Hotel Monterey

Hotel Monterey

it’s a bit like sitting out in nature and just observing and letting your mind wander where it will. it’s sort of a guided (albeit, loosely) period of meditation, if not of reflection. if you’re willing to engage and get invested, it can be rewarding. i’ve always loved hotels, and getting to explore this one and have my mind go to its usual “what stories are here?” and “what’s the history of this particular scratch on the wall?” was lovely, especially since it’s from the 70s. the film functions as a sort of time machine in that you’re taken back to a New York of old in a clearly already old building. this scatters the imagination. and what’s more, all of the shots are gorgeous. the back of the Eclipse DVD talks about the hotel and its occasional occupants being framed like paintings, and this could not be more true. additionally, it’s insane to think how much film this probably took to shoot. there’s something more powerful, i think, about this being shot on film. it’s a true commitment (certainly on a monetary level), and therefore makes whatever statement may come of it that much stronger. i also wonder about the jump cuts. there are a few in this movie, but they're at moments that aren't immediately apparent as to why they were chosen (except for one towards the end). although, they could potentially just be where that roll of film ended and they cut out the flash frames in editing. but even then, that logic doesn’t hold up for all of them.

i must say, though — i enjoyed this, and i like the way it reshapes your thought processes and takes you on a controlled experience with so little, but i feel like it could be shorter and not lose these effects. i don’t mean that in a Hollywood dick way, either, like, “pacing!” i mean that as legitimately as i can. i’ve made films exactly like this before (i love them!) but i’ve made them as shorts. again, it’s not my piece and not my intent/expression on screen, so i’m not saying that this opinion is the definitive authority on the matter. i’m just saying i think there’s a really good half-hour version of this, too.

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