The closing night of the 15th Annual GEN ART FILM FESTIVAL finished with a great combo punch in programming. The Hirosaki Players brought mainstream to subtitles with a classic Japanese twist in New York. “MERCY” engaged most audience members with not just a technically sound, gorgeously shot film but a story line that will put this film in the “guys” classics for our generation.
Each film featured important actors who have helped cinema become cool again. Hirosaki courageously went to a “Seven Samurai” style actor to find it’s antagonist. The father role of Kentaro is played by Ikkô Furuya. From the start to the finish you feel for the father-son relationship created when an aspiring playwright casts his arrogant father. The duel between the two surrounds age, wisdom and an annoying ear piece required to ensure the exact lines are performed. The battle between the two makes you pause on who will commit Harakiri first to save honor, respect and an eagerly awaiting crowd.
MERCY gives today’s film going audience a great look at the mastering of film as not a craft (youtube) but the art form cinema was meant to be. The film director is Patrick Hoelck – known to some for his music video experience with Alicia Keyes but also for his commercial fashion photography. Hoelck teamed up with childhood friends (he is originally from New York) and ultimately found his cast, crew and funding to complete this film. More, Hoelck has nailed stellar performances by writer/producer and lead Actor Scott Caan along with supporting cast members. MERCY will find its own place along film’s treasured shelves next to Swingers and Vanilla Sky. It is set in Los Angeles today but with an ethereal look and feel because of the important choice to shoot on 16MM film stock. The technical aspects aside, most audience members will journey willingly as CAAN plays his lead role: Johny Ryan seeking one more best selling novel on love.