JWR Articles: Film/DVD - The Grail (Director/Writer: Kurt Volkan) - October 19, 2010
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The Grail

3.5 3.5
82 min.

Death of a Philosophical Salesman

Non-linear storytelling is used to fascinating effect in Kurt Volkan’s study of illegal drugs, immigration and entrapped brushes with law enforcement.

Special treats are the many performances of the score’s varied songs taken from several tracks of the Ordinary Insect CD (Marc Ream, composer; Susan Volkan, vocalist). In the very best Wagner tradition, The Grail (stylishly cool Magdalena Andersson) even rates her own motif.

While the story centres around a convenience store (marvellously called an emporium to subtly reinforce the sale of high-grade, Middle Eastern coke; slipping a “69” into the alluring drug-hound’s phone number also reinforces the duality of her role) robbery, the various intertwined threads provide Volkan the means to get up on his cinematic soap box, pontificating on many of society’s moral dilemmas. The plight of alien nannies, crack heads, under-loved housewives, tough-love drug dealers and cops desperately seeking promotion are all on the table.

Overall, the wordy script is more than the actors can convincingly handle, but there’s enough “puzzle” along the way to make this production worth a peek.

With such obvious skill and fascinating take on the selfish needs, wants and desires of humans no matter what their economic situation, the next film from Volkan is eagerly awaited. JWR

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Director/Writer - Kurt Volkan
Composer - Marc Ream
Cinematography - Roger Beebe
Editor - Benjamin Epps
Vocalist - Susan Volkan
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