Saturday 27 June 2009

Trailer for Richard Kelly's "The Box"

Though I wouldn't consider myself a fanboy of Richard Kelly's first film "Donnie Darko" (I don't own the extended director's cut), I certainly do love it. Like most people, I heard about it through slow building buzz on the internet since it had to find its audience through DVD release. Its initial theatrical plans were somewhat quashed after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 because the film contains a key element of a plane's engine crashing into a house. The early buzz talked about the time travel elements and that was enough to make my expectations hopeful. It surpassed them all though. Not because I think it's a profound commentary or anything, but simply because all its elements worked for me - the use of music, the individual character quirks, the little bits of foreshadowing and so forth.

So I was over the moon excited for Kelly's follow-up film "Southland Tales" - even after its virtual disaster of a premiere at Cannes in 2006 (a 160 minute version without completed visual effects was submitted). Once it made it out to DVD audiences (it had a theatrical release, but barely), storylines had been cut, characters dropped and even scenes re-ordered. It was a disappointment for me, but there are still a number of moments that are either intriguing or visually well put together (the centerpiece being Justin Timberlake's dream sequence to the tune of The Killers "All These Things That I've Done"). I haven't yet revisited it, but there's enough there that makes me want to at some point.

Now comes "The Box". A simple enough premise - would you press a button to receive a million dollars if you knew that it would directly result in the death of a single person somewhere in the world? If that sounds like a great idea for a short story you'd be right - Richard Matheson wrote "Button, Button" in 1970. I think the concept has all kinds of interesting paths down which it can go and it could end up being a fine tension-filled thriller. On the other hand, the release has been delayed already (which is never a good sign) and I'm a bit worried as to how this will be stretched to a full feature film. I think Kelly has another solid film in him though, so I'm going to go the hopeful route again...

Here's the trailer:

Consider me eager.

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