A circus of the grotesque, simple and amazing. Felix Crabtree Michael Lake and his sister Betty Melissa Davis live alone in the desert. All in all, this is a little gem of a film. The score is a haunting blend of inspired minimalist electro pads and creaky violin, that conjures up perfectly the sun-bleached skulls, the tumbling weeds and the pathos of the two characters caught in their own cycle of madness and humanity. They have a real dynamic, and even though they had only had limited experience up to this point, pulled off some memorable performances. This Blu-ray presentation is a new 2K scan of the original 16 mm film negatives.
This display device is 16x9 capable. No audio dropouts or sync issues appear. I don't claim to be an experienced film reviewer, just an enthusiast who loves this one. Before me there are three other reviewers, one called davidknaus1 and one called drella-3 and both reviewed exactly one movie with a perfect score, guess which one? With her caked-on makeup, home-made Cello and bizarre Victorian-era dresses, Betty seems to be representative of a bygone era. Overall, the dynamics between the small cast kept me engaged and uncomfortable for the films 96 minutes. Both Felix and Betty are trapped by the past; their religious convictions are the legacy of their father who is buried beyond the homestead.
Item is in original shrink wrap if applicable. That is until the mysterious Smith Norman Boyd one day stumbles onto their land and collapses into their lives. Summary I first became aware of Alex Proyas when I was blown away by The Crow. The simple plot which speaks of broken dreams and desperate hope is childlike and touching. Silent; the remote can be used to advance or the stills do advance automatically. Composer Peter Miller's original soundtrack was also re-released as a 30th anniversary edition.
Tucked in between the two periods of his filmography is the mysteriously titled Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds. The characters all yearning for escape but seemingly do not know how. Special features include a commentary over the film with the affably chatty Proyas and a second commentary with the Craig Wood the editor and the composer. When they encounter a wandering stranger named Smith Norman Boyd , their simple lives become tumultuous as the wheelchair-bound Felix dreams of flying and Betty believes their new arrival to be a demonic presence - the characters all yearning for escape but seemingly do not know how. Striking images of decay and abstract sculpture opens the film in a fashion that feels experimental, a sensation and visual style that carries over into the narrative, which anchors to a central theme of flight. Mystery Clock Cinema YouTube channel.
Thankfully in 2018 Umbrella Entertainment have revived the film with a brand new 2K scan from the original 16mm Camera Negative. One day, he will have seen everything there is to see, and he will start all over again. Wheelchair-bound, alcoholic Felix Crabtree Michael Lake and his deranged religiously-fixated sister, Betty Rhys Davis find their quiet, forlorn lives disrupted when a stranger Norman Boyd appears at their rundown farmhouse on the edge of a vast desert. The sound is rich and clear. I like all Alex's films, with the possible exception of The Crow, but I think this early piece is the one that touches my heart the most. Smith mentions his desire for flight — quite a coincidence, as Felix is obsessed with building a glider to clear the mountains to the north and fly off to a new life.
The third reviewer colsim reviewed four movies so I guess we'll give him the benefit of the doubt. The characters are absolutely charming in their eccentricity, and despite the fact that they are, on purpose I expect slightly caricatured, it seems to fit in totally with the alternately gaudy and melancholy feel of the environment. The docos are great and insightful, but the interviews do drag a little and could have been edited for brevity and concision. He shares how many key shots were concieved and ultimately performed and also shares some stories from set. This song is on the soundtrack album but is not itself in the film. Modern technology is absent, with wheels and gears operating a variety of broken devices to assist their struggle to survive. For some on-location footage, the making-of featurette is worth checking out, which generally consists of a casual tour around the minimal set pieces during and between takes.
Meanwhile, the religiously-addled Betty is convinced that Smith is a demon from hell, and makes her own plans to get rid of him. The camera travels around the set during the filming of many key scenes and I found it fascinating to see how they certain films were shot. The Umbrella Blu-ray release is once again excellent. Philosophical themes of death, hope, paranoia, religion and technology are all major parts of the films narrative. Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds may not be totally successful as it tries to fit in too many influences and images but it is certainly an audacious work from a first time Australian filmmaker that deserves to be seen. Despite being mostly idle, prior to new company, Felix is optimistic while Betty lives in permanent state of fear and apprehension, whereas Smith seems to represent survival in the face of a broken world and the those who pursue him.
Betty is one of the truly great film characters, just an absolute tripper - I can't describe her but the performance is a delight. The result is that Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds is a beautiful film with saturated, vibrant colours; the red desert and blue sky often intersecting horizontally across the 4x3 frame. Yay for the guts to be original. Spirits was produced on a super low budget, but none the less the crew did get the minimum wage, and it was much fun to shoot. Felix and Betty are happy isolated in their house. Proyas started his film-making career much earlier in much the same way as Russell Mulcahy Razorback in the world of music videos and shorts.
. From the films outset, we are treated to a hypnotic and sweeping desert vista complete with burnt orange sands under a backdrop of turquoise sky. There are unanswered questions about this post-apocalyptic existence — where do the candles come from, not to mention the food? Smith is fleeing to the north, a trio of sinister figures in pursuit. This new scan is absolutely stunning. Lake discusses many aspects of his experience working on the low budget film. Justin Decloux is a writer and filmmaker who lives in Toronto, Ontario.