Friday, June 16, 2006

Screening the Door

The Door
Directed by Bruce Wood
Soundtrack by Brian Citro & Charles Gorczynski

Writing about Bruce Wood’s film The Door presents a challenge in avoiding spoilers. An independent film in the tradition of M. Night Shyamalan’s films, The Door explores the boundaries of dream and reality, but even that brief description could be a spoiler. To synopsize briefly, free spirit Ori introduces his heartbroken friend Kent Cole to three of his acquaintances. As each becomes involved with Cole, they begin to realize he is not what he seems, and the consequences are disastrous.

The Door’s surreal mood is abetted by an effective jazz soundtrack by Brian Citro and Charles Gorczynski. Many tunes are effective when heard apart from the film, particularly striking being the “Circle” tracks. Indeed, I would recommend the soundtrack on its own merits. As evidence, The Door won best soundtrack at the Lake County Film Festival, which I’ve never heard of, but must count for something. Having taught a “jazz and film” at SCPS, I’m always happy see more jazz scores, and one hopes The Door will prove to be an effective showcase for it’s composers.

I’m assuming The Door was shot on digital video, and it is actually quite effective. Wood consistently conveys a sense of mystery throughout the film, even though many viewers will tweak to what is going on when they think about the commonality binding the three friends together. Some of the cast are not exactly professional grade, but nobody is bad enough to sabotage the mood of the film. Indeed, Bill Ferris as Cole and Ryan Martin as Ori hit the right notes as the friends with radically different temperaments, in strong performances.

There is gay content, which in a way it acts a decoy when characters discuss their “true nature.” Regardless, it shouldn’t scare timid viewers away from an interesting film and soundtrack. Both are quite intelligent and entertaining. See the trailer here.