Looking back, we can all admit that the 90’s were great for cinematography. Many of the movies we love today and which became cult classics were made in that era, and every day, a new young director starts up with the plan of doing a new ‘Fight Club’ or ‘Pulp Fiction’. The 90’s had their specific particularities, and they became emblematic and followed by many directors that came after. The rise of grunge in the US had its fair share in movies, where we could easily spot the reckless attitude, the inevitable failure of the leading characters that rise over the initial condition, the close up during dialogue, and the crazy attitude promoted to be a constitutive value.
Mario Lopez’s ‘Silk City Falls’ was an interesting case for us. Filmed in 1997, the movie was left to age for twenty years before it finally came out to the big screen. And as a good wine, the result was impressive. The story has almost all of the 90’s favorite themes and techniques put together in a 87 minutes run. Seen today, ‘Silk City Falls’ can be a retrospective of the 90’s, aiming to show the viewers a little bit of that crazy vibe.
If we were to include ‘Silk City Falls’ in one genre only, we would go with retro-experimental, with hints of action and drama, and lots of history bits: the history part comes to foreground that unique and simple life people used to have twenty years ago in a busy place like New Jersey. The dialogue is exactly what we had expected from a movie from that period – sometimes has sharp lines that come to individualize one character, other times there are vague conversations about events so old or vague, and so it kind of reminded us of Jules Winnfield trying to Explain to Vince Vega the deal with the Royal with Cheese in Europe.
Even if not intended, the Tarantino influences are very easy to spot. The hairstyles, the vague postmodern dialogue, the camera shots, the cuts, all of them are a combination of styles QT used in ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and ‘Pulp Fiction’. And to be honest, this is not a bad thing; we really appreciate when a director can do a great impression of another important movie director, proving that art is not just a one way road.
For us, ‘Silk City Falls’ was a great experience, bringing back the memories of a time we rarely speak about. Mario Lopez did a marvelous job taking this movie filmed twenty years ago and making it stand out in an era where cinematography is in a continuous transformation.