REVIEW BY-STEVE GENIER DIRECTED BY-PAUL BURROWS CAST- TROY McFADDEN, CAROLE DERRIEN, LAURENT GUYON, MORRIGAN HEL, JESO VIAL, JOHN LAMOUNT JNR., ROMAIN ROLL, MICHELLE ESCLAPEZ, LYDIA MORGAN, JOY PARISH, JOHN PURCHAS, JEAN-LUC COMTET, SABRINA GRIMWOOD, GERRARD BARANTON, NINA CABARET and SURASAK AIMDAM. SOURCE-FESTIVAL SCREENER (DVDR) JULY 2006
Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of a painter while creating his master piece? Or what techniques they use to reach the ultimate environment for each artistic moment? Well, this is all displayed, explained and brought to a whole new level in Paul Burrow’s new film NATURE MORTE. Seduction has never seen so much bite. Paul’s adventurous thriller brings us some of the most lush scenery, globe trotting from Europe to the exotic beaches of Thailand. That is only but the edge work of this very uniquely shot film. Lust, art, drugs and pure evil are all intertwined bringing us an artful display pitted on the fringes of surrealism.
Tweaking total eroticism in such an artful manner, yet along with the joy is a hidden fear that is laid out throughout the film. Through stunning camera work, lighting, direction and music, NATURE MORTE is simply a brilliant vehicle for evoking several dormant factors of the human experience. From an opening sequence that is striking as much as it’s erotic. The stage is set as you are thrown into this world of complete darkness, though like a draw to beauty you’re sense of intrigue is heightened through the uncertainty. All of this is incased in an eerie yet very subtle score from founding member of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Steve Severin in a collaboration with his wife Arban who also was involved with another film we reviewed here a couple of years ago, Robert Pratten's haunting, LONDON VOODOO. The score is very involving with every scene, changing or morphing it's sounds to evoking just the right atmosphere with the images at hand.
John Stephenson is a brilliant painter with a very strange method. His last painting is unfinished as he kills himself as events that are uncontrolled by him force the situation. In trying to solve the murder/suicide, the police recruit a Stephenson expert, Oliver Davenport. An art collector and writer, he agrees to travel to Thailand to track down a few Stephenson pieces. There he is introduced to Lec, who happens to own these pieces as well as a painter himself. Much in the same vein as Stephenson, Oliver is intrigued to learn more about Lec and his mysterious lifestyle. Drawn into a dark world of lust, drugs and total bizarreness, Oliver learns the dark secrets Lec holds.
NATURE MORTE is an excellent window into the true abilities of Paul Burrows as a director and writer. Strong story, plot, direction and acting all attest to a bright future that lay ahead. With NATURE MORTE, there are reminiscent visions of a young Jean Rollin, a director who was and still is superb at painting a moving canvas, though stagnate it maybe, and many times plotless in nature, his films often reflected a time of lustful beauty set free. Paul Burrows NATURE MORTE is in the same vein as a Rollin film, though more modern and with a strong story and plot. The imagery conveyed through the film is often seductive, passionate and most of all very artful. One can not forget though along with all the seduction there is a sharp hidden stab of pure evil and fear that is projected at just the right times. Let a slight reminder that there is simply more then one dimension to the film.
I must commend the acting in NATURE MORTE as well, especially the strong performance from Troy McFadden as Oliver Davenport. His character is incredible in depth and complete realism. Of course that can attest to Paul Burrow’s ability in handling the actors right. Still, both have to be credited. Along with Troy’s lead, there was an excellent support cast as well, all of which performed each’s respectful roles with complete realism and class.
Fresh out of post production and ready to start it’s long track into the festival circuits, NATURE MORTE is a sure hit. One must go into this experience with an empty slate waiting an onslaught of shear artful bizarreness. An exploitation ride that will surely burn it’s place into your memory. I’m already looking forward to Pauls’s next project, but will bask in the NATURE MORTE’S dark seduction for the time being.
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