Now, you guys know that I’m a big sucker for good thrillers and creepy horror movies! Always have been. I was one of those ‘Stranger Things’ kids growing up, where my best friends were looking for something dark and morally challenging at all times. But I was also a fan of honest ‘coming of age’ stories too. Not just campy Disney flicks and tame TV shows…but more along the lines of “Stand By Me”, “Weird Science”, and “Lord Of The Flies”. What can I say? I can be a very dark individual sometimes…or have some of my stories not clued you into that yet? 😛
Well, thanks to suggestions from a very good friend of mine online some years ago, I was introduced to an independent film director who is capable of taking all of those sweet elements and putting them together in a series of movies that I have really come to love over time! Combining all of the best parts of my favorite movie expectations, and delivering it with a style and grace that I can truly appreciate for everything that it is.
Skilled director, Ivan Noel, was born in the Middle East but lives in Argentina, where most of his films are made. He’s known for making movies in an almost undefinable genre, when you really think about it. I guess it’s something that you have to experience for yourselves before trying to put a label on it. They are in Spanish, so you may need subtitles to enjoy these flicks..unless you’re already fluent in Spanish…in which case, I’m jealous! Hehehe!
These dark thrillers, while different from one another, all seem have two things in common…a supernatural element in the background of the story…and a bunch of really cute young boys. And this may come as a big shock to some of you, but Comsie is TOTALLY cool with that! Hehehe!
Sorry! Cute boys just make everything better!
It was the movie, “Limbo” that started me on my own Ivan Noel journey. Now picked up and distributed by Sony, this movie about an orphanage of bloodthirsty young vampires can also be found under the name, “Children Of The Night”. Absolutely wicked, with a little humor thrown in, and a dash of gore here and there, I found myself wanting to see what else this director had under his belt. And what I found was quite a variety of dark themes that sort of stray from the simple, spoonfed, storylines that you usually get in movies like this. It was something that I truly appreciated while watching them.
In reality, Ivan Noel has often expressed his disappointment in the film industry, referring to them as an ‘exclusive little club’ where his movies won’t ever get shown. Even going so far as to say, “It’s become controversial because everyone’s become so socially and politically correct that you can’t be anything but controversial if you just talk a little bit of truth about youth.” And, to be totally honest…I don’t think I can argue with that. Sometimes I really have to wonder…
“Are the people who get so sick and offended in total denial of what adolescence is like? Or was their teenage experience EXTREMELY different from what I remember of me and my friend growing up?”
Who knows, these days?
Despite being a visionary director, Ivan has been known to be a Jack of all trades when it comes to the arts. Independent film aside…Ivan Noel has been a classical guitaris since he was only 13 years old. Not only that, but he’s a sculptor, a painter, he’s written THREE full length novels, and he plays the piano! How the heck does a kid even have the tiime to learn all that once! That’s insane!!!
But, even with his disdain for the mainstream and the ‘cringe factor’ when it comes to his films about teen boys doing…well, anything, besides chase girls and chew bubblegum, I guess…he still sets out to make the best films that he can with the budget that he has to work with. And if any of your are more concerned with story and charracters than you are special effects and Hollywood flair…you may just end up being an Ivan Noel fan!
The backlash against some of his controversial content has taken a toll on him, but not to the degree where it seems like he’s going to quit or stop believing in the movies he makes and the things he’s trying to say with his work.
Even after experiencing a big ‘walk out’ of his film, “In Your Absence” during a film festival…Noel seems to remain strong in his convictions. And I really respect that!
“It’s infuriating that you can not get decent distribution, simply because of the subject matter, because nobody dares any more.” He says.
He just wants to make good movies and have them seen by people who are fans of good movies. But..you know…politics and all. But he’s got a fan in me, and he usually has to do some crowd funding and the like to get his newest films made. So if you’re reading this…give his movies a peek. And if you end up being a fan and you’re looking for something a little bit different from the norm, subtitles and all…then maybe you guys can help him get the attention and recognition that he deserves.
Down below are trailers to a bunch of Ivan Noel’s films, as well as the short film, “The Race”. Enjoy!