The Singing Forest Reviews
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.
It's a very low budget film, has a handful of actors, bad lighting, terrible script [at times] and films the same background scenes over and over again.
It wasn't a complete loss. There is a redeeming quality to this film and with all it's faults and failures this movie still proved to be somewhat entertaining!
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.
Thank God for [i]The Singing Forest[/i].
[i]The Singing Forest[/i] is a bloody awful film. It consistently finds new and interesting ways to be awful, so much so that it almost takes on value as a genuine curiosity. Now, I'm not saying it's the worst film ever made like some of the folks on the IMDb, but that's because I've seen [i]Black Devil Doll from Hell[/i]. The Singing Forest isn't even quite terrible enough to be interesting.
Let me get the plot out of the way first. Jon Sherrin, who looks like he just stepped out of a Joe Gage film, plays Christopher, a column writer whose wife is six months dead. After interviewing a psychic for a piece (apparently he's not a writer for one of those publications that rely on silly things like "facts"), he becomes convinced he's the reincarnation of a Nazi who helped hide Jews during WWII. Fine. Whatever.
Christopher goes to meet his daughter and her new fiancee, Ben. Christopher tries to convince Ben that they were actually lovers in a past life, and while Ben is skeptical at first, he ends up naked in Christopher's bed after getting wasted at what appears to be the dullest bachelor party in history.
Things get, well, awkward--more for the audience than the characters, though. Neither seems to think too much of this relationship, and while the daughter eventually discovers them in bed together, everything gets cleared up with a group hug.
Okay, so it's pretty much established that the plot is terrible. The fact that the WWII connection is established only in quick footage of concentration camp victims and a title card that claims the war started in 1933 shows that the filmmakers did their entire research by reading faulty sugar packets. So it's automatically both incomprehensible and tasteless.
Wait, I said "filmmakers." In fact, there's one man to blame for all of this. His name is Jorge Ameer. If you meet this man, please beat the hell out of him with a crowbar.
But being incomprehensible and tasteless does not automatically a terrible film make. A bad film, yes, but sometimes such things manage to succeed anyway and be entertaining on their own charms. Fortunately for my urge to rip a film to shreds, [i]The Singing Forest[/i] has no charms at all.
Let's take a look at its' features.
1. The dialogue is ridiculously overwrought. Lines like "Nature has a way of getting us here and then forgetting about us" can, conceivably, be spoken by good or even entertainingly terrible actors to provide something resembling entertainment. When it's spoken by actors ranging from mediocre to poor, it's just laughable.
2. The daughter's name is Destiny, which allows the first thing Christopher says to Ben to be, "How long have you known my Destiny?" In some countries, people get shot for writing that sort of shit. (It also leads to the unintentionally hilarious line "Destiny is sleeping on the couch," the film's high point.) It's a wonder the dead mother isn't named Faith so as to utilize "Ever since I've lost Faith..." lines.
3. The film begins with the intertitle "HIS VERSION," leading one to believe there are other versions--in fact, later in the film, the psychic tells them "There are three versions to an arguement.. your version, their version, and what really happened." This is then repeated as an intertitle, as though to say to the audience, DO YOU GET IT? THERE ARE MULTIPLE VERSIONS TO EVERY STORY. This would lead one to believe that we'd, you know, get other versions of the story. We don't. In fact, who is even referenced by "HIS VERSION" in the first place? Both of the lead characters are male, and both have scenes on their own without the other.
4. At some points, the background noise drowns out the dialogue. As the dialogue is awful, this isn't always bad.
5. At other points, they don't even bother to have the dialogue at all, which wouldn't be bad, except that things are clearly different between the characters after the fact, and we don't have any idea why.
6. At still other points, the dialogue is clearly not synched to the actor's mouths.
7. There are multiple points in the film with jump-cut montages... in fact, one segment features a jump-cut montage of Ben waiting for the psychic for no reason whatsoever. It's a movie, man, you don't have to have characters waiting around if they're not going to be doing anything.
8. After Christopher talks about concentration camps, Ben counters with "Sounds like a nightmare. Sounds like my childhood." Then he talks about how horrible life was when he was moved through a couple foster homes. That's it. Yes, dumbass, that sounds exactly like being in a concentration camp.
9. Christopher says "I would never do anything to hurt you. Ever." to his daughter AFTER HE'S SLEPT WITH HER FUCKING FIANCEE.
10. We never have any idea what the hell any of the WWII stuff is supposed to be about.
11. Neither Christopher nor Ben react at all in the morning after they wake up naked together in a bed. There's some half-assed mention about Ben temporarily being possessed by Alexander, his past-life counterpart, but this just kind of stops.
12. There is no singing. There is no forest. There is no mention of singing or a forest.
Okay, I'm tired and I've barely begun to list the problems with the film. Well, clearly I've begun, but listing them all individually might take more bandwidth than RT can spare.
So why even give it a "1?" Well, because (a) it's 62 minutes, and thus could have wasted a lot more of my time and (b) it has male nudity, and the guy who plays Ben is kind of cute. (The guy who plays Christopher looks like Edward Albert.) These factors immidiately raise it above the bottom 20 or so movies I've ever seen.
Even so, writer/producer/director/actor Ameer (who manages to give the worst performance in a film full of clunkers) needs to be punished. Badly. He's directed a few other features, and I can only assume they're all as bad as this one as they haven't received distribution. (Being a gay film, [i]The Singing Forest[/i] has an automatic audience of folks used to terrible, low-budget pieces of shit, and thus got a DVD release.)
I hate you, [i]The Singing Forest[/i].
Ahhhh, that felt much better. Good movie tomorrow again. I promise.