Dark Reel—On DVD (A Review)

Think of a row of dominos as scenes in a film. The first domino strikes the one before it; the impact launches a second tile into a third, and so on. In the fall of a single domino you have dramas essence, in the striking of two you have conflict, and in the tiles arrangement the story.

Now a writer creates an environment which contains and frames his narrative. By committing to the framing device he can go literally anywhere and take his audience along: You can blow up the death star if you start with battling space ships roaring overhead. A mother can cross to the spirit realm Dark Reel DVD Coverand save her child if a ghostly hand first shot out of the television set. It’s gravity that links and makes the tumbling domino work. But when a film works dramatically it’s not due to anything as logical as gravity. (Giant man-eating bunnies? Living in John Malkovich’s head?) For a movie to succeed, first and foremost, requires individual scenes be connected and justified by the filmmakers fidelity to his framing device.

In other words: If little Joey is an orphan trying to escape Nazi Germany for forty minutes of the movie you can’t have him rescued by giant space worms awoken from hibernation by all the bombing. Any other merits Dark Reel has are moot because the writer\director broke one of the Golden Rules: Can’t have no boom in the 50th scene if the fuse ain’t lit in the 1st. Sorry, Josh.

Available for streaming On Demand

Director: Josh Eisenstadt

Starring: Edward Furlong, Lance Henriksen. Tony Todd

Rated: R

Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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