With her dusky warble and effortless sense of restraint, jazz icon Chris Connors is the height of nighttime cool. Of course, as chill evening turns to desolate midnight, danger often lurks. Sometimes, that hazard even comes from within.
Connors’ take on Margo Guryan’s somber Lonely Woman truly embodies that notion. With a foreboding shriek, this number perfectly highlights the haunted reality of an all too solitary type with too many vanquished dreams.
Sharply atmospheric, this meeting between two femme wunderkinds* would fit perfectly in the background of a number of women-on-the-verge horror pieces – whether it be a modern take on Rosemary’s Baby or simply played on repeat while watching Let’s Scare Jessica to Death with that film’s sound pulled down to zero.
*Guryan is a highly regarded cult figure who wrote a number of successful ‘60s singles. Her oft reissued recording Take a Picture is loftily regarded by many music connoisseurs, as well.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
Reminiscent of such slow burning 70s pictures as John Hancock’s dreamy Let’s Scare Jessica to Death and (even) the Shirley MacLaine supernatural opus The Possession of Joel Delaney, writer-director Tonjia Atomic’s (55 minute) Claudia Qui is an intriguing, music laden adventure.
After discovering an ancient photo among her personal work files, photographer Claudia (a fine Barbara Burgio) soon begins to exhibit weird behavior. These occurrences are mild, at first, but soon begin to take over her life. As her concerned boyfriend (a very natural Don Ayers) fights to hold onto her, Claudia seems ready to dive, completely, into the characteristics of the mysterious persona that has been haunting her.
Filled with Josh Phenicie’s simple yet beautiful cinematography and some fine editing (including Derrick Carey’s opening and closing title sequences), Atomic allows us to amble through Claudia’s dreams (done with nice black and white photography) and somnambulant waking states. This, ultimately, creates an ending that surprises and compels viewers.
Imbued with an intimate knowledge of the arts scene and a meticulous background score of fine tunes, Claudia Qui is not a film for those who enthuse for the quick kill, but for those who like to dive into the psychological crevices of the very impressionable mind.