Hiss (and Boo)!

October 7, 2012 | By

A dramatic high point? Not with that rubber toy.

With Jennifer Chambers Lynch’s Chained poised for release this week (via Anchor Bay), it seemed logical to jump back and fill in a review of Lynch’s prior film on video.

No, not Surveillance (2008), but the film she was making soon after in India – Hisss [M] (2010) – which took 6 months to complete, and was taken over by the producers & recut to suit their tastes after Lynch’s ‘more European paced’ edit was rejected.

Lynch is the daughter of David Lynch, and as she admits in the making-of doc Despite the Gods [M] (2012) which screened at the 2012 HotDocs Film Festival, critics still can’t forgive her for Boxing Helena (1993), the dreadful feature film which started and knocked down her film career in one shot.

Hisss is truly awful – I doubt any edit can save it – but Despite the Gods is also a flawed work. Penny Vozniak’s making-of doc is a film without an ending because Lynch’s involvement with Hisss was stumped. Worse, Vozniak’s film integrates no clips of the film, so viewers at HotDocs were pricked with weird material for which they had no context.

Hisss is available on Amazon as a downloadble film and on digital, whereas Vozniak’s doc has yet to reach screens, let alone home video. In a perfect world there ought to be a boxed set featuring the producers’ and Lynch’s cuts of Hisss + Despite the Gods, but that’ll never happen, given Lynch and one of the film’s co-producers aren’t on speaking terms, and Hisss fails in almost every area, except for a few surreal shots where the snake goddess, brought to life to save her slithery beau, explores a streetlamp.

In addition to the two reviews, I’ve uploaded audio excerpts from the audience Q&A with Vozniak during its festival run, at the now-dead Cumberland Cinemas. (It’s being transformed into a chic coffee house because the upscale neighbourhood needs more snooty places to drink pricey designer coffee.)

So many stupid things in this city, including the likely decision the Princess of Wales Theatre will be demolished to make way for 3 upscale, 80 storey condo towers. There’s talk of it re-transforming the neighbourhood, and councilor Adam Vaughan’s endorsed it. My read: bullshit.

There are no such things as affordable condos in chic areas, and anything built in the Theatre District will start around $500K, because that’s the starter market for investors, not home owners. As for the absurdity of killing a 20 year old state-of-the-art house in the theatre district, well… that’s as clear as black writing on white paper.

Coming next: a review of the superb Danish TV series The Killing / Forbrydelsen, of which Seasons 1 thru 3 are poised for a 3-pack release in England, and we here in North America must wait, because the U.S. network that owns the domestic rights makes it so.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor
KQEK.com ( Main Site / Mobile Site )

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