Fantasia 2010: Eve's Necklace

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Fantasia 2010: Eve's Necklace
Things are going well for Eva and William. They're happy and in love with each other. Eva is expecting their first child and they are preparing for the arrival when Ramon unexpectedly shows up at the door. Ramon knew Eva before William did and he knows her deepest secrets. Eva has been trying to leave her past behind, a past where she did unspeakable things so that she may get illegal immigration papers to enter the country. Now Ramon wants hush money or he will tell William everything he knows about Eva's sordid past. Will she allow him to come between her and her happy life?

One can be forgiven for being sceptical about a film noir acted out solely with mannequins. Especially when none of them turn into a live Kim Cattrell. But it at least appeared to be a novel approach to the genre. And there appeared to be a genuine appreciation for the genre by shooting it in black and white. It would appear to be only an appreciation and not a deeper understanding of it and the conventions. But when you have a film that was completed not on 
financing but by 'favours' I imagine there are significant hurdles to overcome and limitations. But it still doesn't excuse how sloppy Eve's Necklace is in the end. 

For a film noir shot in black and white there was definite lack of those signature elements of light and shadow- the visual aesthetic that made watching those early film noir so cool. And there just seemed to be a lot of unnecessary shots. Meaningless filler shots edited in that I felt focused on the wrong things in a given scene. Eva is in the kitchen making dinner. Insert shot of a knife cutting carrots because we have to convey that she is 'making dinner'. William is changing a flat tire. Shot of hand turning lug nut. Shot of tire wrench tightening lug nut. And so on. It just felt like Erickson didn't trust us to get the gist of what each character was doing. I don't know why it bugged me so much but it did. 

The mannequin motion felt under utilized. Get a proper puppeteer on the production team to help develop some greater motion in your characters. I felt the film could have played more with motion. It felt stiff, even for mannequins. Oh, and mannequins having sex? Or better yet, mannequin porn? Talk about stiff. And not in a good way. The one scene where Ramon is watching Eva straddle William and her silhouette is on the curtains in the window? Yeah, that was like watching Kevin McAllister from Home Alone, except it's the fifth film [I had to look it up for the joke. I know. Sad], he's reached puberty and he's fucking a Real Doll with the lights on in case his buddies walk by the house and will think he's cool. 

The script also has problems. The dialogue was flat and at points laughable. And the ADR was awful. Sounded like the actors were there in the theatre with you. All in the same room. Holy hell. A note about ADR. Why not record in the rooms where you are filming? The acoustics cannot be the same in the kitchen as they are in the bathroom as they are in the cab of a pick up truck. How hard is it to change that up? This has always been a beef of mine about ADR. Sorry Eve's Necklace, you're catching the brunt of what is an overall beef of mine but because it sounded so distant from what was happening on screen you're going to catch some of the flak. And holy fuck, Eva's Latino? For the first few minutes I had no idea then she came up all in our grills with this Jennifer Lopez dialect. Where did that come from? Or, where was it in the first few minutes? 

But Mr. Erickson you lost me for good at the pissing joke? Really!?! A pissing joke just slapped in the middle of the film? What a display of lack of control of impulses in your script. When was that a good idea? 

I would like to see what Erickson can do if he had a budget and some good people behind him. The idea was good. The execution was 'meh'.

Eve's Necklace

Director(s)
  • Daniel Erickson
Writer(s)
  • Daniel Erickson
Cast
  • Veronica Erickson
  • John Hawkes
  • Janet Hurley Kimlicko
  • Zane Rockenbaugh
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Daniel EricksonVeronica EricksonJohn HawkesJanet Hurley KimlickoZane RockenbaughThriller

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