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THE FALLS Review – ****

The Falls title

This review was originally written and posted on August 29, 2014. Save for some minor re-editing, it is presented here verbatim.

Imagine a cinematic dictionary in 92 parts, dealing with a fictitious (so far) event, full of absurdities and the driest humor you could imagine, about a Violent Unexplained Event which affected 19 million people. Imagine that these people began to mutate, began to dream of water, became obsessed with birds in a thousand different ways that no one–yet–has been obsessed with them. Imagine that somewhere in the middle of all this is Tulse Luper.

And who is Tulse Luper? Don’t ask if you don’t have the time to hear the answer.

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THE SAND CASTLE Review – ***

“What’s it gonna be?”
“A sand castle.”
“…sand castle? (long pause) Sand castle?” (Source)

My dad used to own a CD-Rom called Cinemania, a movie encyclopedia which was a major, major influence on my blossoming love of film. The foundation of Cinemania was a vast collection of movie reviews, most notably those of Leonard Maltin, Roger Ebert, and Pauline Kael. Among the films I first heard of through Cinemania was a 1960¹ film called The Sand Castle, described by Maltin as the story of a boy who builds a sand castle and imagines people living in it.

It was an interesting enough premise, and the fact that I’d never heard of the film didn’t hurt. Years later, remembering the film, I looked it up, only to find little trace of it online. I would continue to search, and was able to find the film’s soundtrack, but the actual film continued to elude me. I learned I could rent a tape of the film from the Museum of Modern Art for $45 (or buy it for $160!), but barring such an indulgence, the film seemed effectively out of my reach.

Then, Googling the film yet again, searching for whatever I could find about it, I discovered that the Jerome Foundation–devoted to The Sand Castle‘s writer-director Jerome Hill–had uploaded the film to Vimeo, ending my search. Finally, I had a spare hour², and finally saw the film I had so long wondered about.

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