THE SCENESTERS

An excellent movie which reminded me in many ways without the production dollars of the movie Barcelona. It is likely the most costly scene location was a press conference at the Pasadena City Hall.

The first rate script compels the movie forward with off-beat dialogue and an odd story. What saves the script and the movie are the characters are true to the roles they’re playing. So a comic scene occurs when the “film producer” and “the writer/director,” both fresh from film school, physically fight. Of course, nobody is hurt.

The producer and writer/director are making a documentary of police investigations of murders in Los Angeles. At the second murder scene they stay after the police leave. (Police and crime scene units are second-rate.) The film people talk to the crime scene clean-up guy who has discovered clues: First victim is killed with a switchblade, and a CD of a local band, Switch, is in the room. Second vicim is killed with a bug bomb, and the CD of the local band, Toxic Air, is in the room. There are other clues which will make the film people rich and famous if they solve the murders.

Director and producer bring Clean-up Guy into the production, and the pursuit of the serial killer is on. The film makers are helped by the serial killer sending them DVRs, which reveal pre-murder activities. The Scenesters uses cliches: A victim is dressed as a witch at a Halloween Party: Dialogue: “The Witch is dead.” Clean-up guy confides in former girlfriend, now TV journalist; she betrays his confidence. A black guy claims to be the serial killer and want wants to cooperate with the production. Clean-up guy unmasks him, right handed rather than left handed; 90 percent of serial killers are white males. Black guy is an actor who wants the work whether is pays or not.

The movie ends before cliche use becomes too burdensome, overwhelming, uninventive and unfresh.

Other than it’s intrinsic worth, The Scenesters shows that entertaining well-made movies can be made for little money, by competent people who are mostly unknown. If entertainment was not so enamored with animation and special effects, movie makers could learn from The Scenesters.

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