Monday, August 07, 2006

Kidnapping as Artform: "Good Cinema" and "The Garth Method"

Crime has always been fodder for films. But what happens when crime is part of the filmmaking process? I got to see "Good Cinema" as part of the 2005 Dam Short Fest in Boulder City, NV. This funny short film was based on the premise of two kidnap victims forced to act out a romantic dialogue for a couple of deranged movie makers. The complete strangers went on to make the scene tender, touching and good while being given direction by the two psychopaths. After the movie, the filmmakers had the actor over for dinner to celebrate. The best laugh comes with the meal, and the movie is available online (Quicktime - High Speed or Quicktime - Low Speed)

Now imagine that scenario, but you're Australian and you really got kidnapped. That's what happened to the victims of Garth Petridis. A desperate, out of work actor, he grabbed various people off the street, forced them to act the roles that he cast for them, and then let them go. Eventually caught and jailed, he served a year in prison for his rather strange crime spree. The Garth Method is a combination of the film footage shot by Petridis and recreations by Melbourne-based filmmaker Gregory Pakis. You can read an interview with both criminal actor and filmmaker on Film Threat.

Now I feel like a dumbass because in looking up this movie, I found that I really wanted to see it, and that I missed my chance when it played at the Atlanta Underground Film Fest in August. Oh, well. Check the trailer to see what you missed, and if you did see it tell me if it was worth seeing.

Oh, yeah, I know, it was done in Cecil B. DeMented also.

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