I recently attended LA based Film Festival "Dances with Films" and was one of the fortunate ones to discover a visually poetic gem of a movie, a rare one that has a pulse these days, and stays true to itself, from a very talented and promising director of French origin, GUILLAUME CAMPANACCI.
After the screening, I had the pleasure of speaking with this refreshingly interesting, funny and charming auteur, reminiscent of a young Alain Delon. During our brief conversation I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the film he wrote, shot, directed, produced, acted in, and managed to complete in only eleven days, with a three people crew, was his first feature film, shot for only $5,000. Hard to imagine it is still possible to do, even for a highly independent production like this one, without seriously compromising visual style and aesthetics, or the story line. Yet, Campanacci not only managed to achieve it; he excelled at it. It seems the more obstacles were thrown his way, the more he was capable to quickly adapt to the situation, and come up with creative solutions in record time. DEVILS IN DISGUISE is told in an unconventional, non-linear way, with long silent takes/pauses, displaying a strong visual language, this film simply leaves you asking for more. In times when it seems like every other indie director is auditioning for mainstream Hollywood, Campanacci and his first feature are a breath of fresh air.
Given the renegade spirit it displays, I must admit, as an attendee of SLAMDANCE for a number of years now, the festival with the Godard and Truffaut maxim “by filmmakers for filmmakers”, I would have expected to have come accross a film of this genre, and with this sensibilty and qualities there instead.
Even the marketing ploy with a toilet with the inscriptions "HOLY WATER / HOLY SHIT" in the screening theatre "screamed" GUERILLA FILMMAKING.
I couldn't resist but mention it to the director. He said that he, in fact, did submit it to Slamdance last year, and received a rejection letter, but added that at the time of submission, the film was still very much a work in progress. I suggested he should maybe give it another try, and resubmit it. I couldn't help but tell him that CHRISTOPHER NOLAN's first feature, the masterpiece 'FOLLOWING', was as well first rejected, then accepted the following year; the rest is history (Memento, The Dark Night, Inception, Interstellar).
After a long pause, he smiled and told me he will give it another try.
Photos taken from www.devilsindisguise-themovie.com