'Neil' by Anil Rao

(London, UK) First Edit

I found in Nigel Karikari's script NEIL, the opportunity to relish my film theory of image montage as haiku, the connection of disconnection, to reference and keep the traditional aspects of cinemas heritage in silence alive. Image as meaning, meaning as story, and story... as a timeless, tailored and organic understanding on the humanity of who we are, in ourselves. A non-linear experience exposes us to discover and seek a reasonable truth, truth as a memorial jigsaw we ultimately know how and yield to put together, because we demand an outcome to the intellectual questions raised and placed before us, because the surprising thing for all of us to discover when we do this is that we are all actually non-linear in our thoughts, in our memories, in our actions, in our reasoning, and that by being linear, we embrace a mechanical idea, not an organic one. N.E.I.L. is a story of both hope and hopelessness, of faith and courage and ultimately pain and loss.

Read 'Neil' HERE

First cut: Producers notes for the filmmakers

  • From the winner of last years LSF competition.
  • We love the bold approach. It's out there and suspect we should not mess with it
  • Though... the VFX of the three neils, can you stagger the head turn so it looks less like a literal cloned shot?

First Cut Comments... have YOUR say!

Write a comment

Comments: 57
  • #1

    Rob Burke (Saturday, 10 November 2012 01:14)

    Very interesting take on this script. Ultimately, enjoyed watching, or maybe I should say "experiencing", this very much. Respectfully, I don't agree with the producers' notes that this shouldn't be messed with - the note may discourage some from offering their valid thoughts.

    Here are my humble thoughts - take 'em or leave 'em:

    (1) The 3 Neils shot, for some reason, was the only part I really didn't "feel" - it took me out of the piece all together. I don't know if you take it out - or change it - just sharing what my reaction was.

    (2) The end credits. I felt like it changed up the whole tone of the movie. The way it reads to me is that what I just watched was a corporate promotional video by Grayson-Roche - which I just don't see. It's very professional looking, very sci-fi - but I don't know if it's needed. I know, I know - total nit pick - but that's what this comment box is for, right?

    All in all - loved it - can't wait to see more from this director, these actors, and the composer - wonderful stuff.

  • #2

    50kisses (Saturday, 10 November 2012 01:23)

    My point about not messing is that this film, more than any other, is an authored film. I agree about the Neil shot though, and end credits don't worry me personally - if it makes it into the feature, the end credits will be removed and placed in the roller at the end of the movie

  • #3

    Andy Robinson (Saturday, 10 November 2012 02:17)

    Its certainly a bold, oblique directorial take on the story, which has shifted it in a different direction to the writer's original idea - not necessarily a bad thing. Dare I say that this is probably not only the producer's favourite, but a benchmark that they would like all the films to aspire to.

  • #4

    Joooo (Saturday, 10 November 2012 02:27)

    Get a release form for the shots taken on the tube, we were thinking of shooting on there but it became too complicated and expesive.

    I think people who like this might have read the script / watched the other versions. I think it would have been better with the dialog in. Shot beautifully though

  • #5

    Evan (Saturday, 10 November 2012 04:14)

    Beautifully put together. Huge production value through the settings, actors and production design. My only concern is somewhere along the way the intimacy between the two players has been lost. I see her crying but I don't feel her sadness. That probably is due to the absence of dialogue. I applaud the risk taken in going this route, but feel the emotional impact has been compromised as a result. Other than that this is really great filmmaking.

  • #6

    James N (Saturday, 10 November 2012 13:22)

    This is one of my favourite entries. But I do have to agree with Evan in that it lacks an emotional connection because of the voyeuristic nature of the shooting. It feels very much like a cinematographers film rather than a directors film.
    It doesn't stop me from enjoying or appreciating it any less.

  • #7

    Mark (Saturday, 10 November 2012 15:36)

    Shame really I have already seen a few Neils and can't tell you if it was easy to understand. I thought I did and then I didn't when you showed 3 Neils Okay its a take on narrative story telling and works nicely enough but I think you should cut once you establish the clues to who she might be. One big problem I have with doing my own editing is not wanting to cut the good takes and end up with all of them in.Cut out anything that seems to repeating what you already said as it does get a little monotonous at one point.
    You showed a nice futuristic background and that works well with the Chris Nolan style narrative. I liked the titles. Also your attention to details. I'd be careful on how you write on how and why you did this in your notes above and just let the film tell the story. It could influence the way you get reviewed.

    Vert well shot acted and most of the editing is superb. Although the actor dosent look like a robot The acting, the way you tell the story and production turn him into a very believable one.

  • #8

    Ingrid S (Saturday, 10 November 2012 15:52)

    Oh my, what a beautiful and haunting story told. I have yet to discover the issues mentioned aboved, perhaps because I was too mesmerised by it all, an 'experience' as Rob described it, is exactly what it is. It was all so poetic, tragic, with great performances and the music was like a lullably, reflective and melanchonic. Thank you for explaining your point of view as well, that really helps to see what you see. In a class of its own, good luck.

  • #9

    Suvasis (Saturday, 10 November 2012 20:41)

    Wow - another level! Wonder where tht set was ??

  • #10

    Mark Strong (no no that one) (Sunday, 11 November 2012 09:21)

    Anil, congratulations, I sit here with my tea having gotten cold because of your stunning little film. Having been tweeted to watch this from the Sci-fi fest what can I say. It is a wonderfully crafted tiny piece of cinema.

    I seemed to have found myself watching this over and over and each time seeing it differently. You say non-linear but actually it's linear, it heads towards something, if that at all makes sense. I also have to agree with this being authored and a unique voice as opposed to just a join the dots interpretation as others have done, you seem to have bypassed the static and obvious and that's why this does stand out.

    A fine job sir and as someone above pointed out, a benchmark to aspire to, right now back to boiling the kettle again.

    The best of wishes. M.S.

  • #11

    Phil Peel (Sunday, 11 November 2012 13:08)

    Nice one. Coherent. Works well.

  • #12

    Suvasis (Sunday, 11 November 2012 15:25)

    ONE afterthought - the teardrop in the script - Although nicely visible in the actor's eyes - could have been used to a good effect - Especially if it rolled down cheek nd then dematierialised before hitting cloth or tissue... Would make a nice IN_reference to the detail of the seat bead in PHILIP K DICK's TOTAL RECALL... and the idea of a false reality hinging on every last detal being completed.

  • #13

    Karla Delgado (Sunday, 11 November 2012 16:50)

    Love the pace, the cinematography and the music.

  • #14

    Nicola (Sunday, 11 November 2012 16:56)

    Wow, Anil, that is a great take on the script. Well done.
    My only point to comment on is what was said before: the end credits don't seem to fit. It does make it look either like a promo video or like a comment from the company on the film and Rita's experience. I thought the story was about what Rita is feeling. And the current ending violates that.

  • #15

    Manny (Sunday, 11 November 2012 17:10)

    Can you take the reference to the Nexus off the film please. Thanks

  • #16

    Kate (Sunday, 11 November 2012 21:39)

    I really loved the script and this interpretation doesn't work for me. It loses all the heart of the concept and feels like a really, really long trailer. I think it's beautiful and your actors seem like they're performance is sound, but overall it doesn't feel like a film with a coherent story.

  • #17

    Michael Bierman (Monday, 12 November 2012 10:48)

    SUPERB production values. Lots of talent at work here, and very slick. However, feels like it lacks cohesion, and reverberates as a Terrence Malick clone. I am not a Malick fan. Recognize the talent, just didn't pull together for me.

  • #18

    J Nicols (Monday, 12 November 2012 12:04)

    Beautiful shot and some great images but I don't understand haiku in its written form. For me this film is too pretentious and whilst as a film maker I can see the merits of some of the lovely shots - I dowonder whether it is too much for a general audience which presumably the final film will be aimed at.

  • #19

    R. Charles (Monday, 12 November 2012 12:37)

    The rapid shots are an assault on the eyes - making it hard to follow and more of a trailer than a short. I still don't get what the story is. It looks good. The film as a whole, poster and credits included, do come across as pretentious nonsense. More important I don't see how this film fits with the others. If it's selected for the final feature, it will only be because of it's production value. Let's face it, audio and visually the other films aren't really up to scratch compared to this one.

  • #20

    ben hawkins (Monday, 12 November 2012 13:43)

    This is not just a film its a work of art. I got this, appreciated the beauty and the elegance, I understood a personal story, got the shifts in meaning and changes. I am left with a set of indelible memories and emotional impressions as a result. Did I get the vision that was exactly the creators' intent? ... well that's hard to say but that's what elevates this from prosaic formulaic convention governed film-making to art. Thank you Anil it's a thing of wonder and beauty.

  • #21

    Jabber The Wocky (Monday, 12 November 2012 15:47)

    Surprising number of negative comments on this - could that be a bit of green jealousy? Part of the Art of film - making is in creating an illusion from nothing. The Use of the futuristic setting is brilliant - compare to the versions of the script DON'T on this site where the 2 xters throw a ball over a shouting distance - at least cleverly cut the shots to create an illusion of BIG distance... that is what the techno - & your brain - is for. And as far as people complaining of not liking this guy's work goes - creativity allows you to interpret as you feel... better to be a very capable Terrence Malik wannabe than a hopeless amateur? (NB I am not related to or part of the production team).

  • #22

    Evan (Monday, 12 November 2012 18:12)

    I don't take the negative comments as suprising or necessarily a reflection of jealousy. This film is way out there in a big way, which you can interpret as good or bad. I think there are many beautiful aspects to it, and many parts which can be off-putting to some. But if filmmakers never take chances that could potentially alienate some viewers, cinema would never evolve.

  • #23

    Suki (Monday, 12 November 2012 21:51)

    Konichiwa from Osaka, Western thinking I feel doesn't allow for beauty of the soul to be reached. So I am really touched by this magical, ethereal and spiritual piece, the story is so hypnotising, what is there not to understand, this is like watching a pretty flower trying to stay afloat and withering as each petal is pulled away. Very sad and beautiful. :) :(

    Arigato gozaimasu Rao-Anil

  • #24

    Hagar the horrible (Tuesday, 13 November 2012)

    Well shiver me timbers dear boy.
    You have started something, now finish it.

    Aye see pretty pics,
    and pretty sounds,
    I feel tumbled,
    and rolled abound,
    and while I'm making sense,
    of what can be,
    I feel lost in hope,
    as I am at sea,
    but when the day,
    is tomorrow found,
    I am awoken,
    to pleasant sound.
    The cry of birds,
    who soar in flight,
    who watched me stand,
    and face the night.

    A sound effort dear boy, which is quietly and very sweetly,
    a very big up yours to what they say cannot be done,
    talent is created by life, it is blessed. Discovering it can only be joy.

    So bless you, and behold the voices of discontent,
    they are only discontent in themselves.

    Aye aye

  • #25

    Mark (Tuesday, 13 November 2012 10:52)

    I've watched it a few times now and looked up Haiku to try to understand what this means. Its easy to look take it for what it is but is there a deeper meaning?
    This is what I see. Heavy influences from Bladerunner Especially the music in the first half I can almost here Rutguer Hauer's I've seen things you people wouldn't believe and Sean Youngs refined presence in the track memories of green. Maybe I shouldnt have seen the word Nexus in the end titles but then maybe thats part of it. Ridley Scott and Vangelis were like Morricone and Leone. The film would work if their was an awakening from unconsciousness or some psychosis or looking into a mind of a thinking machine or someone on drugs. It is a thought provoking film because it throws out clues and becomes for me anyway a puzzle. I wish I had seen this before I had seen or read any of the other Neils so I asked my partner who hadn't and she couldn't understand it. I would certainly test it with people who haven't seen it and I would lose the three clones and replace with one Neil. I know its a nice image but you sometimes have to sacrifice your babies.
    I think it could be a good idea to show this as a prelude to another Neil story straight after. That may bring clarity and introduction to those who don't know about Haiku in a novel way. Could work.

  • #26

    Duncan (Tuesday, 13 November 2012 11:18)

    Easily one of the strongest entries here.
    Beautifully shot and edited - and the score is perfect.

  • #27

    Nikki A (Tuesday, 13 November 2012 15:01)

    I thought this short is beautifully filmed and is perfectly scored. In all movies that I watch, as everyone, you hope to feel what the character is supposed to feel. You hope to experience their happiness, loss, pain etc. In this movie, I did. Great job!

  • #28

    Shaun Bond (Tuesday, 13 November 2012 21:46)

    I came into this having not read the script and ignoring the pretentious 'one line' film description. At first it confused me, but certainly interested me, and even now I'm not sure why that women is there or what she was expecting and why it surprised her... but contrary to what others have said in the comments, I did feel the emotion. I felt for the girl who was clearly desperate for affection and had to realise that those moments she had experienced were false. The shot with her crying on the bus, in particular, was very strong. If I was to mention a specific moment for change, I would say what others have said and mention that the scene with three Neils looks like something out of a cheesy horror movie and pulls you away from the emotion.

  • #29

    Mustapha Melion (Wednesday, 14 November 2012 06:18)

    Nothing like getting a tweet to watch a stunning piece of Sci-fi via the Sci-fi festival, so here I am, but what happened to me? I was lost beyond words, Tarkovsky, Kubrick, La Jetee, it's all there, but I was miffed.

    I'd like to believe I am more than an average person when it comes to overcoming a need to find meaning, I just couldn't, so I watched it again, then again and then I got more miffed so left it at that. Then I thought I would watch the other films here, and that's where it hit me! That;s where I got the slap! Wake up Mustapha!

    The other films were I'm sorry to say, rather underwhelming and fell short of what I had expected to find and not just not in the technical sense, they all lacked a point of view, direction, and realisation of idea, they are all wallpapering this site with a lousiness of below average expression, a been there done that yawn yawn yawn. This was terrible for me.

    So I came back to this one, and now I see a helluva lot more I had missed earlier, an enlightening layering, new details, new links, new meanings. I still don't get it, but what I do know, is that it gets me, and that bugs the hell out of me.

    A talent and a quietly big voice to look out for in the future, no doubt about that, let me know when the big movie is out! If this is anything to go by, you are going to screw with a lot more people's minds and that's a good thing.

    Well done.

  • #30

    Steve B (Wednesday, 14 November 2012 11:32)

    I watched a fair few of the 50Kisses films before this one and was warmed by the sense of community, how everyone is helping one another to make better films. It felt more of a community project than a filming competition. That was until I read through the comments on this film.
    I find it disgusting that 'Jabber the Wocky' (who should really put their real name next to their words) should suggest that just because a film receives different opinion and feedback that it should come from jealousy. Your mention of 'hopeless amateurs' is disgraceful too, as just because someone doesn't have the budget or tools to make a film as glossy as this one does not make them hopeless OR amateur. I have seen nothing but very hard work and passion go into all of the films Ive seen, any one of them could be the next best thing and their modesty and openness to critique speaks volumes about those who have spent so long nurturing their projects.

    And Mustapha M, whose comments broke the camel's back and prompted me from silence, one of the reasons this film stands out from all others is because it does its own thing and disregards all of the speech from the script, not to mention some of the action. The rules clearly stated early on that filmmakers had to stick to the script minus a few small tweaks for practicality purposes etc, whereas this film is more based on the script than an adaption.

    I mean no disrespect to this film, I hate its pretentious poster, description and delivery but cannot deny that I was entertained and intrigued. But I consider this particular webpage - it's comments and notes - to be completely against the spirit of the rest of the website. And that's a shame.

  • #31

    Stare (Thursday, 15 November 2012 04:23)

    It would be a great music video, but to me a narrative film is a different thing than a music video. In order for me to say more about acting, I need to hear them speak but from the silent acting it looks very good. The cinematography is very good as well. Good choice of locations. However like how I said, and it might be my lack of knowledge about filmmaking or maybe my taste as a filmmaker however I think to tell a story in a short time, you need to have a continuity and an idea about whats going on...in this one I had a problem about these..

  • #32

    Stephen Cooper (Thursday, 15 November 2012 07:17)

    Beautifully shot. Nothing more to add really as you already have so much feedback. I really enjoyed it. My problem with the 'Neil' films is they've all took to long to tell the story, this version doesn't. Just very good.

  • #33

    Mylène (Thursday, 15 November 2012 17:35)

    Great film. Really enjoyed it.

  • #34

    Suvasis (Thursday, 15 November 2012 18:23)

    Wow - this one is getting controversial ?! I have to say to the Jabberwocky guy: NO AMATEUR IS WITHOUT HOPE ! We are all on a continuum towards greatness and everyone starts as an amateur in something - if they were here trying they've got something to be proud of. One interesting thought though- was there really any huge budget for this highly professional looking film - or was it actually almost as cheap as some of the others?

  • #35

    Mustapha Melion (Friday, 16 November 2012 03:22)

    My apologies first to the filmmakers for what I am about to say, however clandestine negativity is all too well and alive here, and when it is clefted with an ignorance pretending to be just, and more inmportnatly than that, announces itself as 'disgusting' and 'breaking the camels back', then let us confront these issues.

    I am not bothered by what appears to be seen as controversial, (controversial is a good thing, it's leadership out of curiosity to challenge the norm and staid) as that would imply that having intelligence is a bad thing, well it is for people who are insular, that's what's controversial.

    How exactly, is this pertaining to be pretentious, is unfortuantely a lacking in others to deal with their own inabilities, to be of an open mind and answer a question put before them, that in all fairness is demanding them to think about something, and heaven forbid, we wouldn't want people to do that now do we, to think for themselves?

    What does bother me is that 'Jabber the wocky' has highlighted a lot of people who wish to appear to be, in some kind of way praising, then feel lacking in themselves to commit to that, then say something destructive as a way out for them. Yo yos to be precise.

    When some one states 'I mean no disrespect to this film' - This being their self-imposed alowance to now green light their meanness, then say 'I hate its pretentious poster, description and delivery' - Now the truth of what they really feel. Then go on to say 'but cannot deny that I was entertained and intrigued.' - Which is now contingency incase the opening address was not fully clear, this tells me all I need to know about that person.

    Wow, what a small minded weasel you are sir... forgive me I'll use your out now shall I, your pun, 'no disrespect'... Yeah right! HATE...really, you hate? Strong sentiment to put forward, perhaps you are 'the green eyed monster' here and this is to be revealed in your comments.

    This film appears to be constructed with a clear idea of what it wants to be and obviously presents a love of film craft to be able to deliver upon that. Having a poster and an introduction to the thinking actually helps you understand what you have seen. Its industrialness empowers you and not otherwise, and this is what offends people. Better surely than listening to the moans and groans of what lenses, cameras and how you had to beg, borrow and steal to make a film, that is amateur! Can you tell a story, that's what we want to know?

    Rules are to be broken if they are to stimulate progressiveness, but even with that I don't see how this offering has done anything wrong. I can see whenever one of the performers are saying something, that it is indeed from the script itself, if my lip syncing is correct that is. So what exactly here has been made up? If anything, what may have been restrictive has now been freed to allow a bigger idea to materialise.

    Furthermore, doesn't this film lend itself to also be modest, and is also open to be critisised by being here? And doesn't this speak volumes about the makers too, and who I'm sure have spent just as long nurturing this project as well as anyone else has in theirs? Some people don't even want to put their films up, what is all that about, what fears do they have? This one has none, and clearly has irked the fear in others perhaps.

    I still don't get this film, I'm slowly trying and I want to understand it, any of the films that raise that as a question are indeed challenging the viewer, and even if they don't get it, the creators are being bigger than the original idea to just 'copy and trace' what we already know.

    As for a sense of community, it's a competition right? These people are competing aginst each other, or have I misread this?

    Finally, I have also watched a lot more films here, yes they are getting better and some have really good moments, so much talent here, that's for sure. Yet as the producers themselves have rightly stated, this is indeed an authored film, perhaps it should be pulled from this process, as it is obvously wreaking havoc on those who are not capable of quite seeing and supporting its beauty and its invitational illuminating light.

    Godspeed to them.

    Oh yes, the other NEILS so far have taken their time to get to the point, but really didn't have any point to make to begin with! That is a shame. Now that isn't being controversial either, that is just stating a fact, one it seems has also been observed by others.


  • #36

    Mark (Friday, 16 November 2012)

    You're only competing against other Neils. Apart from that comments directed by film makers need to be constructive for their own sake. If 50 kisses has some outstanding films this reflects well on everyone.
    Neil's story is deliberately vague and not the way I would have made it It's left to the viewer to decide what its all about so it is open to interpretation by the film maker. Thats what this film does. No one seems to understand it but yet appreciates it somehow has something. No one can discern what that is. The film maker defines it as an opportunity to relish his love of Haiku and that idea makes sense. But lets face it the story as written itself leaves the viewer to imagine what it was about adding a Haiku version is destined to confusion and people will sometimes attack what they don't understand.

    Because I saw this film after I'd seen other Neil's I'm sort of suspicious that I like this film because I can see what I already have seen set to music and the acting looks very real.

    I guess 50 kisses looks to be different enough to be classified as an art film. I'm going to say it and you may not like me for this but I would love to see a version of this film in narrative form. I'm sure it probably was shot this way and later edited to make something different. I would love to hear the actors speak and the score could really be good. However it could also be a wrong turn if the acting isn't as good as it appears to be without vocals..

    This way there could be two versions( If they can coexist) and the film maker could decide based on comments and his own judgement what to do. Surely this would be a good thing for the cast and crew?

    If a Narrative version got picked the current version could always be shown at Art festivals etc. I know its hard to go against what you believe in but also we have to think about our actors crew and longer term a career and what pays the bills in the longer run.

    The important thing about reading comments is its only someone's opinion and not neccesarily worth anything. It is true some comments are made to back up another or to go with the flow or for some reason to nobble or discredit and not a single care whether they liked the film or not. It's up to us to pick the oomments that make sense. Find those comments that offer insight into what may have been missed and maybe an opportunity to entertain our audience better.

    Certainly comments designed to nobble are spotted by most and most will keep quiet because they don't want to rock the boat so you never hear those voices. Be strong in yourself and don't give in to pressure when you know you're right but also concede when it hits that you might be wrong and dont let your ego ruin your future. Its not about being wishy washy picky fussy It's about understanding better the people you want to see your work.

    I've noticed you and others here have negative comments for other films. Why not leave constructive feedback for those films not in competition with yours with the view that if this should get chosen your comments will help to make sure its in good company.

    Don't take anything I say as being right or wrong I offer my opinion that may or may not work for you and that may or may not be right. Just MY opinion.
    I love what Chris Jones has done here. At first I wasn't sure until I started listening to some of those here who really have film makers interests at heart.

  • #37

    Mustapha Melion (Friday, 16 November 2012 23:57)

    Hello Mark,

    I am not competing against anything and am not a filmmaker; I'm a teacher but thank you for the propriety in your words.

    I am confused by who you are actually addressing with them though. I am nothing to do with this film, I arrived here via The Sci-fi Film Festivals tweet proclaiming a stunning short piece of Sci-Fi to watch, considering I teach in Turkey and cover themes of gender, political, and cultural representation in science fiction, I was more than interested to see what was done here.

    What I didn't expect to find was a debate around competitive technicalities bordering on petty outlooks. I came to watch the work, and see if ideas were being inspired here, and what they were projecting in their realisation, but then having had to digress through and face what really was, a low level discussion on envy of accomplishment, masquerading as inverted admiration, is really not what I wish to spend my time doing.

    My observation of the other NEIL's is relatable to the objective of ideas. There is nothing science or fictional in their worth or construction, that's all I came to as a conclusion, it wasn’t to be morbid or morose, more that they were 'cheesy' is the expression I believe. If that is what I feel, that is what I feel. Other films which have no sci-fi but which I did go on to view, to understand better what all this '50 kisses' is about, do have some great charm for what they are in their outlook, but are not for me.

    As for the rest of your content, I’d say put it to the filmmakers themselves and not me. I cannot answer what is not for me to do so or comment on. I felt compelled in a just way to say something based on the objection by a certain comment, of what I originally said here, that only in its own structure had a lacking of positive construction towards me.

    Furthermore, I am curious as to why the filmmakers themselves haven't spoken or replied to any of the views to be found here. Then again, it’s very obvious that they are probably being smart not to, just like they are in their work and their application and presentation of it.

    Lastly when you state 'Don't take anything I say as being right or wrong I offer my opinion that may or may not work for you and that may or may not be right. Just MY opinion.'

    You're right, it is your opinion, and equally I am entitled to mine.

    Thank you and have a good evening.

  • #38

    Taylor (Sunday, 18 November 2012 12:44)

    Heck this thread seems to have been hijacked. Sorry but this film was just not for me. I can appreciate the beauty of some of the shots but I felt it was too self indulgent - but that is just my view and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The world would be a sorry place is everyone liked the same things.

  • #39

    Mac (Thursday, 22 November 2012 08:17)

    well what can i say beautifully shot but as a member of the general public the film makes no sense what so ever hate all this close up work makes it feel cheap as you cant see what is happening around .Too many film makers think they are being clever by filming close up and going in and out of focus but you seem to lose part of the story as your eyes are focusing in , why cant they keep it simple .
    Sorry i know a lot of you will disagree but just saying . Still not sure how 50kisses is even going to work as collection of movies .

  • #40

    Audrey M (Tuesday, 27 November 2012 14:06)

    Eternally mesmerising in both sound and image, and maybe perhaps the female skewering of psyche overall in the consumption of this film, is what a general audience finds hard to fathom.

    Is it really clever or pretentious to ask an audience to invest a thought for themselves? Poor in mind is the person who thinks so, open in outlook is the person who does not!

    Thanks for involving me in your beautifully crafted short little story, very little asks of us today :-D

  • #41

    Sandra D. (Friday, 30 November 2012 12:07)

    Beautiful! I felt deeply moved...

  • #42

    Chris (Saturday, 01 December 2012 19:04)

    This is the first 50 kisses film I watched. I loved it, hugely impressed. Must disagree with other commenters about the emotional connection being hampered by the removal of dialogue. I totally engaged with the female lead throughout. I loved having to work out what I was seeing - the non-linear style very much connected me with the disoriented emotional state of the female lead. The timing is superb - the revelation at the end is perfectly pitched. Story-telling wise I think this is an absolute corker. Technically it's strong. However is there anything you can do about the rolling shutter issues on some of the close ups? It's the one thing that lets this film down in my mind - it's a dead DSLR giveaway and sadly cheapens an otherwise highest-order film. Look forward to seeing more from you in the future.

  • #43

    guerillafilm (Saturday, 01 December 2012)

    Hey Chris, I am pretty sure that less than one in a thousand would notice the rolling shutter - it's a giveaway to you an expert, to most, they would never see it.

  • #44

    Paul R (Sunday, 02 December 2012 12:44)

    This short is unusually speaking, for anything made these days even features, a demanding multiple watch. How that has been accomplished is quite a marvel in itself.

    The following are the further things I have come to recognise.

    1. It knows what it is doing and why.
    2. It tells the same story as the others, but through the eyes and voice of a very talented person/s.
    3. The cinematography/shot selection is purposeful to the story and is kinetically beautiful.
    3. There is something magical about all of it, almost a dreamlike/hypnotic assault on the viewer, both aurally and visually.
    4. This a filmmaker to truly get excited about.

    Enjoyed this very much, so more of the same please.


  • #45

    Philippa Scott (Tuesday, 04 December 2012 20:03)

    Too true, as illustrated in the feedback, this does indeed require a few watches, but what I find a real pleasure to keep discovering, and which seems to have gone a miss in the sentiments above is the craft of acting here. Yes, this is obviously spectacularly well thought out, as a piece of art, but what else is, is in the performances too.

    I remember doing drama way back when and it was hard enough conveying truth with dialogue, but without it, that is even tougher. The extra weight the performers need to carry here in the convincing us of the story, well a huge bravo indeed to the actors here.

    Their delicate performances aside, to suggest and display what we cannot be privy to in dialogue for obvious explanation is a huge milestone to put across successfully, and congratulation are in order, as you have. The juxtaposition of both pain and pleasure and the seeking of the reason why this is happening, and with only the faces to tell us what is going on, is masterfully crafted.

    The next point is really and truly nitpicking, but I would like to know what happens next to the characters, as it ends all too quickly.

    Take a bow all involved.

  • #46

    Radical Joe (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 15:57)

    Great Scott, what is going on here in all these comments? By heck someone seems to have rocked the boat they claim we are all in and it appears rightly so. Let's face it, as I am quite simple with most things in life, if all these films were football managers then most are like Mark Hughes, it would appear that this one claims to be Jose Mourinho, because it's special! Can't argue with that :-P

  • #47

    Samantha Noel (Wednesday, 12 December 2012 19:26)

    A truly beautiful and well made film Anil, Beautiful to watch, beautiful to listen to. Just beautiful overall.

  • #48

    Martin Jameson (Monday, 17 December 2012 19:54)

    Very smart filmmaking, intriguing, original, just magic! Good luck.

  • #49

    Klaus Goerer (Tuesday, 25 December 2012 09:28)

    This is very very good, I did not find a problem with the other Neils in view, it was quite chilling when that shot dropped, giving us the release of what we go through and why. The music was very dreamlike and good for the beautiful images, the edit was very masterful, like a pendulum overall in perfect harmony with both sound and image. A very good film thank you.

  • #50

    Anil Rao (Wednesday, 26 December 2012 17:50)

    Namaste my dear fellow filmmakers and audiences alike, I hope you all had a good Christmas and haven't over stuffed yourselves too much.

    This time of year really is the most time I get to myself outside of everything else life throws at us, so having finally been able to go through all these comments, I just wanted to say, wow, and that everyone involved with this interpretation of Nigel's script is very thankful and appreciative of all the comments and feedback given.

    Whilst we truly and honestly never expected to have gotten this kind of response from out little film, and as varied as it has been, wow, we are all very taken aback, and with this being the 50th comment, (again thank you for so many) I felt it was important to be respectful and thankful in addressing all those here who have made time for our film in both watching and commentating.

    We entered this strictly as a challenge to make a film and not a competition at all, and nothing else mattered but the objective of delivering the best work we could, in the time we had and with what was available to us, furthermore we wanted to be original in how we applied ourselves to it, and we commend all the filmmakers and writers who decided to do the same. It is quite something to say, I am going to go out there and accomplish something and then actually do it, so we all beat together in this, hearts, minds, scripts and films alike.

    So congratulations to all of you who wrote a script to begin with, and to those who went on to finish a film of the 50 scripts chosen, just as much as those who then in the process of collaboration and development bravely put out their open hearts here to be critiqued too, in both film and script. It really is a very brave thing to do.

    It has been very exciting to watch the films I have had a chance to watch thus far and the other Neil interpretations in particular. I am always amazed and intrigued at how other filmmakers make their films and how they got to their finalized versions. I wish there was far more information on the why, how one comes to their ideas rather than just the technical.

    In closing for now, I impart very dearly only the very best wishes to all of you for the new year, and as the world hasn't ended yet, let's all make 2013 a productive film making one.

    Once again thank you for all your time here and support, and the best of luck to all in this process.

    Anil and the N.E.I.L. Team.

  • #51

    Marci Libert (Tuesday, 01 January 2013 18:21)

    I first came across this film when it first went up in November and also like a few others here, came to know about it via the Sci-Fi Festival tweet and have come back to it again only now to comment on it after some time has passed, whilst wanting to see other work here and to have some distance from the work to be able to appreciate it.

    I teach film making in France and for those that know French cinema, we have a rich history in defining the study of film art as very much author led.

    I have watched a good amount of the films here in this wonderful opportunity, (this grand idea of experimental exercise to discover the future storyteller) to know that there are 3 to 4 stand out pieces of film as film-making goes by industrial validation, and professional application, and this is, in all aspects of the craft, one of, if not the best of them.

    It is elevated to this position by applying itself in the best way it can be, as are the other few to be found here. However for me, this film just has something else that is special, and that is what is totally unique about it, it is original and has a bigger idea behind it, a bigger world view, a potential waiting to be unleashed and released. It is also so self-assured, so there is a real love for film behind it, it screams it to be so confident.

    I can see from some of the more understandable critics above some genuine discontent based around not knowing what to do with a film that asks of them to work it out, however I don’t feel any discomfort at all when watching, I am more probed to look at the bigger world and question that, than to be myopic with my lack of understanding.

    Whilst a lot of the other films here seem to be so self-contained by the limited expansiveness given to their individual interpretation, which in all fairness to those starting out is not a bad thing, it just means in those first few brave steps one takes, the writer has told them to jump and they have mostly all said where and followed through, almost fearing to question would it be better to try this or something else. Cinema is the visual idea realised first and more often than not, words can get in the way of that, especially if not needed at all.

    This presentation has accomplished what every filmmaker strives to have and very few ever do, even in the high-end pro output and that is a vision and more importantly, an ideological know how, to make it so. It is within this respect to the evolving process of 'taking an idea on page to a live idea completed on screen' that has been followed through compellingly and is most assured of its telling, by the voice of the film maker as an artist.

    Yes it is a work of art truly, and the art of the filmmaker is celebrated through it in every area of filmmaking. If shorts are, as often described, calling cards for filmmakers to be, this one is signed, sealed and delivered with a big promise of future cinema behind it and that is very rare.

    A mighty pat on the back to all involved and shall be looking out for more to come from you in the future.

    Good luck and happy New Year,

  • #52

    Barry M (Monday, 29 April 2013 22:19)

    You know I watched this a while back maybe in January and was none too bothered about leaving a comment as you had so many and they all pretty much summed up the same idea, that this was a highlight in the overall sense of things.

    I then saw the heads up about a new NEIL uploaded and was wondering about the whole 50 Kisses thing, I watched that new NEIL a few times today and came to realise how significantly masterful your effort actually is as I watched that a lot more times, it just never lets go of you.

    The other one is very well made and unfortunately not very well told, but yours is gloriously a challenge on convention without going too far, you also give me a sense of space, a sense of cinema, of having to discover why I am watching, thus having me give willingly to find out.

    Thank you for that, you told the same story from a script which had problems, yet you got rid of the prolems to leave a better story told.

    5 stars given.


  • #53

    Hanna (Tuesday, 28 May 2013 23:49)

    This feels like a student film, a good experiment - I'm sure you'd get top marks at university. However, for me I feel that the way it's cut up so much takes away the emotion and the tension that was present in the script. I think you only know what's going on if you've either read the original script or seen another of the 'Neils'

    A nice experimental piece and the Roca gallery was an inspired location choice. It's an interesting contrast when seen alongside the other Neil films, but for me it doesn't work as a standalone piece.

  • #54

    Paul R (Thursday, 30 May 2013 17:59)

    Gosh Hannah, if film school films had even 0000001% of the calibre of this offering, our film industry would end up being the most envied in the world.

    I feel maybe you're not accustomed to trusting your own judgements, or European films, as that would mean thinking for yourself and that's what this film asks of its audience the most, what films do that today?

    There is nothing wrong with that, most people like having their hand held, of being told how to understand something. I am challenged by this film, and thankful for it, that's where its originality is.

    As for emotional and tension, this film adds it to the script, whereas previously there was nothing there, as evident in the others.

    I do agree, the location was an inspired choice and lends itself to the higher thought process of this film overall.

  • #55

    Sheila Mansk (Tuesday, 11 June 2013 20:30)

    Haunting, solemnly, very deep and melodic. A lot to think about. Good luck.

  • #56

    Ellie Goldman (Wednesday, 19 June 2013 06:48)

    Hi Anil, where you stand out apart from all the areas of technically being a filmmaker, is clearly in your voice as a filmmaker. The way you tell the story is unique to you and I'm glad you shared that with us, plus your mise-en-scene is very well thought out. It shouldn't work, but it does. Well done.

  • #57

    Paul R (Tuesday, 30 December 2014 04:11)

    Dear 50 Kisses, any specific reason why there is no commentary track for this version? Was really looking forward to hearing about this film, considering everything that was stated above.