"Session 9" - anyone else see it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AaronJB, Feb 23, 2002.

  1. AaronJB

    AaronJB Second Unit

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    I had heard about this film when it recieved what seemed like a very brief theatrical run earlier this year, but never got a chance to see it.

    What it is is an independent, digital-video (but the best-looking DV film I've seen) production about a group of middle-aged workers who remove asbestos from buildings for a living. Business isn't great and they need a job - they succeed in securing a job at the Danvers State Mental Asylum, an enormous building full of dark tunnels and even darker hallways. Essentially, it puts the house in "The Haunting" to shame. To get a bonus, the leader tells the city that they will complete a three-week job in one week.

    Tension and stress start to build, as the men begin to distrust one another. They start to hear noises; are they letting their tension get to them or are the spirits of the building becoming angered?

    The interesting element of the film is that it was actually filmed at the real former mental facility, which has been shut down for about 15 years and is in a state of disrepair. I don't think a set designer could make something this genuinely creepy.

    I felt the last quarter of the film wasn't as good as the first 75%, but overall, it was an impressive effort that had quite a few genuine scares and not just that jumping out from behind a corner Scooby Doo-type stuff. It's definitely way better than "Soul Survivors", which also comes out this week.

    USA Films put out a very nice DVD, with good video and audio quality (unfortunately, the film is only in 2.0, not 5.1). There's also commentary, storyboards and other supplements.
     
  2. Luc D

    Luc D Second Unit

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    This movie is a lot of fun. Reminds me a lot of the Shining. The whole "Session 9" thing is a great, GREAT, plot device. Really creepy. I only wish the ending was a bit stronger. I don't know, it felt like all the subtlety and ambiguity is lost in all the gore. For a film that made use of such genuine ways to scare you, it fell right back into the conventional horror mode with how it chose to end it. But that doesn't take away from the fact that Anderson (the director) understands what it is that scares people, tension and atmosphere. You don't need special effects.

    Even with its shortcomings this was a great little movie and it's a shame no one saw it when it was released. It's a REAL shame because it has amazing sound design, something that you lose out when you watch a film at home no matter how snazzy your sound system is.
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I saw it in theaters and liked it. I passed on the DVD just because I'm cutting back on the number of discs I buy. Glad to hear it looks good, but I'm not surprised. I believe Anderson shot it with the same model DV camera that Lucas is using for Episode 2; so this is "high-end" digital video. It was damned impressive on a big screen.
    Now if we could only get Anderson's Happy Accidents, which also got a limited release last year. One of the best films I saw in 2001.
    M.
     
  4. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    I was unable to see it in theatres, but I will be renting it Tuesday, and if it's as good as the hype, I'll be buying it. Also Tuesday is the release of....Meggido! Cheesy TBN produced pseudo-Christian horror cinema.
     
  5. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    AaronJB is pretty much spot on with his comments. I wouldn't call this a great movie, but it certainly bodes well for what we might see from Anderson in the future. I'll look forward to whatever he comes out with next. I found the film absorbing enough that my wife and I drove up to Danvers to see if we could actually see the asylum. Sadly, the police were there to make sure that no one could do this. So all we did was catch a glimpse of it from the highway. Still, it was an excellent decision to shoot the whole thing on location.
     
  6. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    Saw this in the theater-- it's scary as hell. The ending seems a bit abrupt, though, and I'm excited to see the alternate version on the DVD.
     
  7. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Just because of you guys talking so positively about this one, I'm including this title in the Weekly Roundup this morning. Sounds like it has possibilities! [​IMG]
     
  8. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Just saw it last nite and I was MOST impressed!
    NOT for everyone...(Thank god!) Anyone under 20 might get bored and want some more edits and a MTV soundtrack, but if you dug "The Shining", the original "Haunting" and "The Changeling" I think it would be up your alley!
    AND the fact that it was "Filmed" (Actually new Super 24 Frame HD video whick is what Lucas is "Filming" Episode 2 on), in the REAL abandodned reputably haunted hospital is a Big Pluss!
    Enjoy! [​IMG] D
     
  9. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    better than BWProject.

    as for DV - Anniversary Party looks better (good drama too).
     
  10. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Hey Chris,
    Interesting re:Anniversary party.
    Session 9 is shot on the new 24 frame super hi def digital video like Star Wars Episode 2 is being shot.
    Anniv. Party is shot on a Sony dsr-500.... Horizontal Resolution: 700 lines in 16:9 mode (equivalent to 900 lines [when using 4:3 CCD with same pixel count] if shot at 4:3 aspect ratio) 700 lines in 4:3 mode....
    which isn't even Hi-Def... and lists for $12,000.
    So, Since the Session 9 format is SOOOOOO much more superior spec-wise, how can Anniv. Party look better?
    I'm not being cheeky, (sorry, english girlfriend... [​IMG]
    but I'm just curious as Episode 2 IS being shot with the new HDW-F900 24P HDCAM which lists for a cool $100,000 doesn't look better?
    On the commentary trk. for Session 9, the writer and director say that they couldn't get nearly the same detail in the distance with HD.
    Just curious.....
    Peace! D
     
  11. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    I rented this Tuesday, as it didn't play in any theaters locally. If you are a horror fan, this is a must-see.

    An incredibly tight script, great performances, and a pitch perect score.....I thought there was some unspoken rule in Hollywood that said you couldn't make a horror flick like that any more. Some people have issues with the ending, but with a movie like this, that is bound to happen. The transfer and soundtrack are top notch, and the supplements (mainly the deleted scenes/original ending) are quite good as well. Like I said, if you are a horror fan, this flick will renew your hope that there are still some people out there who respect the genre.
     
  12. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  13. Tim_P_76

    Tim_P_76 Second Unit

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  14. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    "What are YOU doing here?"
     
  15. DannyS

    DannyS Second Unit

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    what are the specs/features for this disc. I can't find them anywhere?
     
  16. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Hey Tim,
    Session 9 was indeed shot with the new 24fps. super hi-def format. Same camera Lucas is using for Episode 2. On the commentary trk. for "session 9", the director and co-writer-actor mention this and the fact that they used alot of VERY long shots which would have had nowhere near the level of detail in HD.
    And I wasn't referring to the aesthetic quality of "Session" vs."Anniversary"... I'm just referring to the technical quality of the image. (Detail, etc....) I'm only concerened because this is the Format that Lucas has chosen and while I think it looks pretty dang good, I don't think it looks quite like Film. When there is fast movement in a closeup, this becomes evident.
    I actually think "session" is shot quite well and the lack of "prettiness" in the shots was a decision that suited the material. Also, look at the scenes shot in the tunnel with the flashlight and you will see how INCREDIBLE this format is for shooting in low, existing or natural light situations. There is virtually NO noise.
    Peace! D
     
  17. Tim_P_76

    Tim_P_76 Second Unit

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  18. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Anyone see an "attack of the clones" preview in a theatre yet? It looks sweet on Access Hollywood and the Net but how about in the theatre?
    Since most venues won't have the "Digital Projection" system that Lucas wants to use to show it, how is it gonna look when transferred to Film????
    Eeek......
    [​IMG] D
     
  19. Colin Rudge

    Colin Rudge Extra

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    Thanks for the info on Session 9. It hasn't ben heard of here in the UK yet, despite having Peter Mullan (the star of My Name Is Joe and director of Orphans) in there. The film itself sounds good though!
     
  20. Tim_P_76

    Tim_P_76 Second Unit

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