I shared it with you guys a month or two ago and I never really heard back from many (maybe three pieces of feedback from MUBI users) but what I did get was quite positive and I’m thankful for that. The film has been reviewed by a few online publications and am currently awaiting reviews from Film Threat and Bloody Disgusting. Once again, they were positive. (A former film festival programmer got in contact with me just to tell me how he felt there were many moments that were “pure cinema”? I don’t know if I agree that highly, but..)
Anyway – here’s my film again. I want to try this one more time, this time in connection to its MUBI page. Would LOVE to hear what you guys have to say about it. I want to know how you take my first real film effort. Thanks a bunch.
Once again, guys, would appreciate what you have to say! :)
I’ll be giving it a watch soon. :)
Okay. Great! Would love to hear your feedback! :)
E-mail from Film Threat tells me their review of the film will be published September 13th at midnight. :)
Review wasn’t really positive, but oh well. One isn’t gunna kill me. Haha.
How this film was made may actually be more interesting than the film itself. Armed with absolutely no professional equipment, director Douglas Reese linked up with two non-professional actors to create a “no budget” film and that’s exactly what he made. Combining a documentary aesthetic with an unconventional narrative, Reese constructs a feature film where others would have settled for an experimental short.
The film’s two protagonists, played by Jeremiah Hall and Denelle Kjellman, only have a few hobbies. They spend the entire sixty-nine minutes ingesting pills, cleaning their house (which never ends up looking that clean) and fooling around in the living room. Unsurprisingly, their roommate isn’t their biggest fan. And after the third time you watch them change out the Swiffer Sweeper, the fourth time they snort drugs, and what seems like the millionth time they stick their tongues in each other’s mouths, chances are, you won’t be their biggest fans either. And if you make it to the scene where the female protagonist describes her fantasy of “get[ting] raped by a nigger,” fight the urge to turn off the film. You wouldn’t want to miss the scene where she stabs a cardboard box to death.
Obviously, a film doesn’t have to feature likable protagonists (or non-grating sound, for that matter) to tell a story. There is a story to be found in Cleaners. And there’s an audience for hard-to-watch films. Unfortunately, the film’s use of copyrighted music (so much Linkin Park) has kept the Cleaners out of film festivals but it’s available online and it has the potential to build a following. Who knows what will happen to this film but if watching a feature film that’s entirely shot on a camcorder is on your bucket list then this could be the project for you."
Heh. It’s about two teenagers hooked on drugs. The actors are underage, too. :P So… nope..
I am watching it right now.
I don’t have a lot to say about it. It successfully reminded me of what it was like around late high school/early college hanging out in friends-of-friends’ grungy apartments, the sort of stupid relationships they had with each other and their roommates, and the constantly switched on television playing a visualizer. Some of those grunge dens were the result of drugs, some of them were just the result of laziness.
No-budget gritty grungeness aside, turn off your autofocus if possible ( especially in low lighting) and clean your lens. The latter part is sad because I have finished filming and digitalized all my footage to discover huge smears over what I shot too.
Even though there was not a whole lot you could do with the sound considering the equipment, I would have still recorded all of the music you wanted onto its own separate tape and just layered it underneath the regular track, fading in and out for dialog. Whereas some of the jumps in music fit the beats of the editing, not all of them did. I think it would have been interesting if you had fit sequences, areas being cleaned so to speak, with songs, as sort of an anti-music video.
About dialog, I have to honestly admit I didn’t hear a word of it, and I didn’t try too hard. So I do not really know how they came to decide to kill their roommate, but I doubt hearing the dialog would have helped much anyway.
Finally, the closing montage of the candle and the woods, I wouldn’t have included the woods. The entire feature stays in their apartment and it works on that level. Letting them outside, even mentally or emotionally, doesn’t really seem to be the point.
In one of the earlier montages of cleaning, the girl is swift-sweeping down the hall and a shot is repeated twice, sound and all. I do not know if that was intentional but it does not happen again, so it is probably not useful for the structure of the movie.
Thanks for sharing this movie with us. Keep creating!
Edit: Good choice of music too, not because I like the music but because it’s exactly what these sorts of characters listen to.
Thanks for the comments Polaris. I’m very grateful that you took the time to watch it and then type up those words. I can’t tell whether you liked it or not, but either way I’m very happy you at least responded to it. And thanks, some people have questioned my music selections – but they fit like a glove, I think. I short the sound i real time because I was following Dogme rules, basically. Not many have liked this artistic decision, but I’m at least glad some have acklowedged the effort of such sound use.
The double shot of the girl cleaning was intentional, actually. As much as I would like to say it wasn’t. :P Haha.
Remember to rate it on its MUBI page too! :)
Hey Doug! I reviewed Cleaners a while back. I liked it. I know you reviewed my other short film as well.
Check out my new short. I really want some criticism.
Okay well, if it’s Dogme then the shots of the woods fit even less! :-p
Believe me, I know what you’re saying. ;) Hehe.
Knocking this up so more can see it and comment! Thanks. :)
Keep creating! Grungy little film that made me want to have a shower after watching it.
Thanks, Corinne! :) If you get the chance, make sure to rate it on its MUBI page. xD
Gonna bump this up yet again. Haha.
New quickie poster. :D
Quit bumping this. Post it in your ‘About Me’ (more than just link). There are far too many films for this quality of work to warrant attention.
Aware of my harshness, but believe it’s justified when it is so easy to create works nowadays. I do respect your effort.
Love you too. :)
What can I say? I’m dying to hear if more out there have something to say! :)
For the first time online, I’ve finally been able to share with you how the film looks when in its original, HD form. :) Just imagine the crappy Youtube upload looking this good .. haha
Hitting this up because I have the opportunity. xD
Just usin’ this space to say it’s sad Son of Lucifer didn’t get the 500. I would’ve donated, if I had a bank account…