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Jameson First Shot Films (Whiskey Blue)
June 8, 2012 7:50 AM   Subscribe

A chance of a lifetime for aspiring filmmakers: Kevin Spacey stars in three scripts from the Jameson-sponsored First Shot contest. In the phenomenal The Ventriloquist a ventriloquist and his dummy are having a hard time relating to each other and humanity; in The Envelope, a Russian man's hobby fulfills his purpose; and in Spirit of a Denture a mild-mannered dentist faces off with a difficult patient.
posted by jocelmeow (18 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Kevin Spacey sells himself into a dentured servitude.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:08 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Jameson First Shot Films (Whiskey Blue)

Alas that it was sponsored by Jameson, else it could have been Johnnie Walker Blue.
posted by jedicus at 8:17 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pretty much everything Kevin Spacey is in that I've watched turns out to be really good.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 8:27 AM on June 8, 2012


GOD THESE ARE GREAT
posted by odinsdream at 8:33 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


On The Ventriloquist: I'm not saying that Spacey wasn't great in the role, but the film itself seems a bit slight. Didn't Bill Murray do this, more or less, in Cradle Will Rock? And if you want to see the definitive split ventriloquist, watch Michael Redgrave in Dead of Night (mark 1:11 if you only want to see the Redgrave segment, but the whole film is fantastic).
posted by ubiquity at 8:35 AM on June 8, 2012


I liked Spirt of a Denture and The Envelope. The Envelope in particular was great.
All three were really well done, but I have to say that the "ventriloquist doll with a mind of it's own"/"is the doll talking or is it in his mind?" thing is majorly played-out. Most famously with Anthony Hopkins in Magic, but I vaguely recall several cheesy 1970's TV shows and at least one Twilight Zone as having that set-up.
posted by chococat at 8:48 AM on June 8, 2012


"Bob, how do you feel about needles?"
posted by phoebus at 8:51 AM on June 8, 2012


Presented in just the right order, too. Aperitif, main, dessert.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:03 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have to say that the "ventriloquist doll with a mind of it's own"/"is the doll talking or is it in his mind?" thing is majorly played-out - posted by chococat at 4:48 PM

I would normally agree but my take away from this was that here is a couple that has become so entrenched in their own poisonous dynamic that it is destroying their ability to interact with the rest of the world. So it is less about 'is this puppet alive', and more about their relationship. I really liked it.

Plus, ya know, Kevin Spacey is fantastic :)
posted by rubyrudy at 9:13 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Envelope is the winner in my book - wow.
Checked for background on writer/director Aleksey Nuzhny, and apart from a brand spanking new imdb entry for this short, found a site mentioning two other titles. Here's hoping that thanks to the Jameson First exposure, these will be subtitled and available soon. I wanna see them!
posted by likeso at 9:27 AM on June 8, 2012


Jameson First SHOT, sigh
posted by likeso at 9:32 AM on June 8, 2012


The other two were so so but I thought 'Denture' was great
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:02 AM on June 8, 2012


A few years ago Spacey popped up in so many movies in a short time that I got burnt out on him; then I had the misfortune of sitting through K-PAX and decided I never needed to see a Kevin Spacey movie again.

He's back in my good graces now.
posted by the bricabrac man at 11:44 AM on June 8, 2012


the bricabrac man: a relevant Onion article from that time
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:51 PM on June 8, 2012


I liked them except I have a pet peeve when people use Lucida Grande for titles. It's the default font for Final Cut. Come on, how lazy do you have to be that you can't even change the font, people. Pffft.
posted by fungible at 6:03 PM on June 8, 2012


I'd seen Envelope and The Ventriloquist just yesterday but thanks for the pointer to Spirit of a Denture whose well-made fluff I loved most.

Per the credits: No pirates or ventriloquist dummies were harmed in the making of these films!

I learned a few years ago that translating a written story into a feature-length film goes better for a short story than for a novel. I'm imagining how long the prose version of each of these shorts would be... they're poems or anacruses. I need to watch more shorts.
posted by brainwane at 6:24 AM on June 9, 2012


The Ventriloquist was far and away my favorite. rubyrudy, I agree that it's really about their relationship, although wondering if the dummy is alive (and just a reflection of the ventriloquist's self-loathing) or inanimate (and engaged in a relationship with the ventriloquist that is ruining both their lives) is interesting to think about. But my absolute favorite bit in all three of these is that moment on the bench with the tie. Spacey imbues that bit of business with so much emotion and storytelling - here we see the character's decision, resolve, and a glimpse of his future without a word being said. All I could say was "Wow." It reminded me of why I like him so much as an actor.
posted by jocelmeow at 6:35 AM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


And if you want to see the definitive split ventriloquist, watch Michael Redgrave in Dead of Night (mark 1:11 if you only want to see the Redgrave segment, but the whole film is fantastic).
posted by ubiquity at 4:35 PM on June 8


I cannot second this hard enough. "Dead of Night" is a wonderfully weird and disturbing film.
posted by Decani at 10:45 AM on June 10, 2012


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