Jason Paul Collum was one of my editors back when I wrote for Femme Fatale Magazine. I don’t work for him any more, so I’m free to say mean things about him. I am no longer indentured to Jason, so I could freely rip “Julia Wept” to itty-bitty shreds if I wanted to. I could insult Jason, his heritage, his lineage and his fashion sense.
But I won’t. Because “Julia Wept” isn’t bad.
A woman dreams of a nasty car accident, in which she takes the life of a woman and her young son. When she wakes, her whole world has changed. She’s alone in the house, unable to leave or call for help. Her flowers bleed. A hand grabs at her from under the couch. We learn, as she does, that she’s trapped in purgatory – there for as long as her “sentence” lasts. Okay, it’s not the purgatory I learned about in Catholic school, but who’s to say that Sister Rebecca was right and Jason is wrong?
If I remember all the articles about this project that bumped mine in FF, “Julia Wept” is Jason’s first movie, and because of that, a lot can be forgiven. He has a good grasp of composition and pacing (deliberate without being boring), but the movie is hampered by the available equipment. If I’m any judge of technology, I’d say “Julia Wept” was shot on S-VHS (format given away by half-a-dozen burned-out pixels that become characters in and of themselves) with only the on-board microphone capturing the sound. If the effete among you can get past the technical difficulties, you may find yourself enjoying the creepy atmosphere. Acting-wise, I found myself wishing that Stevens had played the leading role, rather than Julie King, who lacks Brinke’s presence. My biggest complaint, however, was the ending – “Julia Wept” just stops – without climax or dénouement. On the other hand, she is in purgatory, so what is there left to say?
The movie is book ended with a trailer and a short interview with Stevens and Sechrest. Give it a shot if you get the chance.
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