Tuesday, June 09, 2009

They've got, uh, printers in the basement you could use (Now with Updates!)

Welcome, visitors. It seems a number of you have wound up here after doing searches for After Last Season. Note that I eventually saw the film, and my review is here.

The K. Gordon Murray trailers I posted last week are -- inarguably, I think -- fascinating in their sheer oddness and exuberance. Sure, they look bad, but really, really fun-bad. Settle-down-on-the-couch-with-a-beer-and-a-large-bag-of-Doritos fun-bad. I'd love to see the movies themselves at some point, though I know I'll probably be disappointed.

But every once in a while, a film comes along that, while undeniably bad, appears to be more fun to be read about than seen.

The trailer for a film called After Last Season, made by the pseudonymous-sounding "Mark Region," has been online, including Apple's movie trailer site, since early April. It's spawned quite a bit of speculation online. Is it real? Is it yet another piece of viral marketing for some other film? An April Fool's Day joke that's lived beyond its use-by date?

Here's the trailer:

But I also noticed that, mysteriously, a new trailer went up last spring, one that attempts (with only limited success) to make the decidedly crazy movie look more linear and conventional:

Where does one even begin to deconstruct this? How does one start? With the MRI machine that's made out of cardboard boxes and deployed in what appears to be someone's bedroom? The non sequitur dialogue? The cutaway reaction shots signifying nothing? The CGI that appears to have come straight from somewhere in the late '80s? The moving plastic bins?

Why doesn't that woman go to the main market? Why are there printers in the basement? Should I really use them? I don't know!!!

Last weekend, honest-to-God 35-mm prints of After Last Season snuck into a few theaters in out-of-the-way places. No newspapers covered it, unsurprisingly, but a few brave souls have ventured forth to see it, and have lived to tell the tale. There's one review here, and another here.

But as fascinating as it is to read about such cinematic oddities (well, fascinating for anyone who owns a well-thumbed copy of Incredibly Strange Films, as I do), and despite the fact that I've watched this trailer at least 10 times, the thought of sitting through an hour and a half of this is more than my brain can handle.

UPDATE: Some people are thinking about this movie an awful lot.

UPDATE UPDATE: An interview with the director. It clears up a bit, but not a whole lot. That cardboard MRI?:
The way it happened, first we made the MRI, and it looked pretty good from far away. We couldn't tell it was made from cardboard or bits of plastic -- it also has plastic. But when you shoot with 35mm, and sometimes because of the light, some lines across the front of the MRI became visible. When we shot, we couldn't tell, but on film the lines are darker -- you see it's not a polished surface. That’s how the MRI came to be.

And the budget?
Filmmaker [Magazine]: In an earlier interview you stated that the film's budget was $5 million, which seems like a high number considering that you had a tiny shooting crew and only shot for five or six days. Is this number correct?

Region: It's correct. When we shot, the budget was $30,000 to $40,000, but to do those special effects and the computer animation, the budget went to that number.

Filmmaker: To $5 million?

Region: Yeah. And that also includes a few other things -- titles, lab costs.

To put that in perspective, the budget for one episode of Lost is around $4 million -- and that's high. Mr. Region needs to sue his special-effects house.

UPDATE: There really are printers in the basement you can use.


TwoBusy said...

I watched the trailer. I read the reviews. And I am so very, very confused.

Jim Donahue said...

I'm beginning to think this might be akin to the plot of Cronenberg's "Videodrome." There's got to be some sort of hidden signal behind the images.

Why else would I have watched this two more times since posting? Obviously, someone has taken over my mind. There is no other explanation.

Qaro said...

If you can make an MRI machine out of cardboard, you could make anything out of cardboard!!!

fermicat said...

I'm confused. Aren't previews supposed to make you want to see the movie? Thus, my confusion.

Bix said...


It's like The Twilight Zone.

And "The non sequitur dialogue?" That's the part that keeps drawing me in.