Thursday, July 14, 2011

Al Crepuscolo – review

Director: Matteo Macaluso

Release date: 2011

Contains spoilers

I have to thank director Matteo Macaluso for the opportunity of seeing his short film Al Crepuscolo, entitled At Dusk in English, a short that is currently showing on the festival circuit. He has created an enigmatic vampire film that leaves much to the viewer’s imagination.

The film’s dialogue is voiceover, spoken by a prisoner (Carlo Rizzelli), held in a dark and dusty room, a chink of light breaking in from the doorway. He clings to his memories as another man, Tamlin (Matteo Biacca), who is ashen of face, haunts the city streets. He is separate from the world, hiding when he catches the attention of people.

It is clear that he is searching for something, a quest that is metaphysical – he is guided by signs and portents, by the words of a fortune teller (Daniela Stecconi). She says that he has the marks of hunger upon him and gives him a picture that she claims will help him keep closer to God. That picture is of the sun and its ray of hope for the vampire seems analogous to the hope the prisoner keeps alive by clinging to memories – indeed there is a strange connection between the two, each lost in their own dark prisons. I will say that much of the acting is physical and the moment as the vampire circles the fortune teller is wonderfully tense and this is down to the performances.

It’s a short and I don’t want to spoil too much and give the game away but I will say that whilst the special effects are sparse, they are used to magnificent effect. The eyes of a vampire, in vampire mode, bulging pools of black were absolutely haunting and the face of a dying vampire, seen for just a moment, looked wonderful.

The film raises more questions than it answers, queries raised deliberately, asking the audience to puzzle through the hidden meanings. A genuine little gem, which I can see being a great favourite in the festivals this year and the even better news is that the short is to spawn a web series. 7.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here and there is a facebook page here.

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