The Film (3.5/5)
Loren Cass is a film that I know.
It is a film that takes place in the world that I grew up on. It is populated with places that are familiar, and the type of people I see everyday. It is an experimental narrative feature for some, and a documentary slice of life for people like me.
Loren Cass takes place in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is a period piece, and takes place during the aftermath of the 1996 race riots. The only indication you will get of this is from some newsreel footage seen on a TV throughout the film. This is not a film about this event. It is not a film about story, or characters. This is a film about emotions.
The film centers on a small group of characters, some with names(Jason, Cale, and Nicole), and some with just descriptions (Suicide Kid, Punk Kid, Fight Kid) as they live there lives on the streets of St. Petersburg. When people think of this place, they typically picture sunny beaches, palm trees, and Disney World. That is just the surface.
Chris Fuller with Loren Cass has created a vision of Florida that is in line with the one I know. A desolate place, where people aren't really in touch with people. A place where you can live next to someone for years, and never know their name. It is a film and a place full of people trying to escape.
Kino has presented Loren Cass in a 1:85:1 Letterboxed widescreen transfer. Since I was watching this on my HDTV, I had to magnify the image to fill my screen, and due to that the image was slightly distorted. I checked it out without the magnification, and the transfer is still pretty rough around the edges. A good deal of grain and a slight bit of noise throughout.
The audio for the film is clear, but a little low during dialogue scenes. The music and audio clips that Fuller uses throughout the film come through quite clear for the most part. The audio is not spectacular, and I wouldn't use it to demo your sound system, but it is effective for what it is.
There are no extras on the DVD of Loren Cass.
Loren Cass feels like a film that would happen if Larry Clark and Jim Jarmusch got together to make an experimental feature in Southwest Florida. If that sounds appealing to you check it out. This is director Chris Fuller's first feature film, and with it he presents quite an original vision. The direction is simple, but manages to show a real slice of life from this world, and he uses audio clips from great minds like Jack Kerouac and Charles Bukowski to help set the tone for the world he is documenting.