled. You have to take into consideration for the sake of fairness different tastes and weigh the story content with the content of the acting, directing, and other facets to determine the value of the package as a whole rather than focusing on only one aspect. And even keyboard jockeys have hearts. You can tell when time, attention, and love is poured into a work for the sake of a dream compared to something slapped together for a buck. Diane is a labor of love. It’s nicely directed, for the most part well acted, and in many ways it’s an impressive and daring bit of filmmaking.
It’s also incredibly boring.
The problem with interest is that it’s both personal and not subjective. If you’re attached to a story, characters, concept you can feel the compulsion to continue a cinematic experience. Conversely if nothing is dragging you in, all the smooth camera-work, artistic desaturation, dreamy music and competent performances in the universe cannot keep you fully invested. Diane is a film noir style murder mystery at heart, but it carries with it a lot of baggage from contemporary art films. Not a lot happens, and it takes forever to do so. Characters are only barely sketched, spend a lot of time in shot-reverse-shot conversations about mundane things, or gaze wistfully at empty landscapes thinking to themselves. We’ve got a smattering of dream sequences and flashbacks, but they are used sparingly because the central mystery is so simple stretching it to an hour was a bit presumptuous.
The influences and homages of Diane are worn proudly on its sleeve for all to see. If you’re a fan of cinema you’re in for a veritable easter egg hunt. Unfortunately if you’re looking for a compelling narrative, a surprising brainteaser, an in-depth character study or…really anything other than a sluggishly paced tribute to genre film making you’ll probably be disappointed.
Check out Anti-Hero The Motion Comic Series Episode 1 from Dan Oles (Watch for Free!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmmouuBlWTk&t=49s