NEW YORK–The experimental feature “Lost Prophet” contains some arresting visual imagery but lacks the narrative to sustain audience interest. It’s booked for a one-week stand at Gotham’s Le Cinematographe.
James Burton, who looks a bit like Tom Hulce, is featured as a lonely wanderer, shown in Jack London-esque survival situations in an opening reel in forests and paddling across a lake in a canoe.
Debuting director Michael de Avila uses an annoying technique of blackouts between sequences in which Burton’s voiceover is unintelligible mumbling about a prophet. Our hero meets a strange young woman (Zandra Huston) who spouts mystical mumbo jumbo and reads from a book entitled “Mick Prophet.”
Burton’s wanderings in a strange mansion are relatively uneventful and random incidents involving a foul-mouthed young kid (James Tucker) and real estate agent (Drew Monroe) don’t add up to much.
Monroe also appears as the shaggy-haired Mick Prophet, with Burton or his alter ego donning a wig in the Prophet role as well.
It’s not clear which Prophet is responsible for a string of murders, though the implication is that Burton has dreamt everything up. Film ends inconclusively with the recurring image of a misty lake.
Lack of continuity or explanation of the author’s various symbols is a serious drawback that denies “Lost Prophet” any commercial future. Acting by the ensemble is unimpressive.