Saturday, November 7, 2015

Dark Days (2000)

Director: Marc Singer

Composer: DJ Shadow

Starring: Marc Singer

More info: IMDb

Plot: A cinematic portrait of the homeless population who live permanently in the underground tunnels of New York City.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

It's not everyday that you watch a documentary about the homeless but I will say this, if you do only see one, make it this one. What I liked most, I think, is that it's not a manipulative piece of filmmaking, designed to elicit strong emotions and to open your wallet.  It's an honest film that stays away from making any strong commentary and just turns the camera on these folks who were living in the tunnels.  We hear a little of their back stories, some of how they live and on what they want to talk about or what's important to them.  They are all very colorful people and are enjoyable to be around.  It's great to see them move on in the end, full of hope and promise of new, better lives.  It's a fine film and a great example of what you can accomplish.  Singer had been (and still was) homeless for years when he made this.  He and his homeless buddies worked this like a real film crew, none of which had ever done so before.  You'd never know it by watching it.  The Oscilloscope DVD has a nice, grainy black and white anamorphic widescreen print. There are loads of extras.  You get a commentary by Singer and trailers for this and four other Oscilloscope pictures.  That's it for disc 1. Disc 2 has 15 deleted scenes, a 45 minute making of featurette, a 21 minute featurette called THE TUNNEL TODAY where Singer goes back to the tunnel in 2011 (filmed for this DVD release).  It's a nice little piece.  There's also a 27 minute featurette called FRAGILE DWELLING, a title design featurette (5 minutes), LIFE AFTER THE TUNNEL (17 minutes) (probably the best extra as you get to find out what happened to many of the people featured in the film), and a Q&A from a 2011 Harlem screening of the film (31 minutes).

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