×

Dark

Strange, moody pic limns the world according to "Dark," an aptly named young man whose precarious hold on his life is slowly loosening. Debuting scripter-helmer D.A. Bullock maintains an uneasy tension quivering with the potential for everything to suddenly spin out of control. Winner of Best Feature award at Urbanworld.

With:
With: Jason Bonner, Elizabeth Isibue, Vince Green, Eugene Long, Sonny Coleman.

Strange, moody pic limns the world according to “Dark,” an aptly named young man whose precarious hold on his life is slowly loosening. Debuting scripter-helmer D.A. Bullock maintains an uneasy tension quivering with the potential for everything to suddenly spin out of control. Winner of Best Feature award at Urbanworld, pic boasts an unusual mix of edgy macho posturing and collegiate angst that should score well with fest auds and prove a strong contender for indie cable.

Bullock, who has a background in music videos and made the shorts “12 Minutes” and “Rome,” imaginatively mixes sub-genres: A street savvy, gritty tale from Chicago’s South Side is crossed with a quasi-experimental slide-into-madness case study, producing a twilight zone in the hood that confounds ethnic stereotypes.

After the recent death of his grandmother, the last of his family, Dark (Jason Bonner) feels aimless and depressed, no longer capable of keeping the various parts of his life working congruently. His grades at the U. of Chicago are slipping, yet he cuts classes. Calls from corporate creditors clutter his answering machine while he subsists on insufficient sleep, instant noodles and health food supplements. He stops seeing his warm, caring girlfriend (Elizabeth Isibue) because he doesn’t have the strength to confront her and discover whether his irrational jealousy is warranted.

Popular on Variety

Equally alienated from neighborhood parties and local drug doings, he tags along with his friends, Troy (Vince Green), a laid-back pimp and sometime dealer, and Dewey (Sonny Coleman), an ex-con who has acquired genuine wisdom but hasn’t fully figured out what to do with it.

When he races a fellow courier on his bicycle messenger job, Dark stops his bike on an unexpected, nearly suicidal detour. Suddenly, the anger behind Dark’s melancholia and the reason for its suppression start to surface. Fragmented flashbacks reveal deep-rooted trauma in Dark’s childhood as he hits bottom with a violent act of rage that seemingly comes out of nowhere.

Far from disguising pic’s hi-def roots, Bullock and cinematographer Jeffrey T. Brown use tiny flashes of video distortion (snow or digital intermittence) to signal Dark’s sporadic hallucinations. Bullock also relies on traditionally filmic f/x — slo-mo, out-of-focus dream-states, or sped-up movement surrounding an isolated, stationary figure — to capture Dark’s nebulous interactions with the outside world.

Tech credits are solid.

Dark

Production: A Cheeseburger Films production in association with Bronzeville Filmworks. Produced by Brad Wells, Gregory B. Cooke, Allison Hunter-Williams. Executive producers, H.L. Misch, David Atkins, Sue Wells, David Hoffa, Craig Volpe. Directed, written by D.A. Bullock.

Crew: Camera (color, HDV), Jeffrey T. Brown; editor, Eric Lange; music, Patrick Yacono; production designer, Andy Mason; costumes, Dana Anderson; associate producers, Joseph A Turek, William Lewis. Reviewed at Urbanworld Film Festival, New York, Sept. 18, 2003. (Also at Toronto Film Festival --Planet Africa.) Running time: 102 MIN.

With: With: Jason Bonner, Elizabeth Isibue, Vince Green, Eugene Long, Sonny Coleman.

More Film

  • Cahiers du Cinema

    Cahiers du Cinema Still Alive, Awaiting New Editor-in-Chief

    Les Cahiers du Cinema, the iconic publication that was a driving force behind the French New Wave, is weathering an unprecedented crisis following the resignation of the majority of its staff on Thursday. Some of its journalists, however, have decided to remain on board while they await the appointment of a new editor-in-chief. Among the [...]

  • Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe on 'Escape From Pretoria' and Why He Won't Play Harry Potter Again

    Daniel Radcliffe continues to move far away from Hogwarts with “Escape From Pretoria,” a riveting, true-life prison drama that’s gritty, grounded and wholly different from the fantasy franchise that made him a star. The indie release hits theaters on March 6 and finds Radcliffe playing Tim Jenkin, an anti-apartheid activist who was imprisoned in South [...]

  • There Is No Evil

    'There Is No Evil': Film Review

    In Iran, executions are often carried out by conscripted soldiers, which puts an enormous burden on the shoulders of ordinary citizens. And what are we to make of the condemned, for whom guilt can sometimes be a capricious thing, dictated by a severe and oppressive Islamic regime — the same one that accused Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof [...]

  • The Invisible Man Movie

    Box Office: 'Invisible Man' Materializes With $1.7 Million on Thursday Night

    Universal’s “The Invisible Man” materialized with $1.7 million at 2,850 North American locations on Thursday night. “The Invisible Man” is expected to earn north of $20 million this weekend when it opens in 3,610 theaters across North America. Independent box office tracking services estimate ticket sales could wind up closer to $30 million since word [...]

  • Bob Iger arrives at the Oscars,

    Bob Iger Promised Diversity in Disney’s Executive Ranks by 2021

    “I’ll change that before I leave.” That was the simple, but loaded pledge made last September by Bob Iger, the Walt Disney Company’s former CEO and newly-minted executive chairman, when asked directly about his largely male, all-white executive leadership team. Iger made this inclusion “vow,” as New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd put it, last [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content