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FLiFF Short Subject “Across the Hall” - CinemaDave

Nov. 11th, 2006 07:12 am FLiFF Short Subject “Across the Hall”


"Across the Hall" is a love triangle with no sharp edges. A guy is taking a bath when he gets a call from a frenzied friend. The friend believes that his girlfriend is cheating on him. Drunk and carrying firearms, the friend has followed his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend to a hotel room.

Guess what?
The guy on the telephone is cheating on his best friend and is in the hotel room.

“Across the Hall” fails where “The Shovel” succeeds, a thriller that loses it's suspense due to complicated plotting. Each character overacts and the climax is confusing, yet somehow predictable.

19 comments - Leave a commentPrevious Entry Share Next Entry

Comments:

From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 19th, 2006 10:09 pm (UTC)

Are you crazy?

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What a ridiculous review. I caught both shorts at a recent film festival and thought Across the Hall was incredible (not at all complicated or hard to follow, in fact) where the Shovel was predictable and melodramatic. Across the Hall had me (and everyone I spoke with) on the edge of their seat while The Shovel lost my interest immediately.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 20th, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)

Re: Are you crazy?

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Well Anonymous...crazy is as crazy does...
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 20th, 2006 03:16 am (UTC)

Re: Are you crazy?

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I agree with this poster. I don't understand what CinemaDave is talking about here. I thought Across the Hall was one of the best shorts I've ever seen in the last few years. I just downloaded The Shovel to compare. The only added complexity in ATH over The Shovel is character complexity...that is to say, the character's in ATH aren't 1-dimensional like in The Shovel. ATH achieves full character and story arcs in less than a half hour. The Shovel does neither. I can't remember the last time I was so engaged in a short film. By comparison, the Shovel was completely predictable and boring. CinemaDave I'm sorry but you're just wrong on this one. I enjoy your posts from time to time but you couldn't be more off the mark here.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 20th, 2006 03:39 am (UTC)

Re: Are you crazy?

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Thank you! I totally agree. This is "Anonymous" from the first post by the way, (as "CinemaDave" called me), though my name is Frank (I wasn't hiding my name there, "CinemaDave"). I think it's funny that "CinemaDave" calls this a thriller that loses it's suspense due to complicated plotting. As if the plotting in this film is anymore complicated than the plotting in Vertigo, North by Northwest or Psycho...yeah, "CinemaDave" most good thrillers lack complexity! He goes on to say the climax is confusing but predictable. So if he predicted everything that was happening, how was he confused? Its sad that people critiquing film would eschew a film that makes the viewer think about it's ending in place of a film like The Shovel that spells everything out and ends so predictably and conventionally as it does with a gunshot. I don't mean to be rude, but it sounds to me like "CinemaDave" is a guy who critiques because he can't actually do. Maybe he wishes he was a filmmaker. Maybe The Shovel, (which I don't mean to put down...it's a decent film but overall lacks a strong vision or original voice), is less threatening to him. I mean, I know I'm not a filmmaker and could never pull off what either of these two did, but I've been a movie lover all my life and it makes me incredibly angry when I see someone putting down enormous talent in praise of lesser talent. That's just my two cents...
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 20th, 2006 04:04 am (UTC)

Re: Are you crazy?

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I think you're both being a bit too hard on CinemaDave. I saw both films at FLIFF and I agree with both of you that ATH is definitely the stronger of the two, but I feel that The Shovel was a very good film as well and CinemaDave is entitled to his opinion. Besides, you're on his site. My only comment to him is that he shouldn't have said ATH was a failure in any way. Both films are very good and if I was either filmmaker I'd be very proud of the accomplishment.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 20th, 2006 06:23 am (UTC)

Are you serious or is this a joke?

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So I found you through google because I searched for both films to see how they did at festivals through out the world and I came to see your mindless review. FYI, both have won many awards and been in many festivals. Anyway, you know what is predictable? Your career as a hack movie reviewer! If I was across the hall and I had a shovel I would hit you in the head with it and bury you behind the hotel. I saw both movies at multiple film festivals and they are both very well done. You my friend probably grew up watching ALF and then went on to a wonderful community college where you studied phys ed. Get a new job or do something that doesn't require thinking because it seems you do that best. You should go get yourself a list like the AFI top 100 films and get up off your coffee drinking donut eating ass and go to blockbuster. Then proceed to watch each movie and write mock reviews. It's been real but I don't feel like wasting anymore cyberspace (you've already done enough of that) so class is now dismissed.

Prof. Siskel
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 20th, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC)

Re: Are you too serious...

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Since I've had this journal for almost two years,
I've been happy to have readers who have been civil.
Individuals who would debate issues and not resort to name calling or some form of character assassination.

I guess I've entered a next stage in movie criticism,
where I am being noticed by a wider audience.

In the future, I will not allow personal attack on me or any other individuals who visit this journal, this is NOT the Jerry Springer of movie criticism.

From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 20th, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC)

As B.T. Barnum said....

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While "The Shovel" and "Across the Hall" did not win either the Juried or Audience Favorite Awards, both films were acknowledged by the Spirit of Independents Award.

I'd like to think that the creators of both films are happy to have this criticism continue in the realm of cyberspace -
as the legendary B.T. Barnum was credited as saying,

"Say what you want about me,
but make sure you spell my name correctly!"


From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 20th, 2006 03:11 pm (UTC)

Hi Cinema Dave

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Enjoy your posts (really loved your review of flags of our fathers, by the way). Haven't seen the shovel but will have to check it out now. Sorry, but I don't agree with you about across the hall. I just watched it online and thought it was really wonderful though I have nothing to compare it to when it comes to the shovel. Still, keep up the good work and ignore the you know whos.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 20th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Hi Cinema Dave

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Thanks!

The producers of "The Shovel" and "Across the Hall" must be happy. Look at all the comments this entry posted, compared to the lack of entries to movies that millions of people saw like "Saw III" and "Casino Royale."
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 20th, 2006 07:32 pm (UTC)

Re: Hi Cinema Dave

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Great point! Its nice to see people take notice of, and actually get passionate about, the smaller pictures. I'm sure the producers of both had to work twice as hard to get their movies off the ground. You would know more about this than me, but I doubt there's much return investors can get from putting money into a short film, so getting these flicks off the ground must have been hard. Anyway, glad you provided a forum for people to discuss!
From:cinemadave
Date:November 20th, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)

Re: Hi Cinema Dave

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The key thing is that young filmmakers get experience with their short subjects.

For independents, there is a great deal of financial loss, but that "loss" provides great tax breaks for the finance people every April 15.

And, if a film maker reads this journal and walks away learning something, then I'm satisfied.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 23rd, 2006 02:27 am (UTC)

weighing in...

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Finally had the chance to see both films and thought I'd weigh in. I respect the opinions of everyone posting, and here's my take - Across the Hall plays more like a classic suspense film in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock while The Shovel plays more like a "Masters of Horror" showtime special...albeit a high quality one without any paranormal activity. I can see how people would enjoy both films but Across the Hall is definitely my favorite.
From:cinemadave
Date:November 23rd, 2006 02:38 am (UTC)

Re: weighing in...

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Thanks for providing clarification. Your statement that "Accross the Hall" is Hitchcock while "The Shovel" could have been a special hosted by Robert Englund or Christopher Lee!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 23rd, 2006 02:40 am (UTC)

Re: weighing in...

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In other words, I like how you defined both movies...they are different perspectives in the short subject horror genre....the sad thing is no one is talking about the best short subject of FLiFF, "Avator," which won the Juried Award.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 23rd, 2006 07:26 am (UTC)

Re: weighing in...

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Hey...I find those "Masters of Horror" specials very interesting. I'm not putting the Shovel down at all. I just think it plays much differently. It has a less cinematic quality to it. It feels more like an episode of the Twilight Zone than a fully realized story. And as for the awarded film, I haven't seen it. But both ATH and The Shovel have won numerous awards.
From:cinemadave
Date:November 23rd, 2006 12:28 pm (UTC)

Re: weighing in...

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"Avatar" follows in the footsteps of O.Henry and Edgar Allen Poe. Spanish with subtitles, this 12 minute film keeps you wondering..."What happens next!"
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 25th, 2006 03:23 am (UTC)

Re: weighing in...

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Eh...Avatar was okay. Made me wonder "why did this win?"
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 25th, 2006 12:58 pm (UTC)

Re: weighing in...

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"Avatar" seemed like an epic within mere 12 minutes.
It followed the Aristotle's rules of crating a narrative that keeps asking, "What happens next?"
The characters were unique and the actors played them with conviction. The director made full use of mise en scene and created arresting visualization.