Review: ‘Daybreak’

A bunch of self-absorbed Edinburgh clubbers go through some extremely uninteresting emotional crises in "Daybreak." Feature debut of Scottish writer-director Bernard Rudden crawls across the screen for almost 100 minutes of poserly and preposterous dialogue, played out by a cast who fail to connect on any dramatic level. First production of FilmFour's experimental arm, FilmFour Lab, faces a frosty commercial dawn.

A bunch of self-absorbed Edinburgh clubbers go through some extremely uninteresting emotional crises in “Daybreak.” Feature debut of Scottish writer-director Bernard Rudden crawls across the screen for almost 100 minutes of poserly and preposterous dialogue, played out by a cast who fail to connect on any dramatic level. First production of FilmFour’s experimental arm, FilmFour Lab, faces a frosty commercial dawn.

Mopey DJ Jed (Flash), in fiscal trouble with his club, falls for mysterious Emily (Shauna Macdonald), who hugs trees and tells him about the Red Planet, a place of peace. Jed’s g.f. and business partner, Anna (Gaynor Purvis), falls for smooth-talking French pornographer Pierrot (Jean-Philippe Ecoffey), who promises her a glittering career. Meanwhile, Jed and Anna’s screwed-up American friend Eve (Diane Bell) is trailed by her besuited brother, anxious to bring her back into the respectable family fold. Bell and Purvis have considerable screen presence but make no acting headway against the vacuous script. Transfer from DV to 35mm is good, with minimal blur and color thinness.

Daybreak

U.K.

Production

A Scottish Arts Council Lottery Fund and FilmFour presentation, in association with Starhaus Produktionen, of a Basilisk Communications production, in association with Traumwerk. (International sales: Basilisk, London.) Produced by Jim Hickey, James Mackay. Executive producer (for Starhaus), Rainer Kolmel. Directed, written by Bernard Rudden.

Crew

Camera (Technicolor prints), Jean-Jacques Bouhon; editor, Alan Knight; music, Matthew Herbert; music supervisor, Dom Phillips; production designer, Olivier Seiler; art director, Tom Sayer; costumes, Jemima Cotter. Reviewed at Edinburgh Film Festival (Focus on British Cinema), Aug. 20, 2000. Running time: 98 MIN.

With

Diane Bell, Flash, Gaynor Purvis, Jean-Philippe Ecoffey, Shauna Macdonald, Karl Shields, James Shaw, Dot Allison, Jay Simon, Sally Findlay.
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