The Singing Forest (2003)



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Directed by Jorge Ameer, The Singing Forest follows Christopher (Jon Sherrin), whose wife of 22 years has recently died. Still in a deep state of grief, Christopher begins drinking heavily and becomes obsessed with the concept of past lives. Before long, he is convinced he is actually the reincarnation of a German resistance fighter who was hung by the Nazis for hiding Jews during the Holocaust. His situation becomes even more complex as his daughter's (Erin Leigh Prince) wedding approaches, and Christopher's sense of déjà vu around her fiancé, Ben (Craig Pinkston), is enough to convince him that he and Ben were gay lovers during a past life. As Christopher becomes increasingly disturbed and goes about seducing his daughter's future husband, he begins to reveal the strange, violent path his life had taken well before his wife passed away.
Drama , Gay & Lesbian
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Written By:
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Craig Pinkston
as Ben/Alexander
Jon Sherrin
as Christopher
David Guzzone
as Young Christopher

Critic Reviews for The Singing Forest

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (7)

If nothing else can be said of The Singing Forest, it is assuredly fearless in defying credibility at every turn and on every level.

Full Review… | June 24, 2004
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Ameer ... is such an inept filmmaker ... that he can't make clear the whereabouts of three characters in one small apartment, much less give them dialogue that isn't absurdly melodramatic.

Full Review… | June 23, 2004
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

One has to feel for actors faced with clunky, obvious lines.

Full Review… | June 17, 2004
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

The sort of movie that makes you question the entire concept of independent film. Hollywood at its worst isn't this ghastly or insulting.

Full Review… | April 23, 2004
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Writer-director Jorge Ameer's bare-bones vanity project has one incredible premise, one that is so ridiculous and over-the-top it would have been difficult to take his film seriously even if the rest of the film's elements were top-notch (they are not).

Full Review… | December 18, 2003
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic


December 18, 2003
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Singing Forest

In my review of the Kenji Mizoguchi masterpiece, Sansho The Bailiff, I praised it as being the perfect film in which every shot and every detail - no matter how small - was made with total precision and care, making even all the little details seem important. It's a work of pure craftsmanship in which there is not a single flaw present, hence why I consider it to be one of the greatest dramas and films I've ever seen. Why do I bring it up in the same breath as a film such as The Singing Forest? Because The Singing Forest is a film that is the polar opposite in quality. It is truly a film with no merit, no technical finesse, not a shred of acting talent, no believable drama, a terrible selection of music that feels patched together, horrible sound quality, disturbing themes (Rape and then falling in love, exploitation of the Holocaust, etc.), poor sex scenes, horrible dialogue, poor picture quality (If you didn't know what year it came out, you'd swear it was a lost relic of the 70's or 80's), poor camera work (Shaky cam, bad scene transitions, fade-ins within the same shot, overly long shots, and more), and the whole film also reeks of crippling narcissism from an untalented, moronic fucktard who may very well be not only the worst film-maker alive, but of ALL TIME. I shit you not, this film is so bad, it makes me want to take back every bad thing I ever said about the notorious Sam Mraovich gay film, Ben & Arthur. It makes that film look like a misunderstood masterwork worthy of prestigious awards, followed by a top notch treatment by the Criterion Collection. At least with Ben & Arthur, there was a somewhat focused plot, better camerawork (Yeah, The Singing Forest is really that fucking bad. Do you know how bad the camerawork was in Ben & Arthur?), better acting (Which really pains me to say because that film featured some of the worst acting of all time), and it also at least had the courtesy of having a few unintentionally funny scenes to keep it from being a totally worthless film. The Singing Forest can't even manage that! The narcissism and ego of Jorge Ameer is truly astounding, putting even the legendary egomaniac Sam Mraovich to shame. Every rotten piece of his ego smears every single frame of this art house nightmare like a diarrhea disaster as he tries to be deep, philosophical, have touchy themes, and tries to explore love and reincarnation. All of these themes, which could have been interesting, are handled in a way that is nothing short of a total fuck-up, to put it kindly. Not only is the film poorly made, but it is deeply offensive in the tradition of animated Titanic films and the 2011 shit stain of a film, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, by shamelessly exploiting the Holocaust (Even splicing some footage of victims. Stay classy, Jorge Ameer) for its incomprehensible clusterfuck of a story (And not even integrated as being a major part of the story. It feels like a fucking side note, for fuck's sake). It's also deeply offensive in how it handles the issue of rape when the main character, Christopher, talks about how he met Destiny's mother by following her, raping her, and then they somehow fell in love and stayed married for 22 years until her death. Christopher is apparently also a rapist who likes to pitch for both teams, as he also proceeds to rape Ben after Ben comes home drunk after a bachelor party and falls into bed with his soon-to-be father-in-law. I'm not exaggerating when I say that even the meanest rape joke seems like a sensitive discussion of the topic by comparison to how The Singing Forest handles the issue. Oh, but the icing on the offensive cake doesn't stop there. Oh no, the character Destiny is thrown under the bus as basically not having a soul (As claimed by some random bitch who's a psychic) because she was a product of rape (And her only purpose was basically to unite her rapist father with her fiance who turns out to be his lover in his past life). Naturally of course, gay people are also thrown under the bus as basically being shown as sexual deviants, which also pissed me off especially as a gay guy (I'm the kind of gay guy that doesn't even mind politically-incorrect jokes. It takes shit like this to piss me the fuck off). Oh, and despite the inclusion of reincarnation, don't expect any deep religious discussions, either. In a world filled with abominable Christian films, this film with its religious discussions is the worst religiously-themed film I have ever seen - the polar opposite of the South Korean masterpiece, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring. It will shock, offend, and bewilder in this category as well. The acting is absolutely horrible across the board. It's definitely at porn standards, but without any good sex scenes (There's a fade out before any sex actually occurs) or nearly enough nudity (I must confess Ben was fairly attractive, like a very brief full frontal moment) to distract me from what a piece of shit I was watching. If you're going to give me porn-levels of acting, at least distract me with some sex and nudity. Give me that, at least! Nobody can emote worth a damn, even when discussions about death or talking about absolutely horrible things (Like rape). Unless you like watching actors that are below that of robots attempting to emote, then there is nothing to derive from this film's acting quality, other than astonished bewilderment of how something so poorly performed exists. Hell, it might even be below porn standards. On top of being horribly offensive and horribly made, it's also mind-numblingly boring despite being only 60-odd-minutes in length (It's not 80-something as claimed by the box). There's no good drama, no interesting religious discussions, no meaningful discussions about gay people or relationships, utterly horrifies with its discussions about rape and the Holocaust in such nonchalant, exploitative ways, no good sex scenes, very little nudity to work with...and worst of all, it can't even be salvaged for camp. It's too boring and too offensive as such. It's hard not to walk away from The Singing Forest feeling offended, bewildered, angry, and very confused. This is beyond any doubt, one of the worst films ever made...maybe even the WORST FILM EVER. It's a film that will offend anyone who watches it, regardless of taste or background. Jorge Ameer isn't just one of the worst film-makers alive, he is easily one of the worst film-makers of all time. If you value your sanity, you must never watch this film. ZERO STARS, if I could give it that rating.

Keenan Sullivan
Keenan Sullivan

One of the worst films ever, given that it was an independent production, it was still so terrible. What's worse is that the film deals with a really morbid subject as well as a morbid plot. The gratuitous use of holocaust images was extremely rage inducing.

Sylvester Kuo
Sylvester Kuo

Super Reviewer

I've decided to rewrite my review seeing how many spelling errors it had, but my feelings are still the same for this garbage. It's a waste of time and provides pain towards the viewer and it's usage of actual Holocaust footage is just shameless as it pays no respect for those who died in that tragedy. Jorge Ameer, more deserving of being called the worst director who ever lived, set out to make his most ambitious film. A gay Romance story that takes two people that met in the Holocaust and meeting again in modern time. I truely wish I was making this up, but sadly I'm not. It has everything you hate in movies and has nothing you like. There's so many things wrong with this movie I could litteraly spend all day writing about them. Like how Christopher met his wife and concieved Destiny, his daughter, by raping her (Destiny mother), and is also in love with Destiny fiance. This Christopher is the most unlikable Christopher in the history of cinema, he's also the world worst and creepiest father. What bother me the most is that Destiny is okay with it, she doesn't care that her mother recently died or that her father is sleeping with her fiance, not even one poorly writen arguement in this movie. Though one thing I have to complentment Ameer on is that he even screw up something as simple as the closing credit sequence, which takes like 7 minutes and is poorly edited as well. It's awful in the editing department and become apparent very early in the movie. In one scene where Christopher and his friend is telling him to go to work after his wife just died when all of a sudden. You have a shot of two naked men appearing in bed together for no reason. In a dinner scene the sound is messed up as you can't hear what the hell these people were saying. It also happens again in a scene that takes place on a beach as the tidal waves literally block everything the "actors" are saying. Then later on the beach it fades to a scene with no sound only to fade to the same scene with no sound, now that's poor film-making. The ending, is just tasteless, they say rape baby don't have souls and send the message that gay marriage makes you younger. Everything in movie has poor production values and no effort was ever put into it. I recommend if you ever find a copy of this movie that burn it! Burn it! Burn it! Burn it! If you ever find Ameer punch him for misusing Holocaust footage for a film that pays no respect to that tragedy. This is easily one of the worst if not the worst movie ever made.

Caesar Mendez
Caesar Mendez

Super Reviewer

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