"Money is the reason for the destruction of the season"
Added 27th March 2019
Review by: Jane Alexandra Foster
Initially released in 2013
Set in Austin, Texas, the action opens with two couples splitting up. The girl, Vera Salinas, in a city, and the guy, an environmental activist, Mateo De Los Santos, locally. Both are wondering what life has in store next. However, when Vera takes the advice of her family and friends who welcome her to Austin, to take a stroll one around the beautiful Greenbelt area of land, she meets Mateo by chance.
With themes of the beauty of the land and conservation coming up right from the start, a relationship develops alongside Mateo’s escalating struggle to protect the Greenbelt, from local contractors who plan to put up a shopping mall.
The premise behind ‘Greenbelt’ is strong. The intent is earnest and in parts a passion springs from the film maker Johnny Ramirez, about conservation, which is applaudable. The film is also nicely shot.
However, ‘Greenbelt’ suffers badly from, ‘one person doing everything syndrome!’ The tendency with some independent film makers, because they have either loyal followers, friends, cash, or all of it, is to steam blindly in with a ‘vision,’ and ‘voice'. Right from the start the film falters, due to lack of knowledge, feedback and experience. When you don’t have time to write because you’re casting or producing, the script suffers. When you love what you’ve shot but you don’t have an editor to ‘cut’ the film, it becomes baggy, or at best uneven because objectivity is hard. When you’ve got enthusiastic, but inexperienced actors, but you’re too busy filming, the story loses momentum.
All is not lost however, but sad to say in this cut it’s not going anywhere either. If the film maker, Johnny Ramirez, were to hand the film over to a good editor, and shave about 25 minutes off, the whole film would be far more engaging. The audio is also very bad in places, which makes the film inaccessible, so ditto an audio pass. All in all, ‘Greenbelt’ could’ve been a lot better just by handing over the different roles to people who could add to his vision. Film is a collaboration, especially at beginner level like ‘Greenbelt,’ because, it works. Feedback is essential, and sadly, the result when someone with inexperience just gallops in, is often a, s-l-o-w mish-mash.
Not lost, but definitely drowning, watch if you’re looking for an editing gig.
THE B CLUB RATING : B
Starring: Karina Dominguez, Chris Rangel, Dean Brochin,
Wesley Wayne Williamson, Candice Huizar
Director: Johnny Ramirez
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