Silver Case Cast at LA Film and TV Festival Review

Silver Case shines in exposing Hollywood filmmaking

                                                                         By Ron Gilbert

After finally seeing this film on the big screen, at the LA Film
& TV Festival at the magnificent Chaplin theater in front of an
enthusiastic audience and I was blown away by the production values.

This film is a great example for any filmmaker who wants the crash
into the Hollywood film scene using their own vision and not governed by
corporate film studio executives.

Director Christian Filippella and his producing partners Claire Falconer,
Salvatore Zannini, Brian Keith Gamble, Corrado Musso and others put their metal
to the petal driving this film into the most prestigious festivals with a film
that is a low budget comedy. After screening at Rome International Film
Festival, Fantafestival and Salento International Film Festival they won the
distribution award at the Tolentino International. Film Festival and the film
will be dubbed and released theatrically at the end of the year. So after
screening at 30 film festivals and winning 11 festival awards which is not an
easy feat they are still on the festival circuit.

I met Christian, who is also an AFI fellow, about 2 years ago, at
a Cinema Italian Style function, when he was planning his filming schedule and
he asked me to join the cast and I was happy to accommodate him. He was
inspired by Italian Noir films from the 50’s 60s and 70s and had met Salvatore Zannino,
who was a very important link in finding costumes and props that would
represent this sort of bizarre extravagant world he had in mind.They felt that
tailor looking suits for the leads Caesar (Chris Facey) and Barabba (Brian
Keith Gamble) was essential and costumer Sarah Le Feber was amazing in helping
to fine tune the looks for the director. He had modeled for Gianni
Versace, Ingrami, Joseph Abboud, Marithe & Francios Girbaud, and is a model
buddy of Channing Tatum, so it was a natural progression going from the fashion
world to being a producer in the movie world. With very limited resources they managed to find wonderful
locations that give to the film a strong feeling of reality even in situations
which are quite far from being realistic. In fact, the film is a grotesque
satire about Hollywood, an adventurous dark comedy with hints of action and
almost comic strip's characters. Barabba and Caesar, the main characters, are
two farcical thugs, arousing sympathy and they are everyday heroes, which make
it is easy to identify with them. They talk simple, they don't think too much
and they fight hard to obtain their goals. They always wear the same clothes
throughout the film, sweat, get dirty and drive an old cop car. It is
impossible not to like them. Consequently it is easy to read their violence in
the film as a form of survival so we all easily identify with them in our own
daily life. Their reaction to the system is what ideally each of us would like
to do but don't because our educational makeup.

So this film was more like a life experience for the director
under the circumstances under which the film was shot. Due to budget reasons he
had to cover many different positions from producing to production design, from
editing to cinematography. To facilitate his work a few camera buddies helped
him during some of the most intense filming days. Even with necessary compromises
he stayed faithful to the vision we had before filming. In fact the film is a
grotesque satire about Hollywood and the behavior which we have been subconsciously
inducted into. This inspired the film and a look at the absurd world of
Hollywood and its apparently illogical producing system. I think the answer is
in Barabba's surprising wisdom in his insanely long monologue in the camera car
sequence "You know what the real problem is? It isn't about the individual
anymore. When you boil it down, we're all just sheep. It's the corporations
taking over the world. And we just let them... I mean, it's ridiculous that in
order to get something you need to get something else and that thing you want
or you need to get is tied to the other one you needed to get in the first place..So
there's no way you're going to get that first thing without getting the second
one and that's because it's simply impossible to get that thing without having
gotten the other one first, which is the way it is". Silver Case was made
to break the rules without necessarily following all the logical criteria of
movie production. Shot on digital and creating what the French New Wave and the
Italian Neorealism did with filming and editing many years ago. Barabba, (Brian
Keith Gamble) interprets this character magnificently by totally becoming an
obstinate surprisingly smart criminal as stubborn as a mule. His marriage to
his partner in crime .Caesar (Chris Facey) through the film is fantastic. He
won out over 1000 actors who auditioned and observes the world around him with
the eyes of a kid and seems to live in his own world when he suddenly has these
genial intuitions.

In casting other characters, Salvatore suggested Oscar nominee,
Eric Roberts and he fitted him in a fashion sense in J. Lindberg suits, Rosetti
& Moreschi shoes, and Emilio Pucci ties from Mantero showroom. So along
with 2 Oscar nominees ,Seymour Cassel and Eric Roberts and the rest of the cast
is also fantastic using diversity in casting with Asian, Latino, Italian and
African American actors, Art Hsu, Alejandro Cardenas, Shalim Ortiz, Vincent De
Paul, Claire Falconer, Fernanda Romero, Kelvin Han Yee, Brad Light, Ron Gilbert
and Stanley B. Herman. The psychological and social valency of Silver Case is
what makes this film so interesting to watch. Under the surface of apparently
innocuous dialogue and a very simple motivating factor for the story, which is
the missed delivery of the briefcase, there is a complicated world of
significances. The subtlety of the movie and its characters is what makes this
film a strong film. The worldwide recognition for a film shot in only 3 weeks
using just a Canon 5D mark II and with a very limited budget is absolutely

The next festival in September is the Long Island International
Film Festival and Vegas Cine Festival on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012.

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