Look (2009)

Description (from the IMDB):
LOOK examines the meaning of beauty, while it reveals the unique and extravagant imagination of a lonely barmaid. Director Ryan Pickett utilizes visual poetry to show that the desire for another’s beauty can lead to an unsettling emptiness

Cast:

Starina Johnson as Emma, John Ferguson as John, Theresa Meeker as Supermodel, Ryan Pickett as Handsome Photographer, Alison Parson as Hair / Make-up Girl

Special Features:
None

Written by Spenser Fritz and Ryan Pickett
Directed by Ryan Pickett

LOOK is an odd little film.  If you are expecting your average film with a plot and narrative, this is not the place to find it; LOOK is more like a metaphor or a poem (as said in the description from IMDB) than a movie.

The story – if it can be called that – is of a man watching.  He is looking at what he desires, until something more desirable arrives to look at, then his initial desire is forgotten.  The man follows his new prize, a model, and leaves behind his old want, a bartender.  The man watches the model until he is noticed, and thrown out of the shoot.  He then realizes he cannot attain that desire, and tries to go back to his original ambition, only to find that he has burned that bridge.  We all want something, and we need to know what we can get in life.  This man has tossed what is truly important to the side in order to chase something more beautiful, but with less substance, and in doing so has lost the pivotal objective of his story.  At a little less than seven minutes long, there is not a whole lot more to be said for the plot.  LOOK makes that loss hard-hitting, which is impressive for the fact that there is no development, no way for the characters to really be known to the audience (and how would there be in seven minutes?)

LOOK is a beautifully shot and edited film.  The RED camera is put to very good use, and the video quality is as high as you would expect from a film shot on RED.  The visual composition is very well done; Pickett uses negative space and focus very well, and does a great job of keeping the imagery from looking flat.  The lighting is not noticeable, which means it’s working perfectly in this context (this film is attempting to look natural, it’s not a supernatural story that needs accenting from the lights).

The sound was a bit of an issue for me: there is a small amount of dialogue, but it is nearly obscured by the music.  Now this may have been the intent, to purposely make the dialogue hard to hear, but it threw me off.  If we’re not supposed to actually be able to hear the dialogue, then don’t record any.  You can show the actors mouths moving so we know they are talking about something, but just use the music so we know we’re not really supposed to know what they are saying.  If we are supposed to know what they are saying, then make it loud enough to hear!  There were also some issues for me with the foley; the sounds that we do hear didn’t really match up with what we saw very well (especially knocking on the door).  Again, this may be a choice by the director, but if so I didn’t get the point.  In the grand scheme of things, my issues with the sound are minor compared to the overall feeling of LOOK.

Overall, LOOK was a beautiful visual poem.  It is not a film to watch for a story, but for a point; and I think it makes its point, if you’re looking close enough to understand it.

Overall 7 / 10

LOOK on the IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1806809/

LOOK is not for sale, but it is available to watch in its entirety here: http://ryanpickettproductions.com/http___www.ryanpickettproductions.com/Look.html

LOOK site: http://ryanpickettproductions.com

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