Saturday, February 20

Movie Musings - "Ink"

So the trapped nerve means my usual extremely active PC enjoyment has been replaced by more sedentary PC activities; I've been catching up on some TV via BBC Iplayer, running through my DvD archive and hunting down anything that might look interesting to stream on the net. I've watched a fair few movies this past few weeks, there have been some low points - the remake of 'The Day The earth Stood Still' being a fine example of hollywood taking a classic and turning it into something truly banal and utterly lifeless, somehow I watched it until the bitter end. In contrast Pixar's 'Up', in spite of its maudlin begining, I'm glad to say did just that. In a sea of what has been mostly mediocre movies today I finally found a real gem.


It's hard to make parallels with other movies, Dark City and The Matrix because of the common theme of others being in control came to mind. While aliens in Dark City affected our lives via our sleep and in The Matrix we are kept asleep to live a life provided for us, Ink gives others control of our sleep and it seems rarely does that cross in to our real lives. There are those that give us dreams, there are those that give us nightmares and there are those that walk inbetween.

The central theme of 'a very young girl in danger' (played extremely well by Quinn Hunchar) made me think briefly of Pan's Labrynth, but they are poles apart, too far to make any real comparison.

It's been accused of being 'deliberately obfuscating' and having a 'complex narrative', I have to disagree with both, it just takes its time to tell you the story and rather than handing it to you on a plate, it weaves its tale with grace. Once that tale has been told, and this to me is what makes it such a gem, the end becomes predictable, almost painfully so, any pain caused by the obvious and it's subsequent failure to suspend belief is so soon overshadowed by the beauty of this (almost) masterpiece, you're immediately beginning to care again, sucked in by it's beautiful hypnotic pace.

It takes it's time to draw you in, the synergy between choice of colour, cinematography, editing, direction and music create a strong, slow natural rhythm that aims to seduce, you need to let it. If you want immediate gratification, leave this one for another time.

The performances aren't universally strong, Ink himself was lacking, I was unsure if the motivation of the performance was to have less depth of character beause of who he had become and was trying to be, or it was a combination of lower budget prosthetics and a weak performance that made me wish Ink had more 'ooomph', it didn't really matter until close toward the end.

Flawed it maybe but the beauty and pace of the whole made it really easy for me to forgive and get sucked right back in.

It's unique, it's indie, it's definately Art with a capital A and it apparently had 400,000 illegal downloads the first week after release, those that loved it as much as I did will have then gone on to buy the DvD. The producers relished the piracy as it meant exposure and that exposure also meant a massive lift in sales. There is no way you can't own this on DvD if you got as much from it as I did. Piracy worked well for this indie company (hell I'm even going to get myself the t-shirt!) but it's a damn fine work of art, whereas piracy and most hollywood titles won't get on because quality isn't uppermost, Ink is a keeper :)


  1. Here's a couple of shorts that might wet your appetite:

    Uncle Jack


  2. I had never heard of it. Which means I am out of the loop on stuff I really love. Shame on me. So to make myself feel a little bit better I bought it from Thanks for sharing! I am really looking forward to seeing this movie.

    How are you otherwise, Geek? Any progress on your treatment? I hope you'll get through all this pain as soon as possible. I am sure you would too :)

  3. Hope you enjoy it Phe, I doubt everyone will love it as much as I did. I watched it a 2nd time after writing this 'review' and got a completely different feel, it was nonetheless enjoyable :)

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