A Necessary Death

"A Necessary Death" are either unable or unwilling to enable auds to suspend disbelief.

With:
With: Gilbert John, Matt Tilley, Valerie Hurt, Michael Traynor.

If you want to make a faux documentary, it’s a good idea to make a token attempt at verisimilitude if you want to be accepted as something other than a moderately clever stunt. Trouble is, the makers of “A Necessary Death” are either unable or unwilling to enable auds to suspend disbelief. As a result, pic is never as audacious or transgressive as it’s obviously intended to be, and likely will amuse only simpatico film students with access to film fests or Netflix.

The basic setup is promising: A Los Angeles film student (Gilbert John) advertises on the Internet for a suicidally inclined subject, intending to record the unfortunate’s final days — and ultimate self-destruction — for a graduate project. But even as the would-be auteur finds himself caught between a willing “star” (Matt Tilley), who’d prefer not to deal with the final stages of a brain tumor, and a sound recorder (Valerie Hurt) who just happens to be the director’s ex-girlfriend, “A Necessary Death” remains more intriguing as a concept than as a completed pic.

A Necessary Death

Production: A Brickwall Prods. presentation of a Work in Progress production. Produced by G.J. Echternkamp, Brian Udovich. Directed, written by Daniel Stamm.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Zoltan Hoti; editors, Shilpa Sahi, David Kashevaroff; music, Morgan Kibby; sound, Andy Hay. Reviewed on DVD, Houston, March 26, 2008. (In SXSW Film Festival -- Emerging Visions.) Running time: 99 MIN.

With: With: Gilbert John, Matt Tilley, Valerie Hurt, Michael Traynor.

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