Oh. Well. That was a terrific World Premiere. I don’t remember the last time I got so hooked by a movie. Seriously.
After reading the synopsis, "Dark Hearts" caught my attention and after watching the trailer, I knew I would love it. Following the steps of the movie from Cannes to London, I had a good feeling about it and I guess I was not wrong.
Seduction, madness, violence, pain and death… Nothing is missing. Described as “a film about passion and obsession and the thin line in-between”, “Dark Hearts” reminded me of “Seven” by David Fincher. You’ll get through so many different emotions in 90 minutes, that it will leave you totally confused. It is more than evident that it will have a bad ending but all you want to know is “How ?!”
What is it all about ?
Colson (Kyle Schmid), a young painter in lack of inspiration, welcomes his bother Sam (Lucas Till) and takes him to a gig where he will find his muse in an underground singer named Fran (Sonja Kinski). But unfortunately for him, his manager does not like to share her with anyone else and won’t accept any other attempt of relationship.
Kyle Schmid as Colson is just phenomenal. This is definitely his best and most intense performance so far. He’s carrying the entire movie on his shoulders. You clearly see him sinking into madness step by step, and his blood lust becomes his obsession. Colson delivers an unexpected new creativity that leads him somewhere between genius and madness.
Kyle Schmid was Rudolf Buitendach’s first choice for the leading role. He totally became his character, lost weight, smoked a lot and did his own stunts. "Dark Hearts" was shot in downtown Los Angeles in only 17 days. It was pretty intense and the movie left him exhausted, but happy.
“Colson is probably one of the darkest most internal characters I’ve ever played and thus one of my favorites. He’s an artist who in striving to find perfection in his work, loses himself to that and finds love in obsession with a young woman named Fran”, explains Kyle.
Sonja Kinski who plays Fran has a wonderful first leading role for “the daughter of”. She doesn’t have to hide behind her name. Fran’s character doesn’t fit anywhere, she’s a lost soul wandering and looking for salvation. Darkness and pain run in her veins. And Colson didn’t want to listen to her warning : “I will break your heart”.
There is an interesting parallel story between Colson and Sam that will help you understanding why their brotherhood is so complicated.
The cast is absolutely brilliant and surprising :
Lucas Till ("Sam") plays Colson’s little brother who tries to escape his depressing life by moving to Colson’s loft.
Juliet Landau is like a ghost, she has a real artistic vision and tries to figure out what goes through Colson’s paintings.
Rachel Blanchard ("Clarissa") is for sure the one I didn’t expect to see in “Dark Hearts” but it was a real pleasure to see her in something totally different. You will probably remember her from the TV show “Clueless”…
Goran Visjnic ("Armand") is enjoying playing the bad guy, violent, obsessed and insane. He considers Fran as his property, but at the end, he’s not the one we should fear the most.
There is that wonderful romantic scene between Fran and Colson giving each other their heart, sealing their love with blood. The red colour is part of the movie, like a reminder of the curse – from the paintings to the blood. I had the vision of that little girl in her red coat in “The Schindler’s List”. I guess there were many other references to great movies.
I bet that those angel wings have a link to Wim Wenders’ "Wings of Desire".
All I can say is that it was too short. The end blew me away and left me teary-eyed and speechless. Kyle, take it as a compliment for delivering so much intensity in your character.
The soundtrack itself deserves a shout out : Garbage, Henrik/Escapepod, Richard Strange, Einstuerzende Neubauten, Shirley Manson (Garbage)… Can I eventually request a videoclip and an album, please ?
“Dark Hearts” is the perfect exemple of an indie low-budget movie that is a real success because it has been made with passion and creativity with the right cast and crew.
So watch out for Rudolf Buitendach, South Africa’s diamond is about to hit the movie world and it’s going to hurt.