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SIFF: Vern on SINCE THE END OF THE WORLD!

Hey folks, Harry here – Actually, while Vern kinda rags a bit on this, I’m curious to see this for the exact same reasons stated in his opening paragraph… I’ve seen 28 DAYS LATER, CABIN FEVER, DADDY DAY CARE – but I haven’t seen CITY OF SARS (I hear that’s shooting in Toronto currently) or SINCE THE END OF THE WORLD and thus far… the best one is CABIN FEVER, and I’m sure it’ll remain, though I still think the best virus/end of the world flick is NO BLADE OF GRASS, but since 10 people have seen that… I’m probably in the minority there. Here’s Vern at the Seattle International Film Festival…

Vern sees SINCE THE END OF THE WORLD at SIFF

Harry I don’t know if you’ve heard of this one but apparently it’s been playing the festivals for a couple years. Otherwise I’d think it was part of a slew of disease/virus movies like 28 DAYS LATER, CABIN FEVER, CITY OF SARS and DADDY DAY CARE. There seems to be a general panic across the world about diseases and poisons like SARS, West Nile, the flesh eating virus, mad cow disease, anthrax attacks, etc. Oh come on, let’s not be a bunch of sissies people, it’s only your FLESH being EATEN by a VIRUS. Really not a big deal. Anyway the concept of SINCE THE END OF THE WORLD is that a mysterious disease has killed off most of the world. Now it’s 12 years later, there are 168 survivors in the San Francisco Bay Area and some dudes decide to make a documentary about it.

Ever Since the World EndedIt’s really executed pretty well, with very good, naturalistic acting. There are interviews with different kinds of survivors, including a doctor, an ostracized arsonist, some young scavenger kids who don’t really remember the old world and don’t miss it, etc. It deals with some of the issues they would deal with like women looking for a male to impregnate them, or the society trying to figure out what to do when they have a violent criminal among them but don’t have any form of law enforcement.

I haven’t seen DADDY DAY CARE so I’m not sure if it’s about a deadly plague or not, I just needed another one to pad out my claim there. sorry.

Like anybody I guess I am a sucker for these types of scenarios. Like remember that movie THE QUIET EARTH where there’s only a couple people left in an empty city? Or what about OMEGA MAN, when Charlton is driving around in the day time and there’s just nobody around at all. He gets so lonely he starts playing chess with a bust of Beethoven and then these fuckin zombie vampires in robes start trying to catapult fireballs up into his window. What a bunch of assholes! Or best of all is DAWN OF THE DEAD where there are zombies all over the place but not too many regular people. That’s the best movie about scavenging because they live in the mall, with all its leftover products at their disposal, and it’s both your greatest fantasy and your favorite scathing satire of consumerism. That really is one of the great movies of our times and I honestly don’t know who I plan to punch in the balls first, the people who are remaking DAWN OF THE DEAD or the people who are remaking TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. Maybe they will have to stand next to each other and then I could just punch both at the same time. POW! But then who gets the left hand and who gets the right? I guess they could switch off and get one of each, that might work. But I think I may be getting off track here.

The point is that everyone enjoys these type of nightmare scenarios where some sort of plague or disaster leaves a small group of survivors living off the remnants of civilization. SINCE THE END OF THE WORLD does not completely deliver on what you expect from this genre. There is not alot of scavenging, almost defiantly so. They have a little scene where they show people going through houses looking through stuff, but other than that scene there’s not much evidence that that goes on. Like when a guy is getting a part replaced on his bike you wonder what’s the point, couldn’t he easily just find another bike that doesn’t need repairs? And because it’s done on a low budget there are only a few shots of empty city streets or landmarks.

On the other hand the filmatists have come up with a clever new take on the genre. Usually in a post-apocalyptic type deal you have a bunch of violent savages driving around in cars fighting over gas or stealing from each other or jugging for the blood of heroes or something. Here you get the opposite. Liberal San Francisco natives bein all lovey dovey, talkin about community and sharing big fancy houses. Making fruit salad, going on hikes, helping fix each other’s bicycles, etc. Of course, they don’t seem as liberal when they want to execute the arsonist in case he does something again, which is one of the slight social messages in the story.

I gotta be frankly honest though, this is a well made movie but I wasn’t too hot on it myself. I shoulda known what I was in for so maybe it’s not fair but I really don’t think the fake-umentary format works for a story like this. Sure THE BLAIR WITCH X-PERIMENT or whatever worked for some people because it was scary. And the SPINAL TAPs and WAITING FOR GUFFMANs work because the actors are able to be so funny in ways that wouldn’t work as well in a traditional storytelling approach. But with this I’m convinced that it would be more interesting in a straightforward story. All the documentary format does is keep reminding you that no matter how hard it tries to seem real, it is NOT real. It forces you to keep comparing it to reality and see how miserably it fails to stack up. Not only do you notice things that don’t quite come off as real, but you keep thinking about great documentaries and realizing how much more interesting it is to interview real people than fake ones. I’ve never seen a fake-umentary with characters as interesting as the people in SALESMAN or STREETWISE or AMERICAN PIMP or WRESTLING WITH SHADOWS THE HITMAN HART STORY or (etc.)

Also with this one I kept wondering why the characters would be making this documentary anyway. Who are they going to show it to? We already know there is no TV and there are only 168 people in the Bay and 166 by the end of the movie and wouldn’t this documentary about normal life to them be kind of boring? I decided they were making it just for a record of what happened for the future. But then the movie ended with a surprisingly packed screening of the movie within the movie.

And I cannot tell a lie, when the opening scene of the movie started re-playing on the screen within the movie, it scared me. Oh shit, they’re not gonna make us watch the whole thing over again are they?

There was also a short, WALLS, a generic dystopian sci-fi story about 2 men who spend their lives locked in a room working for a factory. I mean I like that kind of stuff but this short is so lacking in original ideas that it could have been made in the world where it takes place.

See I’m whippin out reviews Harry, but this is only the beginning.

thanks bud,

Vern

Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/15339

View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback

  • May 28, 2003, 9:09 a.m. CST

    PooBumBum…I expect more from someone with such a witty name…

    by Dog Of Mystery

    But, no…I can’t have my fond wish of someone with a name like PooBumBum being worth having around. You can’t contribute to the conversation. You can only spew forth the verbal wanking that is the “first” post. Congrats, numbnuts. You’re first. Now what? Oh? You’ve got nothing to say? Well, there’s a surprise. Brain dead motherfuckers like you need to find somewhere else to go, and I can offer a few suggestions. There is a general lack of IQ over at filmjerk.com. That’s a good start for you. And there’s always mtv.com (where you’ll finally be amongst those even more vaccuous than yourself). Or you can find yourself one of those free porn sites on your favorites list and wank for real instead of all over the TalkBack page. Just don’t do it in here, dude. We don’t want you here any more. Fuck off, good bye, bon voyage and all that shit. Fuck first posters. Fuck them up their stupid asses.

  • May 28, 2003, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Ahhh this is another joke! Right? Cos this HAS been reviewed on

    by silentbobafett2

  • May 28, 2003, 10:30 a.m. CST

    I especially enjoy the way you say; First “Bitches”

    by Jon Lee Ander

    because claiming pole position in talkback really makes you the shit, doesn’t it? Eddie Bunker said it best;”jocks are just ex punks looking for revenge” or something like that.

  • May 28, 2003, 11:59 a.m. CST

    definitely worth your time…

    by melloncollie

    I got to see this at a press screening and it was incredibly intriguing. You really walk out of it wondering what really happened because the thing is just so damn convoluted. It felt a lot like Errol Morris’ doc ‘The Thin Blue Line’ and the lack of bias is exceptional, not to mention seeing the actual footage can be moving.

  • May 28, 2003, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Ringside seat to the show

    by Redbeard_NV

    In my life, I have had a ringside seat to many different incidents dealing with this type of activity, I have become sickened at the mere mention of molestors. First, the director’s research into children’s entertainers brings back the memory of a meeting with a man called Marvin Fox Matthau, a so-called cousin of the actor Walter Matthau, who was my family’s insurance agent. He was a part-time children’s entertainer and was later revealed to be a child molestor (considering this occured on Long Island makes the similarities between this case and my encounter even more spooky). Then I was living in Hermosa Beach, CA during the McMartin Pre-school investigation and trial, when the major media and newspapers were running with every single tidbit of so-called police evidence, releasing it as gospel truth, such as the rantings of a mentally disturbed woman, the tainted and manipulated interviews with the kids and the grandstanding of an ex-FBI agent looking for his 15 minutes of fame, along with Gil Garcetti the rest of the L.A. District Attourney’s office. But one local paper, The Beach Reporter, countered the feeding frenzy with the truth of a political and personal witchhunt motivating the destructive and vicous attacks on the McMartins and Buckeys, completely destroying thei lives, all over the petty nature of small town politics. Add to that the false accusations of mo;lestation by my son-in-law’s ex-wife in her battle to get possesion of his daughter and I am numb to even think that groups like NAMBLA are still in existance, given rights and protection while good and decent people are persecuted in media circuses.

  • May 28, 2003, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Felicity ended up with the guy she followed across the country i

    by minderbinder

    And don’t ask me how I know that.

  • May 28, 2003, 3:30 p.m. CST

    You know what this is, don’t you.

    by numberface

    This, along with that upcoming Kevin Bacon movie about the pedophile is part of the liberal, homosexual agenda to lower our tolerance of these deviant scumbags. (I’m kidding, relax.)

  • May 28, 2003, 4:19 p.m. CST

    sounds very interesting

    by drjones

    and a lil bit like a francois ozon movie…;)

  • May 28, 2003, 4:31 p.m. CST

    confused?

    by Vern

    A couple of you newsies said you were confused by my review. I looked it over and I am confused as to what you could be confused about. Come on help me out boys, tell me the specifics. I am a growing man, I want to change and improve in this journey. help me out buds thanks.

  • May 28, 2003, 4:31 p.m. CST

    confused?

    by Vern

    A couple of you newsies said you were confused by my review. I looked it over and I am confused as to what you could be confused about. Come on help me out boys, tell me the specifics. I am a growing man, I want to change and improve in this journey. help me out buds thanks.

  • May 28, 2003, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Vern

    by reni

    I would just like to say you are f*ckin’ legend… and anything you say is alright by me, even if it is a bit confusing sometimes…. god bless you brother, you’re doing good work!

  • May 28, 2003, 6:45 p.m. CST

    beers

    by reni

    Also I’m a bit pissed so sorry about the bad language… film sounds good though.

  • May 28, 2003, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Hulk Hogan is a chain-smoking communist dwarf

    by NordicPhantom

  • May 29, 2003, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Good work!

    by max404

    Good work, Vern!

    Not all AICN-readers like their movies dumb & full of guys in latex! (though I also like these movies in some cases)

    Together with Morris’ new doc “The fog of war”, ”

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 30th, 2003 at 7:27 am and is filed under AICN, Drama, Mystery, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit, SIFF. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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