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Sunday, September 13, 2015

My Review Of "The Trip" A.K.A. "Naked Trip"

Alex Bakshaev's short film "Naked Trip" a.k.a. "The Trip" stars  Jason ImpeyJennifer NewlandSharon Impey, Karl Rhodes, Darryl Lane, Nick Stoppani, and Bakshaev in a film noir that is both classic in design as it is experimental. "The Trip" displays Bakshaev's talent in creating a story both visually intriguing, and artistic.

Synopsis: An obsessed filmmaker George Eastman in this bizarre and surreal mix of trash, experimental and art-house cinema directed by Alex Bakshaev (Bittersweet). On the run from the mafia, Eastman kidnaps an actress, Sarah Asproon, and heads off on a strange and terrifying road trip to the coast. Along the way George and Sarah encounter various weird characters and Mafia henchmen. 

The story Bakshaev gives us in "The Trip" is a simple character study that exploits heavy arthouse composition with classic noir framing. The characters are somewhat static, but the main protagonist manages to be entertaining, and dynamic. All be it Bakshaev's Eastman, played by Jason Impey, is a self-absorbed, somewhat eccentric personality that seems almost flippant toward is situation as a failing film auteur. Still the cast give committed, decent portrayals. 

The special effects, and the soundtrack offer a mixed bag of surrealism and experimental transitions, that bookend very classic cult driven scenes that rely mostly on character development and dialog to draw us into the story. The soundtrack really sticks out on this one, I think it is a signature style that Alex Bakshaev embraces. It was the musical choices and sound affectations that I noticed in his "The Devil Of Kreuzberg", which really stands out in that movie. "The Trip" has an equally interesting score that sets both the cult tone of the film, as well as the noir story. 

Overall "The Trip" highlights the very creative talent that Alex Bakshaev possesses as a film maker. Cult cinema is an obvious passion of the director with a heavy influence in Dada-eque arthouse style of story telling. There is some substance and direction missing in the characters developmentally that seems to prevent them from completely coming to life, and allowing for you to truly connect to them. That being said the lead character is very entertaining-mostly in the fact that he is so self-absorbed that the danger and lack of success never seems to completely bother him. The only thing he cares about is getting his film made. And even that passion and commitment seems to be chaotic.  Still "The Trip" will not appeal to every cult film fan, but I enjoyed the creativity of Alex Bakshaev's style of story telling and the heavy experimental theatre that he incorporates. 
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