Movie Review: Lilith's Awakening
Updated: May 29, 2019
‘A repressed woman embraces her dark side, experiencing her wildest fantasy. ‘ So recently we here at Droids Canada were given an opportunity to review a screener for a new movie from a fresh and budding director. Todd threw it out there and after taking a quick look at the synopsis and what was behind the movie I totally jumped on board for giving this a watch.
The movie in question is Lilith’s Awakening by Brazilian director Monica Demes. The film was actually her thesis in the completion of the David Lynch MFA In Film program. Which is a Masters level program at the Maharishi University of Management. David Lynch immediately caught my eye as I have been a fan of his work for a significant period of time (Twin Peaks, Lost HIghway, Blue Velvet, Dune). The program was developed by Lynch and 2 others and if he has a hand in it and this film was a result of that program then I would have no problems taking a look at it.
The film premiered at the Dances with Films festival which showcases the edgiest of independent films. The film premiered at the TCL Chinese Theatre on June 11th. Even prior to the premiere the film has taken 4 awards from the Iowa Motion Picture Association where the film was developed and filmed including Best Direction - Long Form, Best Cinematography and Best Actress.
The movie pulls characters from the original Bram Stoker’s Dracula and gives them a modern day makeover. In this modern telling Lucy is already married to Jonathan and you can see from the get go that she is in a loveless marriage and is just scraping by with her daily life working at her father’s shop Hellsing Service Station. The other major modernization is that it isn’t the Prince of Darkness that gets to Lucy in the film but in fact a very feminine vampire instead. Which after meeting her and succumbing, allows Lucy to overcome her own inner turmoil and repression.
Now the filming of this movie was almost 100% in black and white and I absolutely didn’t mind that in the slightest there were only a couple splashes of color. One scene with Lucy’s face while she was driving home from work after her encounter with Arthur and a couple of showings of blood when Lucy wakes up from a nightmare and also on the suspended ceiling in the service station where Arthur’s body is stashed. It was subtle with just those couple of dabs of color. The shot of Lucy’s face was an awakening of sorts for her after the experience with Arthur compared to the loveless marriage to Jonathan. The blood being the essence of life, bold and vivid and brought to the forefront by her use of color.
The scenery in the film is simple and plain. Nothing fancy at all it gets the point across we’re not talking a Rockefeller family or the Kardashians. My interpretation is that from the original story and the Victorian era was a very simple time and place without the amenities we have today and translating that to a storytelling now would be in comparison to a simple small town lifestyle like Lucy has here in Lilith’s Awakening.
Now I watched the film late at night with the lights out and had my headphones while I was watching it. I think that made the movie more enjoyable overall as well. I just sat back and let the movie pull me in and took it all in. Is this going to be a blockbuster of a film that would make hundreds of millions? No, what it is going to do is introduce the film industry to the work of the director Monica Demes and get her started on her way to making that blockbuster film. Remember this was her thesis for her degree and the first full-length feature film that has come out of the program. It is going to give credibility to the director and to the program. This movie was miles above a lot of the other independent films I’ve seen with much bigger budgets.
Now I will admit this movie is not going to be for everyone. I will say it is a very interpretive and intellectual film and it isn’t going to hand you the entire movie on a platter to you. If you are expecting something like the 1992 version of Dracula you are sorely mistaken. If you like independent films keep an eye out for it.
Kudos to the director for completing her degree and directing this solid film. I will definitely keep the name Monica Demes in the memory banks and see what she has to come in the future. I would also like to thank ChicArt Public Relations for giving us the opportunity to view the film before its premiere at the Festival. I am sure it will be a success at the Festival and will take away some other awards in the future as the film makes its way across the industry
4 Beards out of 5