We’re sure you’ve noticed by now, but film has been becoming a very large part of Under The Gun Review. We are all huge film buffs and felt we could save everyone a few clicks by expanding our coverage (and honestly, it’s nice not having to write about (insert band) premiereing/unveiling/announcing (insert event) over and over again).
When we decided to begin unveiling our new weekly features, we knew film needed to play a role as well. At first we thought about going big and trying to hit up red carpets and private events, but then realized that would mean we got into this for the wrong reasons. UTG was started to promote the bands that deserved coverage because they were working hard and making phenomenal music. Why not apply the same philosophy to filmmakers?
This spotlight will highlight a new/recent/upcoming independent film that we feel you need to see. The Harry Potters of the world will always be successful and easily available on Netflix, but indies need your help and contributions to survive and thrive. Just like local elections, your descisions really do matter here. Support independent cinema!
(If you’re a filmmaker or production company looking to have a film featured, please email email@example.com.)
The funniest thing about the “age of reality” in entertaining is just how far we’ve come from actual reality. We demand robots that talk, CGI creatures, teen wizards (portrayed by adults), and most importantly, drama. Not real drama though, bare minimum,consequence-lacking drama that fills water cooler conversation, but doesn’t stress what remains of the nuclear family. This is why people claim to hate Snooki, but have continued to watch her and the other caricatures on Jersey Shore for what will soon be four seasons and why Chris Brown can do this to Rhianna and still bring 18,000 fans to the set of the Today show. They don’t hate the people, some don’t even really hate the actions, but they know how it’s portrayed on television and strongly agree with whatever that is. However, what people have a hard time face is, for lack of a better term, reality. If it could, is, may, or did happen then many are turned away and that’s why I knew we had to begin this feature with a documentary that, if you give it a chance, will change your entire perspective on what reality entertainment should be.
Dragonslayer follows and stars Josh “Skreech” Sandoval who is accurately described by Killer Films as a “lost kid falling in love with the suburbs of Fullerton, CA.” He was a blossoming professional skateboarder until personal struggles and depression lead him to turn away from it all. Now, still in his twenties and often found intoxicated or getting there, Skreech is trying to carve a path entirely his own on a planet that rarely, if ever understands him while attempting to also be a good father and boyfriend. Complete with a heart of gold and a brain that often seems made of tin, Josh radiates a personality that seems to be entirely his own and never ceases to completely fascinate the viewer.
The focus of Dragonslayer isn’t the only thing that sets it apart though, in fact it may be the smallest aspect. What is truly key to Dragonslayer‘s success is Patterson’s completely unorthodox method of storytelling. Cutting between footage Patterson shot on a Canon 5D still camera and handheld footage from a FlipCam given to Skreech, Patterson tells us the tale of Skreech and moreso, gives us an honest look into youth culture today through dozens of tiny glimpses into a person’s life as opposed to a fluid set of events. It obviously plays sequentially, but a punk-fueled soundtrack and Skreech’s completely unpredictable lifestyle pulls you in and out of moments that go from the heights of happiness to the depths of depression in what appears to be days, while everything that happens in between appears to be another story in itself.
Dragonslayer is disorienting in the best possible way. It’s a tornado of human experience lived to the fullest extent, documented for the first time in a long time by those involved as opposed to a crew of onlookers. I couldn’t recommend it to you more and hope that you all give it your time and money when it rolls out to theaters and beyond this fall.
We were fortunate enough to interview filmmaker Tristan Patterson last week about Dragonslayer, release plans, and what he plans next. Click below to stream the entire interview or download a FREE HQ mp3 and enjoy it later!
Written by: James Shotwell