Movie Review By Monica Sullivan
Like Mr. Hand of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," I've long suspected that Sundance Film Festival audiences are often on dope. How else can their near-worship of tasteless crap like 1997's "The House of Yes" be explained? In 1999, one of their prize-winning favorites was "Treasure Island," inspired by Ronald Neame's excellent fact-based 1956 film, "The Man Who Never Was," starring Clifton Webb, Gloria Grahame, Robert Flemyng & Stephen Boyd. The press kit says that "Treasure Island" was the creation of six directors, although writer-director-photographer Scott King receives the credit. It's shot in black & white & King bought old magazines to recreate the look of films of the 1940's. Most 1940's flicks MOVED at a breathless clip, however, & "Treasure Island" CRAWLS like a dying slug.
Long-time movie industry veterans laughed when they saw "Treasure Island", but they weren't on dope & neither was yours truly. No one in "Treasure Island" does anything that isn't paced like a silent film lumbering through the projector at nine frames per second. King claims he doesn't go out much & is proud of the fact that the camera only moved six times for 222 shots in 85 minutes. If you don't mind that, you'll give "Treasure Island" your own personal special Jury Prize just like the Sundance kids did. The production stills look extremely enticing & the film has attracted scrupulously fair reviews from just about everywhere. "Treasure Island" is a cult film for sure, sprinkled with nudity, Scott King's oddball dialogue & folks who look like reincarnations of forties actors, including Daisy Hall as Penny, whose real-life mother Diana Lynn, starred in "The Major & the minor" & "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek."
© 2000 - Monica Sullivan - Air Date: 3/29/00
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