FEATURE FILM REVIEW
THE EVENING REDNESS IN THE SOUTH
An entirely dialogue-free, dramatic visual poem for your viewing pleasure.
PRESENTED ENTIRELY DIALOG free is the gimmick of The Evening Redness in the South, but calling it a gimmick seems almost blasphemous considering just how good this film actually is. Gone are the sketchy, sometimes humorous, and scratchy black and white images we associate with old-time silent films but still present is the charm we all want to see. You could call this movie the silent film of our time, but I prefer this: A visual poem. One that only requires your undivided attention to start things off and then lets your mind float off into Colin Hickey's visual world. This is a different kind of film that rewards with the narrative experience it offers.
A MOVING TAPESTRY YOU COULD WALK INTO AT ANY MOMENT AND STILL ENJOY
There is a linear story, but it's not really linear. Are you confused yet? Picture the favorite room of your home, and then imagine a great piece of art hanging on the wall. Only this art isn't a standard picture or painting but instead a collage of images and sounds. A moving tapestry you could walk into at any moment and still enjoy, the tapestry of life. There's no standard format except the attempt to bring forth a feeling or state of mind, and The Evening Redness in the South pulls it off. Beautifully.
Life. Work. Hopes and dreams. All aspects of this sometimes alive feeling film, but to constrain this title to simply those aspects would be, and feel, wrong. The mashing of various sounds, including sounds not generally associated with anything other than hard work, is prevalent and part of this film's background score. Even the smoke breaks between work are dreamy and, dare I say, even "hopeful." Artistic filmmaking? You bet it is, and it works.
EACH SCENE IN THIS FILM COULD STAND ON ITS OWN
The swells of sound and the barrage of images should, actually, be quite confusing. But they are not. The reasons for this are probably numerous, but I believe that the unique way this film is presented allows it all to work. At the very beginning, I was thinking this was going to be pretty much like a standard documentary. But I was way off base. Each scene in this film "could" stand on its own, and even the score could be an interesting soundtrack to just listen along with. The Evening Redness in the South is just so weird and wonderful it's really hard to accurately describe except to say that yes. I liked it.
I THINK COLIN HICKEY COULD BE ONTO SOMETHING HERE...
A visual poem. Yes. I still believe this is the best way to describe this movie. If you are looking to watch what most consider a "regular" movie, then this film should probably not be on your radar at this time. When you're ready to try something new, something different, The Evening Redness in the South may be just what you're looking for. It's totally cool to have a movie with a story that could totally be ignored if you wanted to and still enjoy the piece. I think Colin Hickey could be onto something here. Two thumbs up.
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