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In a Spiral State 
Written by: on November 28th, 2009

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2009
Director: Ramzi Abed
Writer: Ramzi Abed
Cast: Julie Fine, Ofri Fuchs, Adam Meir, Lizzy Strain, Mae Moreno, Casey Wickson, Bianca Barnett, Jed Rowen, Don Purnell, Eric Fleming, Ken Cravens, Gidget Gein, Messy Stench, Elissa Dowling, Lyla Sullivan, Josh Eisenstadt, Kevin Sean Michaels, Khris Kaneff, Eric Spudic, Amy Brassette, Whitney Carr, Ramzi Abed, Paul Bunnell, Nate Kampf, Icky the Cat, Rinat Curious, Katarina Schmoranzer, Spider Lily

DVD released: September 29th, 2009
Approximate running time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Halo Eight
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95

In a Spiral State is the latest film from writer / director Ramzi Abed (The Devil’s Muse). In a Spiral State is a complex tale about isolation and how one’s life can spin out of control because of their decadent lifestyles. The plot feels more like a series of related events than your typical linear style of storytelling present in most films. The puzzle like plot mostly revolves around a character named Maya an aspiring actress who has yet to find her big break. The main sub plot is delves into the world of organ harvesting and how a mysterious man named Nikolas hires young woman to help him procure “The Things he needs”, to bring his dead friend back.

At first some may find the plot hard to get a handle on, but as the film progresses and the film’s finale gives a clearer picture of the events that have just unfolded. Also, In a Spiral State is a film that really needs multiple viewings to fully absorb everything that is going on. Visually the film experimental style of unconventional compositions /camera movements and editing lends itself perfectly to the content at hand. Performance wise all of the cast are convincing in their respective roles especially the three females leads Julie Fine, Lizzy Strain and Bianca Barnett.

The DVD:

In a Spiral State is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones look accurate and details look crisp throughout. This transfer has not been flagged for progressive playback. There are no problems with ghosting / blurring. The Image remains stable throughout.

This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The audio is clean, clear and at times robust.

Extras for this film include a trailer for the film (1 minute 22 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a music video for a song titled “Sick Boy in Love” (3 minute 31 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and two short films, “The Tunnel” (35 minute 8 seconds – letterboxed widescreen) and “The Interview” (8 minute 3 seconds – letterboxed widescreen),  also directed by Ramzi Abed. Even though the two shorts films have a more conventional narrative then In a Spiral State. There visual style and unusual stories are in line with Ramzi Abed’s other films. The main extra included with this release is an audio commentary writer / director Ramzi Abed, composer / editor Ken Cravens and co-producer Eric Fleming. They discuss how this film came about, the various techniques employed throughout this film and they also go into detail about what they were trying to achieve which helps put what is going on into context. Also included with this release are trailers for others titles also available on DVD from Halo Eight. Overall In a Spiral State gets a fully loaded DVD release from Halo Eight, that is highlighted by a detailed and insightful audio commentary track.

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