Shutterbug Film Review
By Kam Williams
Sun Blind Photographer Embarks on Otherworldly Odyssey in Supernatural Romance Saga
Alex Santiago (Nando Del Castillo) is a successful fashion photographer living with his gorgeous girlfriend, Barbara, (Ariel Blue Sky) in a spacious East Village apartment with a view. What's wrong with this superficially perfect picture are two unfortunate developments.
First, Alex is sick and tired of boring commercial work. He'd much rather be doing something more emotionally satisfying by practicing his profession as a creative artist. Secondly, he and Barbara argue incessantly, so it's only a matter of time before things come to a head, given how the compulsive Neanderthal insensitively takes pictures of her while she's trying to share her heartfelt feelings.
When she does decide to dump him and move out, that turn of events actually suits the emotionally-distant Alex just fine, given that he's taken more of an interest in another woman, anyway, if you can call an apparition competition. For one day while shooting at dawn, he stared at the sun for so long that the face of a beautiful ghost became etched on his retina. And ever since he's been roaming New York City in a relentless, late-night search to find the lady who matches that image.
That otherworldly odyssey serves as the fulcrum around which the dizzying storyline of Shutterbug spins. Ostensibly inspired by both Greek Mythology and "Dante's Inferno," the movie marks the feature-length writing and directorial debut of Minos Papas. Papas, the son of Cypriot filmmaker Michael Papas (The Life Taker), made the most of a shoestring budget here, shooting guerilla-style against the backdrop of a variety of visually-captivating locales.
The upshot of his efforts is an overambitious production which, while not quite ready for primetime due to a gaggle of technical flaws, at least exhibits enough promise in terms of acting, plot and camera angles to make this critic curious to see Papas the Younger's next picture. Dante's Purgatory!
Good (2 stars)
Running time: 91 Minutes
Distributor: Cyprian Films
To see a trailer for Shutterbug, visit:
Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze.
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