12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2008
Highly recommended to HP Lovecraft fans. Christopher Heyerdahl plays HP Lovecraft in this wonderfully folded in on itself story within a story, dream within a dream within a dream. The best moments to me are those of Heyerdahl doing monologues in a remarkable impersonation of Lovecraft himself.
The story springs from the monologue by Lovecraft in his beliefs and motivations and then zooms to the future where Randolph Carter comes into his inheritance - the Necronomicon. And then starts flipping in time from there into a pre-history to the modern segments.
But that oversimplifies the constant folding of the story line and characters as they themselves start to meet and try to unravel who is dreaming who.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2005
I have no doubt that, along with Carpenter's "In the mouth of madness", "Out of mind" is the masterpiece in the weird and fascinating field of the so-called Lovecraftian cinema, being in itself an excellent homage to the man and writer who now peacefully rests at Swan Point Cemetery. It doesn't have the visionary and apocalyptic qualities of Carpenter's movie, but it really expresses the sense of the world and, I dare say, the philosophy conceived by H.P. Lovecraft.
"Out of mind" deals with dreams and reality, life and art, fictional characters meeting their author, in a surprisingly subtle, intelligent and unprecedented way (at least as far as Lovecraft is concerned). Some sequences are really worth of their literary model, even if the movie can't be considered a real adaptation of any of Lovecraft's tales. Seeing the magnificent Heyerdahl playing (somehow "being") Lovecraft, speaking his own words and in his own accent, always leaves me happily amazed. The final sequence is particularly unforgettable and, in a very peculiar way, touching, especially if one, like me, spent some minutes in front of the real grave of Mr. Lovecraft in Providence, RI.
As always in Lurker Films, the dvd is rich in other short movies (John Strysik's "The Music of Erich Zann", a kind of classic in the genre, would deserve another review...), audio comments (two comments for "Out of mind"!), trailers, etc., not to say the most interesting interview with S.T. Joshi. "The Call of Cthulhu" trailer is specially beautiful and funny. By the way, in the useful and well-written booklet of the dvd you find the name Cthulhu written "Cthuhlu": it's not a problem, but maybe in future editions this little mistake could be corrected.
Luca C. Foffano (Milan, Italy)
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2005
This third collection by Lurker Films has the wonderful Television biography episode shown on Bravo! Canada entitled Out of Mind: The Stories of H. P. Lovecraft. The film seamlessly melds a documentary about Lovecraft with elements of actual Lovecraft storys, and a Lovecraft inspired plot of its own. The result is an excellent sampler of the Lovecraftian world. The disc also contains a couple of audio commentaries which were ok, trailers for upcoming films, interviews, and a few shorts the best of which is The Music of Erich Zann. Recommended.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2005
The film opens with H.P. Lovecraft (Christopher Heyerdahl) in both live action and interview format discussing his opinions on writing then switches to the story of Randolph Carter (Art Kitching), a young man who has just found that he has inherited a box from a uncle that he never knew he had. Given strict instructions to only open the box while alone, he finds it contains a book called the Necronomicon. Within it's pages are a letter to a professor and two faded pictures, one of his uncle, the other of H.P. Lovecraft.
Speaking some of the words written on back of the picture of his uncle, Carter is then sent on a journey between dreams and reality. When dreaming he is in the past as his uncle, while retaining his own memory. The story is then intertwined with scenes of Lovecraft talking and Carter's own perilous dreams. Discovering as much as he can about his uncle and Lovecraft, Carter must wonder if he is simply a pawn in something much more sinister?
Out of Mind was shot on Super 16mm film and was framed for a 16x9 presentation. However the DVD from Lurker is non-anamorphic, so that viewing on a 16x9 TV will still show the black bars and stretch the images. Also my DVD player indicated that the source for the DVD was from video not the film elements. This is the only criticism you will read from me about this DVD. Having been shot on film, it has the grainy feel that is so enjoyable from 16mm. The colors are a bit faded which works to a tee for the traveling between time. There was times when watching the film you become the camera and move with it through the story. Serge Ladouceur is a veteran cinematographer who does some amazing work on this movie.
Out of Mind is presented in a Dolby 2.0 stereo soundtrack. The music is a perfect companion to the visuals. While on a empty street or looking down a dark tunnel, the sound enhances the image and really make you feel like you are there with the characters. Strangely though, one of the bonus films on the DVD The Music of Erich Zann has a Dolby 5.1 soundtrack. Lack of 5.1 doesn't hamper Out of Mind in any way.
As usual Lurker Films goes all out when it comes to extras with their HP Lovecraft collections. There's three short films, The Music of Erich Zann, The Outsider and My Necronomicon. All three are excellent short features and while they in no way rival the main title, they easily could have been the feature of a DVD of their own! S.T. Joshi is also back again for his third in a series of interviews on Lovecraft. There is two commentaries for Out of Mind and a cast interview featurette for The Music of Erich Zann. Lurker also includes some trailers for upcoming films and teasers from the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. In a business where liner notes are becoming a rare item, Lurker gives us an informative eight page booklet on Lovecraft and the films.
An interesting thing to note is the two commentary tracks for Out of Mind. The first includes director Raymond Saint-Jean and star Christopher Heyerdahl, the second has Saint-Jean, Heyerdahl and cinematographer Serge Ladouceur. Personally I like the second one better, both are good though!
One of the biggest knocks on the works of Lovecraft is that they don't translate well to the screen. Out of Mind blows that commonly held assumption away! Only Stuart Gordon has ever succeeded in translating to the screen stories from Lovecraft and he did that by making major facelifts to the stories. Even Gordon has not always succeeded in translating Lovecraft and every other director attempting Lovecraft has in my opinion fallen flat on their face. Raymond Saint-Jean in what I can only call genius has taken the man himself, his words, his poems, his personality and brought Lovecraft to life in this film. Mixing an original story with bits and pieces of Lovecraft's stories, Saint-Jean has given us the best adaptation of Lovecraft ever!
During his lifetime Lovecraft was an obscure writer, little known outside of the readers of Weird Tales and Astounding Stories. There's no film or audio record of the man. However Lovecraft, through his correspondence (over 20,000 letters of his are know to exist) gives us a unique look into the man which the tandem of Saint-Jean and Heyerdahl bring to life in a way that is almost erie. While not having much of a budget (the film was funded by the Canadian government and was originally made for the Bravo TV network), Saint-Jean extracts performances from the actors that are exemplary!
This film is a perfect place for those unfamiliar with Lovecraft to start appreciating his work and for those like myself that are hard-core Lovecraft fans, this is the ultimate Lovecraft film. While most films of today rely on what you see and what is said, Out of Mind touches on the true fears that we human beings have. What we fear most is what we can't see, true horror cannot be described in mere words. If H.P Lovecraft was alive today he himself would be humbled by Saint-Jean's adaptation of his stories. Then he would dismiss it as a fluke...... My overall rating 5/5
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2006
I'm with everybody else. This, made for Canadian TV special is one of the best Lovecraft movies (actually combining a few of his stories to make one movie). Excellent! Cthulhu would be proud. This one definitely is on my collection. If you are a Lovecraft fanatic, get it, you'll like it. It gets four tentacles up PLUS two clicking pincers on the elder god-o-meter.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2009
Christopher Heyerdahl, who has gone on to work on various series for the Sci-Fi channel, gives here a brilliant performance as H. P. Lovecraft. His opening segment, filmed in black & white as if it were lost footage from the 1930's, shews Lovecraft seated before a large radio microphone. It is a hypnotic illusion -- one wou'd swear that this IS Lovecraft speaking into the camera. During these interview segments, the text spoken is taken directly from Lovecraft's letters and essays. Some years ago, Mr. Heyerdahl was a guest at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival, held in Portland at the Hollywood Theatre -- and he stood on stage reading one of Lovecraft's essays "as" Lovecraft. Despite the growth of hair and beard, the performance was magical, and one could dream that this was indeed the Master standing before us on stage. Absolutely wonderful. The film deals with aspects on Lovecraft's life, and there is a separate story line in the tradition of the Cthulhu Mythos. Both stories are brilliantly combined at the conclusion. Interwoven are cinematic tidbits of Lovecraft's tales as plot elements, such as "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" and "The Statement of Randolph Carter."
This fantastic DVD also includes bonus features, including: an amazing cinematic rendition of "The Music of Erich Zann" by John Strysik; Aaron Vanek's superb shorts "The Outsider" and "Necronomicon;" an interview with the world's leading Lovecraft scholar and editor, S. T. Joshi ; two audio commentaries on OUT OF MIND with star Heyerdahl and director Raymond Saint-Jean; and a delightful eight page booklet on H. P. Lovecraft and the films contained in this DVD. This is a must-have for all Lovecraftians and fans of ye Cthulhu Mythos!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2010
For those of you who are not entirely familiar with this series, to my knowledge, there are five in the H.P. Lovecraft Collection in all. The series is apparently some manner of collections of short films done for various film festivals, particularly those that seem to be focused on Lovecraft's work. All very interesting, from what I have seen of them. However, from what I had seen-I started with Volume 2, I was given the impression that this would be some manner of series, but was soon proven wrong. But to be sure, the short films arn't bad, some simply better than others. Some faces more familiar than others and so forth. But then I suppose that is why this is a 'collection' and not a series or season, etc. There is overall, a primary movie, something a bit longer, follwed by several short films, ranging from 5-20 minutes apiece from what I have seen thus far. Liberties have been taken, yes, as many of Lovecraft's stories lacked actual dialouge for its' characters, some not even really so much pieces by Lovecraft at all. Rather, appearing to just use some of his story elements-the Necronomicon, for example as a central key element.
All very interesting stories, well worth watching again and again. Not sure if there shall be or not, but I look forward to seeing even more to the series in the future.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Out of Mind is one of those stories that really puts HPL in a new light. The scenes with Christopher Heyerdahl are worth the price of the DVD alone!
Aaron Vaneks "The Outsider" is a good take on that classic story and "The Music of Erich Zann" puts that story in an interesting perspective.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2011
I heard about the main feature after listening to the "Statement of Randolf Carter" episode of the H. P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast. On finding the DVD here and reading the glowing reviews I decided to give it a try (after looking around for the best deal).
The title feature, although interesting, did not quite work for me. First, the multilayered "story within a story within a story" theme is very difficult to pull off on the screen. Indeed, it is not exactly easy on the printed page. Here, I was mostly confused.
Second, the idea of putting Lovecraft himself into the story is an interesting one and Christopher Heyerdahl's portrayal is quite gripping but again it just didn't seem true to Lovecraft. Lovecraft wasn't some sort of mystic who believed the kind of stuff he wrote about but a hard headed skeptic. It's true that many of Lovecraft's characters (like Randolf Carter) had a lot of Lovecraft in them but you can't make too much of that.
Third, the story just didn't seem to go anywhere; there just wasn't much of a payoff. Loose ends abounded and too much was left to the viewers imagination. What was in that note to Armitage? What happened to Angell after following Blake/Warren into the tomb? Was Blake really killed in the present?
The shorter features were somewhat better. "The Music of Erich Zann" is quite good; it captures Lovecraft's story perfectly. "The Outsider" is basically unfilmable as the short feature pretty much demonstrates but not without merit. "My Necronomicon" is essentially a you tube video way before its time.
The extras are interesting, especially the S. T. Joshi interview.
All in all, an interesting way to spend a couple of hours if one is a Lovecraft fan but I couldn't recommend this to anyone else.
on April 30, 2008