A twisty hallucinogenic thriller set around the independent movie business in L.A. Does a publicity stunt for a new film go wrong? We check out Lost Angelas from director William Wayne.
It’s always a breath of fresh air to find up-and-coming film-makers who are willing to push the boat out and not play it safe. Many independent directors with limited budgets stick to simple stories with minimal cast and locations. Sometimes, when done right, it can work really well, but most end up looking cheap and amateurish. William Wayne, who not only directs Lost Angelas but also wrote the film, stars in the film, produced the film and even took up editing duties too, doesn’t pay it safe.
I’m not sure if David Lynch as a direct inspiration for William Wayne, but Lost Angelas looks like it could have been heavily influenced by the man behind Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, and Mulholland Drive. This complex film jumps back-and-forth in a non-linear way and, can be at times, a little hard to follow, but to stick with it would be a wise move, the pay-off a reward in itself.
Jake (William Wayne) has always wanted to be a screenwriter. His mother was an agent for a world-famous actress called Angie Malone who went missing at the height of her stardom. When Jake meets a barista and aspiring actress Angela (Korrina Rico) the two start a love affair and decide to write a script based on Angie Malone and her memoirs, with Angela playing the lead role.
A director is found in the form of a British nutcase called Walt Warsaw (Jon Jacobs) and the movie is made to critical acclaim. Only, nobody is wanting to see it. With the box office receipts dwindling, Jake, Angela, and Walt come up with a publicity stunt – make Angela hide out to resemble what happened to the character she is playing. Only, she doesn’t return. Now, Jake has Angela’s father on his back and he happens to be a mafia-type boss who won’t think twice about leaving a trail of bodies in the search for his daughter.
Lost Angelas is a complex film but very enjoyable and well-made. The editing and camera work is top notch throughout. I remember, early on in the film, when Jake and Angela hook up for the first time in a night club, I was blown away by the imagery set before me. It’s really shot well and Wayne isn’t scared about using camera angles and smash cuts to drive home his art.
The performances by all the actors are excellent. William Wayne plays the affable Jake well, as does Rico as Angela. The actor who seems to have the most fun is Jon Jacobs, who relishes in his role as the crazy Brit Walt Warshaw. It was also great to see John Capodice as Ed, many would recognise him from playing Sgt. Aguado in the Jim Carrey classic Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
Overall, Lost Angelas is an interesting and twisty thriller well-made by some promising new (and old) talent. It’s certainly worthy of your time and highly recommended.