Posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 by Ethan Anderton
Almost five years ago, what should have been an escape to the movies for a group of people in Aurora, Colorado turned into a nightmare when a gunman opened fire in a theater showing The Dark Knight Rises. He killed 12 people and injured more, leaving a scar on the suburban community. Now a new impressionistic movie loosely based on that incident gives us a portrait of a community that is made all the more haunting by the tragedy that we know is awaiting them.
Dark Night debuted at last year’s Sundance Film Festival nearly a year ago. The understated drama from Memphis director Tim Sutton doesn’t try to obviously pull at your heartstrings, so much as try to show just how much violence like this can disrupt our everyday lives.
Watch the Dark Night trailer after the jump.
The movie weaves what seem to be disconnected stories together eventually, showcasing the average day that these people have before it will be interrupted by a senseless massacre. IndieWire had this to say after the movie debuted at Sundance:
Exhibiting first-rate control and steeped in an anxious humidity of dread, the disturbing “Dark Night” is essentially a poetic overture to a massacre. That is to say with some intentional obscurity, its unnerving prelude features has guns, agitated and distressed individuals, and a sickening sense that both violent catharsis and reckoning need to be unleashed. Sutton’s picture also zeroes in on the disquieting potential threat of violence that is increasingly part of everyday American life.
This trailer alone is haunting, and the anticipation of the terror to come is what will make even the most mundane of suburban life feel significant and bittersweet. The ending of the trailer, along with the title, isn’t so subtle, but the imagery is still very much powerful.
A haunting, artfully understated critique of American gun culture, Tim Sutton’s third feature is loosely based around the 2012 massacre in Aurora, Colorado that took place during a multiplex screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Employing a mesmerizing documentary-style technique and a cast of non-professional actors, DARK NIGHT follows the activities of six strangers over the course of one day, from sunrise to midnight, the shooter among them. Shot in Sarasota, Florida and lensed by veteran French DP Hélène Louvart (PINA, THE BEACHES OF AGNES), the dream-like visuals articulate both Sutton’s carefully crafted landscapes and the characters’ sense of alienation and suburban malaise. Winner of the Lanterna Magica Award at the Venice Film Festival following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, DARK NIGHT is essential viewing, not only for art-house filmgoers, but for anyone invested in the debate over gun violence in America as well.
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