- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: Hully Gully

Also known as:
Hully Gully: A New American Romance

Year: 2014

Genre: Independent / Drama / Comedy

Language: English

Runtime: 54 min (feature version) / 14 min (short film version)

Director: Pablo D'Stair

Writer: Pablo D'Stair


A couple exchange sometimes mundane, sometimes poetic discussions between each other, while going about their days at home.

Our thoughts:
Pablo D'Stair's new movie has had a little ride in itself before I got to review it, having gone through a re-edit with new music. Some reviews caught it early with the music by The Cobras, but as we've had a slower period here at Film Bizarro it took me a while to get to this review. Pablo D'Stair is a new name on the independent scene, but a very active one that many of us already feel acquainted with. His previous movies "A Public Ransom" and "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief" were reviewed by us previously, and they have a certain style that D'Stair seems to bring to the table by being heavily driven by dialogue and simplistic camera setups.

The plot of "Hully Gully" isn't as important as its two characters - a couple. It's a verbal relationship to say the least, and the movie is essentially driven by their talk back and forth in a sort D'Stairian arthouse version of a romantic comedy. It's a nice change of pace when the characters are seen outside of their home, but it's at home that the heart of the movie is. Oh and there's a ton of smoking. Constantly.

I shouldn't get technical with movies that are self-aware in the fact that they are the least technical they can be. But... the constant music (and sometimes buzz from the camera) is an issues being a movie with a lot of dialogue - especially in certain scenes where the dialogue audio is rather low. It comes off as mumbling, which has happened in other Pablo D'Stair movies too, but for some reason I haven't been bothered by it until now. In "Hully Gully" I felt like I missed out on certain things.

"Hully Gully" clocks in at 54 minutes in this new edit, while the original short cut was a brief 14 minutes. That's a huge difference in runtime, and I think it could have been wrapped up in that length. While I didn't see the short one so I can't compare, there's just something about knowing a film was originally 4 times shorter that makes your mind pick up on the little things.

I'm impressed by the amount of films Pablo D'Stair's is putting out. He's a writer at heart, which you can tell by the talkative nature of his films. He has created a style that fits his writing well, with simple shots and some oddball distraught characters that still feel grounded. I have a lot of respect for the guy, there is no doubt about it. Unfortunately with "Hully Gully", I'm starting to feel like his movies are not entirely up my alley, at least not with 3 movies of the exact same style in a row. I definitely feel that a filmmaker should find their voice, and Pablo D'Stair seemed to find his voice on his first try. However, after 3 movies of the same style, a style that is rather hard to get into, it's clear to me that these are movies are more in line with books - and I am simply not a reader. I appreciate "Hully Gully" for what it is, and I won't say that it is repeating itself in plot, but personally it feels like I have went through this movie before with his previous films.

I've probably said it before, but I would love to see Pablo D'Stair's dialogue used with a different style. There's only so many hours I can spend watching the same actors perform similar characters from similar dialogue-driven scripts seen through similarly low-fi cinematography. I won't take anything away from the filmmaker or his actors (mainly Helen Bonaparte and Carlyle Edwards) because he's a great guy and the actors are good at playing these parts. Not to mention that Pablo has actually found his thing (unlike most independent filmmakers), but I feel like I have seen this before except that this one had less to say.

Positive things:
- The actors are good at these kinds of performances.
- Pablo D'Stair has certainly found his voice.
- I usually enjoy the shot composition in D'Stair's work.

Negative things:
- I'm not sure a 54 minute version was needed, though I haven't seen the 14 minute version myself.
- After 3 features of the same kind of movie, I feel kinda full.
- Some scenes where the dialogue was hard to hear.

Gore: 0/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 2/5
Effects: 0/5
Comedy: 1/5

We got this movie from:
Pablo D'Stair

It can be watched at:

Reviewed by:


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