Refuge of Last Resort
December 13, 2005 2:31 PM   Subscribe

Refuge of Last Resort is a documentary shot in the wake of Katrina. They've got a trailer up showing a quick overview of the project and they're even offering raw footage shot in hi-def. [via mefi projects]
posted by mathowie (14 comments total)

The trailer is powerfully moving. It's too easy to forget what happened.
posted by kyleg at 2:44 PM on December 13, 2005

A lot of random crowd shots, an inarticulate guy whining, catchy music and a terrible font. This could have been way better.
posted by thirteenkiller at 2:59 PM on December 13, 2005

This is good. We need, and the world needs, a steady stream of reminders.
posted by moonbird at 4:06 PM on December 13, 2005

While I probably sympathize deeply with the director's intentions and am grateful for an insider's view, I was disappointed with that trailer. It seemed trite.

He relied on just a couple quotes from one interview to set the table, then attempted to deliver the goods with those crowd shots and street scenes that cumulatively don't tell much of a story. Them's ingredients, but I ain't tastin' da whole gumbo.

I'm sure those interviews and images were far more compelling for those who were there, but they don't help me (as a regular viewer whose attention is up for grabs) complete the picture in any way.
posted by diastematic at 5:52 PM on December 13, 2005

This is good. We need, and the world needs, a steady stream of reminders.

Frontline's "The Storm" is good.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:15 PM on December 13, 2005

I'd have to agree with diastematic. I thought the opening quote was strong right up until "if this happened anywhere else" and I -thought- (hoped) he'd say "the american government would be critical of it" - but he went a little deep with talk of war crimes, atrocities, etc. Not dismissing the sincerity, just it's a good job of an editor to let someone say that in the interview and then make them look the best by trimming it with other statements and images. Posted as a criticism only because I think it's amazing that they were there to shoot hi-def footage and I'd like the end product to be the most solid. Kick ass, to them!
posted by Peter H at 7:11 PM on December 13, 2005

I didn't think the music was that bad. I don't know if he didn't want to give away his best footage in the trailer, or if he just didn't have anything that was more relevant to the quote at the beginning because it is pretty disjointed.
posted by concreteforest at 7:40 PM on December 13, 2005

I was disappointed, as well. The second quote made a lot more sense than the first quote. If this is to have any impact, it's going to have to be edited a lot more tightly than that trailer, which may as well have been running under a Headline News update, for all I could tell.

Some of you may be viewing it with a narrative already in your head; that's part of the problem. Lots of people already have a narrative about Katrina, and it isn't one that would go over well on MeFi.
posted by dhartung at 7:40 PM on December 13, 2005

I liked the music, concreteforest. I just thought everything else was totally uninspiring.
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:59 PM on December 13, 2005

Wow, that was really disappoining. After the metatalk discussion, I expected something moving. What are the people voting for this project thinking?

The opening monologue was a cut and paste from every commentary on katrina. He needs to The whole brooding thing isn't working, no matter how many tattoos he has.

The video was 90 percent generic, and that's being generous. Maybe if this had come out right after the hurricane, but I've seen tons better/moving video than this.

i really hope they're better at music videos. This was pretty awful (and I really wanted to like it).

This is good. We need, and the world needs, a steady stream of reminders.

Yep, the world needs to watch videos of the disaster so they can shake their head and talk about how awful things are.

Or they could donate money, or time. Me, I'm looking towards jazz fest. Can't wait.
posted by justgary at 9:32 AM on December 14, 2005

I've been thinking about this a little more, probably because I really want something like this to succeed. (But don't believe it's there yet.)

And in watching some of the other clips that the director's made available, it seems as though there's MUCH more power in the simple raw footage. As with a Flickr gallery of unedited, raw photos that develop an obvious story arc, this footage could certainly do the same thing, if only the director could (for lack of another term) get out of the way and let the material speak for itself. It doesn't have the power to be a riveting doc, but it could certainly dwell on you in long-form, on-site style (that none of the news networks produced).

Some really well-done war films have a similar quality in that the director takes you there without any (overly obvious) intervening...and it seems to me that this footage could have a cumulative effect.

That said, it'll be good, but the timing may kill it. It'll stir up emotions that many of us have already gone through, and don't want to go through again. We know that a lot of people fucked up, and it's a big problem, but the two big issues that I think most of us are ready to deal with are 1) how can we "fix" new orleans now; and 2) how do we keep this from happening ever again, anywhere.

Will this doc address that? Can it? Me guesses not.
posted by diastematic at 10:48 AM on December 14, 2005

wow...those shots of the bodies just get me...I can't believe what this storm did. Hopefully movies like these will stay out there, and we won't reduce Katrina to a glitzy "ABC Movie of the Week".
posted by Todd Lokken at 4:19 PM on December 14, 2005

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