DIS
 

DIS

What you sow, you shall reap...

 
In Memory Of
 

In Memory Of

 
Celebrating ‘BLACK FRIDAY’ with Stephen Nemeth
 

Celebrating ‘BLACK FRIDAY’ with Stephen Nemeth

 

Pieces of Talent (2014)

Pieces of Talent (2014)
5
Title: Pieces of Talent
Director: Joe Stauffer
Writer(s): David Long, Joe Stauffer
Cast: Kristi Ray, David Long, Barbara Weetman, Jon Stafford
Genre(s): Horror

I hate to be on the band wagon here, and honestly, I really had the inexplicable urge to find something wrong with this film from the start. I’d just heard too much positivity. Too much praise. Way way way too much promise. I couldn’t explain it. I wanted to knock this movie off its little pedestal and put it in its place. I guess it was just the cynic in me.

Fuck me. I couldn’t do it.

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This film is pretty much perfect. All the pieces (ha) are there, and it all blends so well. Storytelling, emotion, script, pacing, visuals. It’s all so expertly conveyed and realized. The story centers on two major characters. Charlotte, acted here by Kristi Ray, is an aspiring actress living in with her mom and just trying to make a living working at the local strip joint as a waitress, and then there’s the enthralling antagonist, Mr. David Long. I hesitate to give much away about David, as it delves into spoiling all of the fun of experiencing the film for yourself, but it’s safe to say that the David Long is a man who is…dedicated…to his work. An indie filmmaker producing a deeply personal project consisting only of himself and his rather unwilling cast, Long gives off this affable, energetic, and distinctly driven presence on the surface of it all. Underneath all of this however, there lies a hidden psychotic under-layer, as well as some cryptic personal demons, which kicks all of that energy and enthusiasm up to disturbingly frightening levels when he becomes invested into his work. But it’s the man on the surface that gives way to a trusting relationship when he meets up with Charlotte, where she kindly intervenes a decidedly unpleasant altercation between a guard’s fist and Mr. Long’s face at her place of work, and after rescuing and aiding David for an extended period of time the two get to know each other. With their coincidentally compatible interests this all leaves Charlotte and David departing only temporarily with plans to work together in the future and perhaps get to know each other a little more.

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This leads me to discuss David Long’s little production. For starters, it’s intriguing to see his investment and personal devotion to it all. Seeing him divulge into his true self and putting his “cast” through all kinds of hell for his own personal gratification is perverse, extremely visceral, and sickeningly entrancing. David Long as an actor (It’s a little hard to be distinct here as he and his character share the same name) really gives it his all and truly makes you believe he is, well…not in the most stable of mentalities. We’re left with some questions overall, as the film doesn’t spend time giving us backstory into his character and what makes him tick. All we know is that he has passion for what he does and there is something most definitely wrong with his overall psyche and mental health. It kind of makes your imagination run wild wondering what started such a spark within this deranged individual and why he is doing what he does.

This all eventually leads to Charlotte’s involvement, and without giving much away, her participation holds a much more special place in Long’s grand scheme of things. She largely stays unaware of the actions of her new friend and possible employer. The film spends a great deal of time with her on a personal level, dealing with her everyday trivialities and problems, her living situation with her mother, and just giving the viewer some personal moments to become acquainted with her. This all leads to a huge emotional shock when the impending clash between her and David Long’s true intent finally presents itself. It makes the emotional shit-storm she goes through feel that much more weighty and devastating. Much more than your typical “final girl” fare, that much is to be said.

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On a technical level, there is some pretty fantastic but sparingly used gore. Far less than I was led to believe going in. What’s there is used to brutal and awe inspiring affect, yet the use of the splatter and gibs doesn’t delve into unrealistic and over-the-top territory. Then there’s the matter of the cinematography, simply beautiful stuff to say the least. Expertly framed and composed shots are on par with anything you’d see out of Hollywood today. Even moreso I’d say. Everything from unstable handheld shots to slow gliding pushes/pulls are on display here and used gorgeously. There isn’t much in the way of score, using some song tracks and maybe one actual composition piece, but this works more in favor with the film’s minimalist approach. Everything seems expertly done and produced, and Joe Stauffer and crew did an excellent job in every respect.

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In the end, I was left stunned. I couldn’t deny that what I had seen was an astounding production in every sense of the word, and I find myself wanting more from Joe and crew in the very near future.

Final score: 10 out of Mother Fucking 10

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