Review: ‘Unspooled’

"Unspooled" plays like a homemade, first-person DVD extra, eavesdropping on the 12-day, snowbound shoot of NYU student film "Bemoana," a bloody, table-turning spin on "Little Red Riding Hood" ("Freeway," anyone?).

“Unspooled” plays like a homemade, first-person DVD extra, eavesdropping on the 12-day, snowbound shoot of NYU student film “Bemoana,” a bloody, table-turning spin on “Little Red Riding Hood” (“Freeway,” anyone?). Shot by the project’s f/x makeup guy, this amateurish behind-the-scenes docu cannot settle on a clear tone, sometimes regarding the unfolding travails of the film-within-a-film as run-of-the-mill hardships of the trade, and sometimes seeing them as comeuppance for rich-kid cineastes. Pic, which played a one-week run in September at Gotham’s Two Boots Pioneer, is likely headed for product-hungry cable.

Despite helmer Keir Moreano’s buildup, “Bemoana” is not nearly as overblown as its CinemaScope-shot, star-studded West Coast counterparts. Excerpted clips neither promise genius nor illustrate hubris, indicating, rather, a certain level of competence on the part of fledgling director Maurice Singer. Catastrophe, when it finally strikes, is nowhere as dramatic as the pumped-up near-disasters (clogged toilets, unground coffee beans, life-threatening electric generators) Moreano milks for more than they’re worth. A clumsily assembled anticlimax, “Unspooled” flounders between “Heart of Darkness”/”Lost in La Mancha” aspirations and chatroom anecdote.

Unspooled

Production

A Necessary Nomad production. Produced by Michael McKee, Keir Moreano. Directed, written by Keir Moreano.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Moreano; editor, Mario Diaz; music, Gil Talmi. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Oct. 2, 2008. Running time: 89 MIN.

With

Nicole Vicius, Larry Brustoski, Maurice Singer, Norm Golden, Matthew Santo. Narrators: Keir Moreano, Mario Diaz.
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