Friday, December 27, 2013

Vic - A Short Film By Sage Stallone

Directed By: Sage Stallone
Written By: Will Huston, Sage Stallone
Starring: Clu Gulager, Tom Gulager, Miriam Byrd-Nethery
Color/35 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1

The Film
Film is perhaps the most powerful medium of art. At least it is for me, quite easily. No other form of creative nature moves me the way movies do. The emotional response I get from movies, from Ingmar Bergman to Troll 2, is something I cherish. From tears and sorrow to laughter and joy movies move me. And it doesn't always take a 3 hour sprawling epic to bring about the strongest emotional responses. Sometimes it happens in a 35 minute short film from a first time director. 

Vic Reeves (Clu Gulager) is an aging actor, long passed his prime struggling with day to day life. That is, bills, the search for work that he only finds in bit parts in low budget horror flicks, putting food on the table and in his beloved dog George's bowl and perhaps most of all, growing old. Vic receives a phone call late one night from a director, very interested in having him read for a part in a new film. Vic takes offense to the call as he hasn't had to read for a part in many years. The next day Vic finds a package on his doorstep containing the script, after reading the script and being moved to tears, partly from the script itself but more so that this was a real acting role and that someone had thought of him for it after such a long time, Vic calls the director and apologizes for his actions the night before and agrees to read for the part. While staring into the mirror, and at an old photo from his glory days, Vic becomes extremely unsettled by his advanced age and appearance. He walks George to the local store to buy some makeup and hair color but while inside George disappears. Completely distraught by his missing dog, Vic drives like a maniac to the audition where he has a complete meltdown in the meeting and all of his fears and feelings come pouring out. Vic returns home, sitting alone in the backyard, and night falls on the fading star. 

VIC is a moving piece of cinema. This would be Sage Stallone's sole directing credit of a narrative piece. This is 35 minutes of complete sadness as we are forced to sit in total helplessness as this sweet, proud man totally falls apart in front of us. Vic Reeves simply cannot deal with the later parts of the cycle of life and his world crumbles around him in a depressing tale of the last day's of a once beloved star's life. Art imitates life, and life becomes art. VIC proves it. 

The Audio & Video
The DVD of VIC looks absolutely fantastic. The crisp, clean picture is one of the nicer DVD presentations I have seen in some time. The audio is also strong, with no background noise or hiccups. While the film doesn't really push the boundaries in terms of visuals or sound direction, it handles what the film gives us perfectly. 

 The Extras
The main feature is a 15 minute+ interview that Sage Stallone conducted with Clu Gulager in 2009. This interview is touching and really gives us an in depth look into how Gulager feels about the film and what it means to him. Also included is a VIC montage, and cast/crew bios.

The Bottom Line
VIC is a fantastic film. One that I'm glad has finally received the wide release it deserves. Sage Stallone proved he was a more than capable director here as he captures Gulager's moving performance with excellent skill. This is a film you should see.

VIC is available HERE

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