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The H.P. Lovecraft Collection: Volume 4 Pickman's Model.
These compilations put out by Lurker Films collect the best or most unusual of the non commercial productions of HPL's works translated to cinema. This year, the theme, much stronger expressed than in other volumes, is on Pickman's Model. The story, written in September of 1925 was about an artist famed both for the quality and realism of his work, and for their grisly subject matter.
Chilean Gothic. Directed by Ricardo Harrington (2000) Chile. 46 minutes.
Set in Chile, a rather gothic tale for a gothic people, the story of Pickman's Models falls with an uncomfortable synergy with los desaparecidos, or the Vanished some 9,000 to 30,000 people who disappeared without trace during Argentina's "Dirty War".
Gabriel Martínez (Rodrigo Sepúlveda) is a journalist, searching for his missing friend. The trail leads through the artist, Robert Upton Pickman, and Martínez starts with his only known associate, Proffesor Mattattio. The professor cut off all communication with Pickman about a year before. While there had been no falling out, the Professor had felt it necessary to protect himself from the darkness that surrounded the genius painter. However, his story lead Martínez to an apartment house that only raises more questions than it answers. But the trail does lead him to Chilo Island, and there, he confronts Pickman in his lair.
The story diverges from Pickman's Model, in that it is a deeper exploration of the monster that dwells in all of us. Martínez confronts the rage and frustration that the loss of his friend has caused, and how it has driven him to such lengths, becoming in the process, something monstrous himself.
Moody, dark, and very atmospheric, the production fails in two respects. While the film is Spanish with subtitles, it moves rapidly, meaning there are occasional rewinds to read the last words. But its first failing is pacing. It is beyond leisurely, and into dragging. And two, there is no money shot of the monster.
Pickman's Model (2003) Directed by Giovanni Furore (Italy) 36 minutes.
This little gem starts with a beautiful girl accepting a modeling job. When the artist with the limp leads you into catacombs, you know it is not going to end well.... Cut to two friends, Howard Marsh, and his patron of the arts. Howard has a picture to sell, and story to tell. The painting is by Pickman, and the story of how he got it, and its provenance, fills the story. I like this one, since it follows the book closely, a photograph, seized by accident revealing that Pickman's gruesome muse was in point of fact, real.
The problem with this production is the actors all look like the Italian college students they are. Ah well, still well done, though Pickman should study to see how the lame actually use a cane.
Pickman's Model (1981) Directed by Cathy Welch (Black and White) Austin Texas. 32 Minutes.
This was a college thesis film. Mac Williams plays William Thurber, an art critic and aspiring author, Marc Mahan plays Richard Upton Pickman with a bland almost pasty quality with just enough of a predatory edge to make you think of a creepy uncle. But pederasty is not on his mind; no, much darker thoughts engage Pickman. And Bill's fevered defense of his work when the art club chooses to ban him has him enlist the author into the secret workings of his "Creative Process".
With the same minimalist decay of Carnival of Souls, it uses stock footage and rundown buildings to build a decrepit mood. It misses brilliance, but shows promise for the director.
Between the Stars (1998) Directed by Djie Han Thung (Netherlands) Black and White. 5 Minutes.
Disassociation, depression, discorperation. Neat mood piece. One line of dialogue.
These short films benefit from clustering around the theme, and suffer from lack of dubbing, but it is still a wonderful collection. Dark, disturbing and true in spirit, it's a must for any fan of Howard Phillip Lovecraft.
This is a trifecta review. It is Lean-N-Mean at 666 words exactly. It is entered into Msbunnylicious' Wicked Hallows Write Off, and because of Cathy Welch's piece, and Djie Han Thung's piece makes a perfect entrant to Texas-Swede's Texas-Sweden Write Off.
The Master of the Macabre: H. P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft Collection III: Out of Mind
H.P. Lovecraft Collection I: Cool Air
Die Monster Die!
The Dunwich Horror
H.P. Lovecraft's Haunt of Horror
The Call of C'Thulhu (A Masterpiece!)
Dreams in the Witch House
Inspired by the Master's Hand:
The Courtyard by Alan Moore
In the Mouth of Madness
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age