The Fever and the Fret
A troubled young girl is tormented by bullies and enters an altered state.
FULL-LENGTH TRAILER PREMIERE
Presented by Film Threat
Film Threat: Review by Filipe Freitas
"...this dark, immersive, and disturbing exercise is just the beginning of a beautiful filmmaking career."
A shy, artistic loner growing up in the Bronx, 14-year-old Eleanor is tormented at school because of the large birthmarks on her face. At night, she begins visiting another world, vast and desolate, where she encounters another being who is like her. But when Eleanor is forced into a confrontation at school, she faces a series of unexpected consequences, and may have to leave her other world behind forever.
written and directed by Cath Gulick
Shirley Cuyugan O'Brien
Produced by Niki Janowski and Victoria Negri
Casting by Wayne Chang
Music and Sound Design by Andrew Pomeroy
Executive Produced by Adelina Amosco and Wayne Chang
My favorite films are able to capture the dark magic of a fairy tale.
When I was searching for a story for my first film, I didn’t think I could afford to make the sort of dark, magical movie I would want to see in a theater.
Then I went to see Tony Stone’s SEVERED WAYS, a low-budget indie about the first Vikings in North America. It was shot in the woods at his parents’ farm.
I realized--and many, many independent directors have realized this recently in low-budget period or science fiction films--that magic doesn’t have to be bought. And low budget doesn’t have to mean single location.
For my fairy story, I imagined a girl who was tormented during the day but who could travel to another dimension at night. There, she meets a mysterious being who has the same strange facial birthmarks that she does, and who shows her how to escape her torment forever.
The story of a young girl who is discounted by other people in the ordinary world, but has her own secret reality is something that has always resonated with me. We see it in A Wrinkle In Time, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland --not to mention the classic film LABYRINTH; most recently in Coraline and SPIRITED AWAY.
I enjoyed adding someone to the roster of my childhood heroines whose unhappy real life is drawn from my own memories. And I had such fun fleshing out my fairy story with cinematic elements I admire the most in other films--beautiful acting, low-light black and white photography, “vérité” camerawork.
The pairing of realism and magic in this story make a strange and wonderful blend that both cinephiles and the young at heart will be drawn to.
Thank you for watching.
- Cath Gulick writer/director