Film Pick of the Weekend: Death to the Tinman
If you're anything like me, the exciting Hollywood blockbusters being released this summer may as well not bother, because you haven't a spare dime to spend seeing them. As the cost of living continues to rise, finding entertainment that's as cheap as possible becomes increasingly necessary and frankly, it's a lot to ask of the American public to spend what amounts to about three gallons of gas on a movie that may or may not be any good anyway. Thank heavens, then, for the internet, which not only offers a plethora of incredible entertainment but also provides mankind with the thrill of the hunt that we instinctively desire . . . but with Google instead of a bow and arrow.
This weekend, I recommend that everyone stay home and watch Ray Tintori's Death to the Tinman, available for free* right here: Death to the Tinman. Tintori adapts L. Frank Baum's story of the Tin Woodman in his Oz series, but keeps the basic framework of the story the same. Death to the Tinman tells the story of Bill, the "most hated man in a twenty mile radius," and his passionate love for Jane, daughter of the town pastor. The pastor, in an effort to keep Bill away from his daughter, asks God to put a curse on the axe Bill uses to chop wood. Bill loses both of his arms in the succeeding wood chopping accident, his legs in an industrial machine, and the rest of his body in a plane crash. His friend, an engineer, builds him a metal body to contain his heart and eyes, but the rest of Bill's body mysteriously reforms and leaves the morgue. Tin Bill rushes to see Jane, only to find that she has fallen in love with the eyeless, heartless version of himself. Tin Bill decides to win her back at any cost, and mayhem ensues.
Death to the Tinman contains more incredible shots and ideas in its twelve minutes than most feature films. Tintori uses stylistic elements of German Expressionism, silent cinema, late '50s Bergman, Guy Maddin, Terrence Malick, Wes Anderson, surrealist cinema . . . the list goes on. But rather than feeling like a too clever amalgam of everything one would learn in film school, Death to the Tinman adapts these influences to create something completely original and brilliant. Alternately hilarious and heartbreaking (and never less than completely beautiful to look at), the film should hopefully serve as Tintori's license to demand carte blanche on any future project in which he is involved. Prior to Tinman, Tintori made another excellent short called Jettison Your Loved Ones and recently, Tintori has directed some music videos for MGMT ("Time to Pretend" and "Electric Feel") and served as art director on Benh Zeitlin's short film Glory at Sea (trailer of which can be seen here . . . check that trademark Tintori feel!)
It's short, it's free, it's mind blowingly good. How many other things can you say that about nowadays?
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