Wednesday, July 06, 2005

a fine film. even without a single C.H.U.D.

Directed by
Marc Singer

IMDB Plot Summary: Near Penn Station, next to the Amtrak tracks, squatters have been living for years. Marc Singer goes underground to live with them, and films this "family." A dozen or so men and one woman talk about their lives: horrors of childhood, jail time, losing children, being coke-heads. They scavenge, they've built themselves sturdy one-room shacks; they have pets, cook, chat, argue, give each other haircuts. A bucket is their toilet. Leaky overhead pipes are a source of water for showers. They live in virtual darkness. During the filming, Amtrak gives a 30-day eviction notice.

so when i rented this film, i thought the director was the man who played Beastmaster. and my biggest memory of homeless people living in tunnels comes from he movie C. H. U. D. so i rented the film on the basis that i expected to be watching a movie about C.H.U.D.s directed by Beastmaster. or i rented it on the novelty of that idea. i was very moved by this film. one of the things that this film starts out with is one of the men climbing into the tunnels with his voice dubbed over saying ".. you'd be surprised what the mind can adjust to." and you can see it. despite having electricity and a sense of community, a human can't live like that and be happy. this movie does a great job of making you care for these people, even those who it may be difficult to. it also shows how they live and how happy they can be for something that a person in a different situation would take for granted. it has desperation and hope in equal measure. One thing I was very impressed by, was not only how talented the director was, but how much of a wonderful decent person he was. The director lived in the tunnel while filming this, sometimes by choice and others out of necessity of financing the film. Other directors would easily have put themselves into the film, his involvement is non existent in the story of the film itself, but in the extras you find that he promised he'd help get those people out of the tunnels and into apartments and he did. Singer is as humble as he is decent.

My Verdict: Dark Days is a wonderful film that is not only thought provoking and entertaining, but also a film that gives me a little more pride in humanity. Not bad for a flick I thought was directed by Beastmaster.

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