3:19 (Danny Saadia 2007): Spain / Mexico
In the Q and A after the movie the director looked like the spanish version of Woody Allen, small skinny, with a self effacing humor. Danny Saadia even had a sharp wit about him. Reading about his previous film experience I found this was his first full length feature. He had graduated from Suny Brookville in mathematics. He took a hard curve away from that and after his first short, Genesis 3:19 was received well by many audiences. This short won first place prize for a short at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. and the Austin Film Festival.
His current feature took some unexpected turns. To start with the movies had two parallel themes running through it. One was the use of animation to developed a story about a 19th century mathematics aficionado who many theories remained unpublished. Everything to do with this character was brilliant but nobody would listen to his theories. Finally at the end of the movie his theory that nothing in life is random or by chance, has been put forth. The idea is that everything is controlled and put into place by a energy. A energy much like the energy of physics. Nothing is random. Things fit together like a mosiac just as he provided with his mathematic theories.
The main thrust of the film is the other theme that is about group of friends and the family of a loved one who is dying of cancer. The scene where the doctor is telling this character that he has less than six months to live has an incredible realistic feel to it. After his death the two remaining friends go about meeting a girl that before passing, the other guy had a crush on. Soon the remaining friends befriended this woman and her friend. Love blossomed showing the interconnectedness of the everyone involved.
The whole over indulgence of the friends and family after the death of the main character was a bit maudalin. I applaud the director for taking many chances and risk with such a ambitious film, but I felt parts of the film were overdone. Coming from his back ground in film which was not the typical USC or NYU route. I think he did far better than just well. So while I felt confused and somewhat bored as the film tried to eulogize his friend death the director still recieves high marks. His friends looking misty eyes and saying how they missed him fell upon deaf ears and closed eyes. People pass away and often instead of more being said it is usually less.
Never the less I would go see this directors next film. He has some real talent and most of all he is not afraid to go after what he thinks is right for a film. His stepping ouside the lines of convention might just make a great next film.