Park Day, the opening narration by Steve (Hill Harper) informs us, is a reunion day for theblack community of New Haven, Missouri. On this particular day, the lives of various charactersreach turning points. The most central player is Steve, who wants to be a writer, but meets withresistance from his father, who is pressuring him to go to college to earn a more practicaleducation. Moving through the events of the day is an old man, who may be a supernaturalbeing.
…hough the pressures the characters face may be ones audiences will have seen before, theyare nonetheless energetically presented, and the supernatural twist adds spice to the proceedings.The performances have an easy, natural feel to them. Writer/director Sterling Macer, Jr. is worthkeeping an eye on.
The 4.0 sound is, unfortunately, something of a disaster. Though there is no distortion to dealwith, everything blasts out of four speakers at the same volume. Because there is nothing fromthe centre channel, the effect is very surreal and distracting, not unlike quadrophonic mono, tocoin an oxymoron.
The fullscreen format is, apparently, the original aspect ratio, so no problems there. Thepicture is extremely soft, with big red haloes around the edges in long shots, bad pixellation andsevere grain. I’m not hitting the star rating quite as hard as I might, because I suspect much ofthis has to do with the film’s tiny budget, and the fact that I doubt highly that it was originallyshot on 35 mm.
Sterling Macer, Jr.’s commentary provides plenty of behind-the-scenes information on thecast and the shooting conditions. Also here are a still gallery, trailers for The Gristleand Turn of Fraith, and a “Park Day Retrospective” — a 24-minute set of interviews withthe cast and crew about the film. The menu’s main screen is animated slide-show style, and isscored. The transitions are animated as well.
Rough picture and sound are a definite hindrance here, not doing a decent film anyfavours.
Special Features List
- Still Gallery
- “Park Day Retrospective” Featurette