Ashes to Ashes

Ashes to Ashes is a 2009 French Fan Film directed by Samuel Bodin and Julien Mokrani. Yes, my fellow Americans. You need to read subtitles. I personally hate reading my movies because I’m basically lazy, but this film is only about eighteen minutes in length so that’s about how long my attention span lasts.

1938: Driven by different, but nevertheless essential reasons, Eddy, Charles and Sergio decide to break into the huge manor that overhangs the city. Their enterprise soon starts to derail as the butler intercepts them. Blood is spilled. The three improvised murderers are on the run, their hands covered with blood but at least they have the loot. For three weeks, intense and unreal sobs echo amongst the city’s roofs. In this big town, devastated by violence and prohibition, three novice gangsters start their ascent in the crime world. Meanwhile, a vengeful shadow goes on the hunt for them.

Ashes to Ashes is definitely a French film. If there were no subtitles or sound at all and I was just watching the visuals it wouldn’t be hard to pinpoint the origins. The film is very stylized in black and white with red highlights in almost the same manner as the Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez Sin City movies yet it has its own noir, comic book feel.

Fan Films never have had a great track record in using green screen affectively. Hell – most Hollywood movies don’t use green screen affectively. In this case, the effect is visually stunning, seamless and doesn’t take you out of the film. I don’t know about you, but how many times have you watched a movie with terrible green screen that takes you out of the story being presented to you and thinking more about how terrible the effects are? It happens to me all the time.

Now let me say this. To be technical, let me write this. Ashes to Ashes is why I love Fan Films and why we need Fan Films. Hollywood would never make a Batman movie like this. It’s not commercial. It’s not for the masses. It’s not for everybody. The film is for the diehard comic book fans and even people who are die hard cinema buffs who appreciate different visual choices.


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