Harvest Tide Productions’ MicroCinema
By Josh Lyford
The horror genre has always been a creature of many spots, with more variety than a terrified chameleon looking for cover in a Starburst factory. You can find movies categorized as horror that range from over the top slashers to stomach churning gorefests to thrilling adventure-infused flicks and even comedy-horror hybrids. Lately, however, it would seem that the horror genre has been churning forward with a little less vigor. Films in recent years have disappointingly become stagnant, contrived, and terribly predictable.
In what stands out as a giddy teenager spitting in the face of authority, Harvest Tide Productions and Uxbridge, MA’s own Skip Shea have crafted a short film that solidly runs all the lines of horror while establishing its own unique and disturbing storyline that scares (pun intended) away from the genre’s usual archaic tropes.
MicroCinema accomplishes quite a fair bit in its sub-ten minute run time. The film’s opening scene rapidly sets the tone for the film; you can’t help but be sucked in by the intelligent and educated speaker. From this brief introduction, your preconceived notions of the canned horror story are quickly ~ and happily ~ dashed. By the time the credits run you are left asking yourself the most perfect of horror-climax questions: “Did they really just go there?”
Of course they did…and it is a breath (gasp?) of fresh air. The Harvest Tide team, made up of actor/writer William DeCoff, seven time Emmy winning director/editor William Smyth, actress/marketing/distribution producer Emily King and writer/director Skip Shea, initially came up with the idea for the short to support their Longreach web-series. They decided that the short would do better as a standalone and released it as such.
For a film that director Shea says was “…shot in under six hours in my backyard in Uxbridge,” MicroCinema has already received some pretty great reviews. Anyone who has grown tired of the stock horror stories of late need only watch the film to see why. It wasn’t an accident that the film goes against genre norms. It was a direct response to horror’s cash-in/tune out mentality. “Films like the original ‘I Spit on Your Grave’ with Carmille Keaton, which was originally called ‘Day of the Woman,’ had an original intent to empower women,” explains director Shea, “By the time the remake was made, it was nothing more than exploitation. I’m just tired of it.” So, Shea and his team at Harvest Tide Productions put their money where their mouth was.
You can (and should!) watch MicroCinema for yourself at WatchMicroCinema.com by paying the 99 cent subscription fee, which includes unlimited streaming of MicroCinema on the website as well as a sneak preview of Harvest Tide’s upcoming web-series, Longreach.
Last Fast Ride: The Life, Love, and Death of a Punk Goddess
Henry Rollins Narrates The Turbulent Story of Punk Legend Marian Anderson
Onstage, people knew her as a wild-child who fell into a life of drugs, prostitution, mental illness, and arrests. Behind the controversy, provocative acts, and addiction lay a visionary artist who found comfort only in music. There was much more to Marian Anderson than sex, drugs, and punk rock. Last Fast Ride: The Life, Love, and Death of a Punk Goddess is a cautionary tale of a beautiful soul born into a life of torment and tragedy. Blended with interviews, photos, and archival footage, the absorbing documentary features pop culture icon Henry Rollins, Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, Daniel deLeon, Danielle Santos Bernal, and many others.
Marian Anderson penetrated the San Francisco’s underground punk scene in the early 90s when she pushed the limits with tawdry acts onstage. After fronting various punk bands, Marian and Daniel deLeon formed all-girl hard core punk band The Insaints ~ and so began the demise of her intense tumultuous path.
Last Fast Ride: The Life, Love, and Death of a Punk Goddess, which premiered at the 2011 Slamdance Film Festival, is now available on DVD from Virgil Films & Entertainment. The disc offers bonus features including: deleted scenes, making of, and extended scenes.
Working closely with Anderson’s partner, Danielle Santos Bernal, filmmaker Lilly Scourtis Ayers presents a carefully constructed tribute to the legendary punk rocker. “Marian lived each moment fearlessly, as though it were her last.” said Ayers. “She was extremely well loved by her friends. She was described as generous, sweet and kind. I hope I have shed light on a very complicated person.”
Haunted by an abusive childhood, Marian channeled her pain while writing songs that encompassed feminism and female empowerment. The stage was her only escape and it provided a sense of freedom, thereby causing more dilemma as she often performed topless and indulged in lewd sexual acts ~ all leading to headlines, arrests, and court cases. Although she is best known as a provocateur, Marian Anderson’s brief moment in music history helped paved the way for female rockers to come. Last Fast Ride is her story.
For more information, please visit: www.VirgilFilmsEnt.com.