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Shadows and Lies [Blu-ray] [Import]


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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Millennium
  • Release Date: June 7 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B004FQX58O

Product Description

Product Description

The talented James Franco stars in Shadows & Lies as William Vincent, a quiet and mysterious criminal. When he falls for a New York gangster s (Josh Lucas) favorite call girl (Julianne Nicholson), Vincent is forced to flee the city, threatened with death if he should ever return. But after four years in exile, Vincent secretly returns intent on rescuing the woman he loves from her dangerous fate.

Amazon.ca

James Franco stars in this downbeat, deliberately paced existential thriller. Writer-director Jay Anania, a New York University film professor, alternates between an enigmatic drifter (Franco), a gangster (Josh Lucas), and a call girl (Law & Order: Criminal Intent's Julianne Nicholson). The time line, unfortunately, is hard to follow, though it goes something like this: after he misses a flight that crashes, killing everyone on board, Franco's antihero takes the opportunity to start over. As he explains in his mumbled voice-over, he moves back to Manhattan, becomes an editor of nature videos, and changes his name from Joseph to William. When he isn't working out of his storefront apartment, William spends hours walking the streets and eating alone in diners, where he sometimes argues with other patrons. One afternoon, an unnamed crime boss catches him in a criminal act, and recruits him to run errands (he doesn't seem to have much of a choice). To thank him for his services, the boss's sympathetic henchman, Victor (Martin Donovan), introduces William to Ann, with whom he starts spending time--until the boss asks them to stop. William can't stop thinking about her, though, and acts on an impulse that forces him to flee the city. Four years later, he returns to win her back. Because Anania relies on natural light, most every scene is under-lit, which adds to the remote feel, while John Medeski's drone-drenched score furthers the somnambulant mood. As low-budget noirs go, Shadows and Lies is different. But different isn't always better. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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By Kalan Elijah Rylee on Aug. 26 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
You know I typically enjoy James Franco movies, however this was one of the slowest most boring movies ever. It was painfully hard to sit there watching nothing happen. Not at all worth my time. Painful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 32 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A Little Cinematic Masterwork July 18 2011
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
There will likely be a small audience for this artistic little cinematic treasure SHADOWS AND LIES, but while the audiences crowd in line for the multi-million dollar retreads of comic book heroes and potty mouth 'guy or chick flicks' it is reassuring that there are experimentalists like writer/director/editor Jay Anania and his pupil, the multitalented James Franco who continue to push the edge of cinema and create the challenges of this jewel-like film.

Anania opens his film with a dark in medias res raw episode that quickly moves to an image of Joseph (James Franco) missing his flight to Japan because he steps out of line to retrieve a book. The plane crashes, killing everyone on board, and that opens the doors for Joseph to move to Manhattan to have a new life: he becomes William Vincent, a strange loner/drifter who has a job editing nature films for schools in a sparse storefront abode and also performs petty crimes. What gradually becomes apparent is that we maybe re-visiting what happened four years ago: William Vincent, a quiet and mysterious criminal, falls for a New York gangster's (Josh Lucas) favorite call girl Ann (Julianne Nicholson), after performing some 'deliveries' arranged by one Victor (Martin Donavan). When William's feelings are discovered Vincent is forced to flee the city, threatened with death if he should ever return. But after four years in exile (? in Japan), William secretly returns to rescue Ann from the life of derision and fear she is leading. There are quirky moments in the film where William is in the park and 'sees and talks to' two young brothers - Ty and Lewis played by Ty and Lewis Anania - who may simply be a part of William's previous existence as Joseph. But it is this very disturbing interchange of time sequences that makes the film so powerful - are we watching the now or are we watching the then, and if we are seeing the past, how does the ending make sense? Another observer states it this way: 'The story of William Vincent as he recounts the eccentric and curious path that has brought him, at mortal risk, to New York City, after four years in exile, to rescue a woman he scarcely knows, Ann, from the vague crime syndicate that first brought them together.'

Franco is disturbingly brilliant as this strange character Joseph/William and the scenes that simply sit in silence with Franco barely outlined by terrific lighting effects or interacting in spare dialogue with Ann or Victor or the Boss are visually and emotionally stunning. The cinematography by Daniel Vecchione is moody, dark and always appropriate in adding mystery to the story. John Medeski's musical score is primarily a few piano notes and the wheezing sounds of an odd organ (melodica) instrument played by a street person. It all simply works as a brilliant film. Some may label this 'film noir': it is more like experimental 'noir film noir' at every level. Grady Harp, July 11
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Little Cinematic Masterwork April 1 2013
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
There will likely be a small audience for this artistic little cinematic treasure SHADOWS AND LIES, but while the audiences crowd in line for the multi-million dollar retreads of comic book heroes and potty mouth 'guy or chick flicks' it is reassuring that there are experimentalists like writer/director/editor Jay Anania and his pupil, the multitalented James Franco who continue to push the edge of cinema and create the challenges of this jewel-like film.

Anania opens his film with a dark in medias res raw episode that quickly moves to an image of Joseph (James Franco) missing his flight to Japan because he steps out of line to retrieve a book. The plane crashes, killing everyone on board, and that opens the doors for Joseph to move to Manhattan to have a new life: he becomes William Vincent, a strange loner/drifter who has a job editing nature films for schools in a sparse storefront abode and also performs petty crimes. What gradually becomes apparent is that we maybe re-visiting what happened four years ago: William Vincent, a quiet and mysterious criminal, falls for a New York gangster's (Josh Lucas) favorite call girl Ann (Julianne Nicholson), after performing some 'deliveries' arranged by one Victor (Martin Donavan). When William's feelings are discovered Vincent is forced to flee the city, threatened with death if he should ever return. But after four years in exile (? in Japan), William secretly returns to rescue Ann from the life of derision and fear she is leading. There are quirky moments in the film where William is in the park and 'sees and talks to' two young brothers - Ty and Lewis played by Ty and Lewis Anania - who may simply be a part of William's previous existence as Joseph. But it is this very disturbing interchange of time sequences that makes the film so powerful - are we watching the now or are we watching the then, and if we are seeing the past, how does the ending make sense? Another observer states it this way: 'The story of William Vincent as he recounts the eccentric and curious path that has brought him, at mortal risk, to New York City, after four years in exile, to rescue a woman he scarcely knows, Ann, from the vague crime syndicate that first brought them together.'

Franco is disturbingly brilliant as this strange character Joseph/William and the scenes that simply sit in silence with Franco barely outlined by terrific lighting effects or interacting in spare dialogue with Ann or Victor or the Boss are visually and emotionally stunning. The cinematography by Daniel Vecchione is moody, dark and always appropriate in adding mystery to the story. John Medeski's musical score is primarily a few piano notes and the wheezing sounds of an odd organ (melodica) instrument played by a street person. It all simply works as a brilliant film. Some may label this 'film noir': it is more like experimental 'noir film noir' at every level. Grady Harp, April 13
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful, thought-provoking film Nov. 22 2011
By tribecan - Published on Amazon.com
I saw this at the Tribeca Film Festival and loved it, and have just discovered it here. I think this is some of James Franco's best and most interesting work, and Martin Donovan, Josh Lucas, and Julianne Nicholson are all wonderful as well. Anania does not make films for the masses -- I've seen several of his works, and he is definitely working his own vein, exploring the silences between people, the interruptions that occur when normal lives are sent off course, the moments that other filmmakers mostly ignore. His films remind me of Hemingway's advice to Marlene Dietrich, when she wrote him at one point in her career not knowing what to do next. He wrote back, "Never confuse movement with action."

Almost all filmmakers ignore Hemingway's advice, which is why I love Anania's work, because he never does. The initiating accident of the film - a missed flight - sends Franco's character off into an entirely new life, and though he encounters criminals and violence, the focus remains on his choice to live a new life without any connections to other people. There's plenty of action in this film, though not very much movement, so I understand that filmgoers who are used to more conventional Hollywood fare might not have found what they came looking for. But if you're willing to give it your attention, and if you understand in advance that -- as with a challenging piece of music, or poetry, or painting -- you will have to do some work yourself, this film will more than repay your interest.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful film noir June 13 2011
By mildabeast - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I really enjoyed this film noir that is beautifully shot with some amazing cinematography. The lead performance by James Franco is fantastic - as always - and I also loved Josh Lucas as the gangster boss and Martin Donovan really shines as his sidekick. Definately an indie worth watching.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Interesting June 26 2013
By Louis A.Veal Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
good story line. Franco brings intrigue to his films. Photography was good would recommend to others to see this film.

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