Director/writer: Jason Bognacki.
Jason Bognacki’s short film “Loma Lynda: The Red Door” was sent to this reviewer simply as the “The Red Door.” This short had an appearance in Cannes 2008, as part of the short film selection and “The Red Door” has gone onto win awards at Shockfest 2009 for Best Actor – David Fine, Best Film of the Festival, and others. Seriously surreal, this short starts off as serious hit of LSD to the system, warms to the audience with a psychotic monologue and finishes with a French dialogue about dissociation. Bognacki describes his film as a mix of Giallo and David Lynch; after seeing this film these words cannot be counter-argued, but the quality of the film can be enjoyed, as most of the senses are tickled.
From the cover sent with the film, this is “a modern Giallo genre film; a blood-drenched psychological mystery told through the distorted gaze of Fabi who fantasies two younger versions of herself, Lima and Lynda; heroines trying to atone Fabis’ tragic past” (The Red Door). This snippet sums up Bognacki’s vision for the film and this reviewer will try to flesh out another.
There is another possible interpretation for this film, which is based on this reviewer’s personal bias and involves one man atoning for his sins. The dialogue delivered by the character Skylar James (Fine) is simply disturbing, anger arousing and one of incest, sexual abuse and dehumanization of a daughter. In the film there is a young woman with blacked out eyes who haunts the film’s reels and her appearance strengthens this argument, as she appears to be the abused daughter looking for answers, or haunting the character James. Her image is projected onto a prostitute in the play by James who is attempting to reconcile his wrongs, or as the film monologues: “to find truth.” This interpretation gives the film some hope in some very dark and horrifying material.
This is the beauty of Bognacki’s film: he is able to open up the material to such an extent that many possibilities for interpretation present themselves. The orange lens used by the camera heightens the surreal quality of the film and creates a dream-like element: “a sensational visual style; beautiful floating camerawork” (Horrorphile). Also very Lynch-esque, the film begs one to forgo reality and to step into a story without direction, but not without purpose. This strategy comes across as confusing, but entertaining nonetheless
Already Bognacki has set his sites on making a fourty minute version of this breathtaking film, which would double the one reviewed here and this reviewer encourages the director to do just that. There is more material here which could be developed to further mystify audiences and there is a possibility that “The Red Door” will also be made into a feature length film. A nice break from reality, beautiful, surreal in display, enjoyable, and sometimes frustratingly oblique, “The Red Door” can be seen as a dark poem, a sick fairytale or on a surface level, as simply an enjoyable piece of cinema.
Overall: 9 out of 10 (no real critiques here, but there is no perfection in an imperfect, yet perfectly created world).
A short review of the film here at Horrorphile:
The Red Door at Horrorphile
The “Loma Lynda: The Red Door” homepage w/trailer:
The Film’s Homepage