How to describe SUN KISSED, which enjoyed its NYC premiere
at NewFest? The film has a grainy quality as if it were shot on video,
although it was actually shot in 35mm. It ostensibly is the story of
a house in the California desert owned by a man named Crispin
(George Stoll) who has a habit of lending the place out to aspiring
writers like Teddy (John Ort). Taking care of the place for Crispin
is Leo (Gregory Marcel) and it doesn't take more than five minutes
before Teddy has developed a crush on the seemingly straight
Leo. But then Leo confesses that he has "fooled around" with guys
and it's not long thereafter that the two fall into bed.
But then things get a little murky. Teddy appears to disappear
after completing his novel called Goodbye. Then we see Leo in
bed -- with a woman named Cheryl to whom he is married. But he
also seems to be cheating on her with one-night stands with men.
Leo has told Teddy that he was married and that his wife was murdered.
But if he's with Cheryl after Teddy's novel is published, is she his
second wife? Or what?
SUN KISSED doesn't appear to have been made with any logic
and the audience with whom I saw the film was confused, to say the
least. Since it was a second showing of the film and it took place in the
early afternoon the director was unable to attend. Too bad, because
I'm sure there would have been a lot of questions for him.
At first, it seemed that Ort's character was going to be the lead
in the film but gradually Marcel's character came to dominate. As
a critic, it was hard to assess the actor's performances because I
had no idea what the heck was unfolding onscreen. I kept hoping that
somehow it would all be tied together but that wasn't the case.
Since we see a glimpse of a manuscript for a novel called Goodbye
attributed to Leo, perhaps we are to assume that the whole movie
is a product of that character's fevered imagination. I have no idea,
and as such, I would be hard pressed to recommend this film for
Rating: D +
|© 2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.