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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated December 18, 2014 - Editions No 928, 929, 930, 931 

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CUBE

SYNOPSIS:
Six people awake to find themselves in a strange cube of a room fourteen feet by fourteen feet with a sealed square door in each wall. Quentin (Maurice Dean Wint), Leaven (Nicole DeBoer), Holloway (Nicky Guadagni), Worth (David Hewlett), Kazan (Andrew Miller) and Rennes (Wayne Robson) discover that the doors lead to other cubes of the same size Ė some armed with deadly boobytraps. Ignorant of why and how they got into this nightmare, the six often conflicting characters face the terror of the unknown - and their own selves as they descend into desparation.

"Nataliís 1996 short, Elevated, is a suspense story of three people stuck in a lift menaced by an unseen force. His fascination with unseen, unknown sources of terror continues with Cube, with the lift replaced by a giant cube in which thousands of small cubes interlock and move around to a secret code, some with deathly boobytraps. Itís a maze made in engineering heaven to create a claustrophobic hell. Our six strangers wake up in sack-cloth uniforms, their names stenciled on, confirming that an organised mind is behind this cube business. But no other reason appears for the incarceration, so we are left to fantasise, while the cast scrambles from terror to violence and self analysis. My own reading is that Nataliís film became something even he was unaware of and is his subconscious at work Ė together with the brilliant digital effects and music: it is his cinematic metaphor for life - and death, if the final scene is embraced by the metaphor - at once complex and simplistic. But there is no question it is cinematically inspired. The imagery is forceful, the mood is relentlessly intense, and while some of the performances display the actorsí stage backgrounds, the characters are real enough to make connections with."
Andrew L. Urban

"Though this very low-budget Canadian thriller isn't completely original (it's inspired by a 1961 episode of TV's Twilight Zone), it's still a nifty, beautifully constructed thriller that is one of the most intellectual films of the genre. The entire film was shot in a warehouse that was turned into this most intricate and dazzling set, this complex cube that serves as the basis for an escape thriller that has been so perfectly constructed. Director Vincenzo Natali, who co-wrote the masterful script, has a sharp and creative eye for visual detail, and his use of colour is superb. Characters are all well defined, never allowing the film's intellectual narrative get in the way of character and sustained tension. While it's a little violent at times, it's a necessary part of the film's dark and frenetic style. It's amazing what one can do with a seemingly simple set, five characters and a taut script. Cube is an exciting, inventive and visually dazzling work, an engaging and hypnotic thriller."
Paul Fischer

"This is one freaky film, with a kind of Terry Gilliam feel to it and a cold, technological look not unlike Twelve Monkeys and nearly as disturbing. This however, is where it starts to fall down. The characters, all mad in their own way, are people you might meet on the street. Schoolgirls, doctors, police, that kind of thing. They go on what is frequently a tiresome journey to find meaning for their capture, but the dialogue becomes so strained that it is almost a parody of itself and you begin to suspect that the film is not taking itself too seriously - especially after the horrific prologue. The story has enormous potential but ends up being little more than a variation on the 'Hell is being stuck in a lift with your friends' theme. Except Hell, in this instance, is being stuck in a cube with a bunch of weirdos, each of them talented but flawed in some spectacular way. The mathematical principles behind the construction of the cube and the requirement that people know their times tables to be able to escape are intriguing at first but too trainspottery by the end. I can imagine a bunch of engineers seeing this film and scribbling down the equations. Cube is intense, at times horrifying, frequently disturbing and once or twice just plain disgusting. It is, however, well shot and well directed and, on balance, worth seeing."
Peter Anderson



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

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TRAILER

See Paul Fischer's interview with writer/director
VINCENZO NATALI

SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

CUBE(M)
(Canada)

CAST: Maurice Dean Wint, Nicole de Boer, Nicky Gaudagni, David Hewlett, Wayne Robson, Andrew Miller

DIRECTOR: Vincenzo Natali

PRODUCER: Mehra Meh, Betty Orr

SCRIPT: Vincenzo Natali, Andre Bijelic, Graeme Manson

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Derek Rogers

EDITOR: John Sanders

MUSIC: Mark Corven

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jasna Stefanovic

DIGITAL EFFECTS & ANIMATION: CORE Digital Pictures

RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Dendy

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 4, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: August 16, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Becker

UPCOMING EVENT
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, Sydney.

Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.







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