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Sunday, August 9, 2015

'Red Knot' DVD: The Neo Love Boat

Product Details
The 2014 drama "Red Knot," which purveyor of (almost primarily documentary) independent films Icarus Films recently released on DVD, is a good character study of a married couple set in some of the most beautiful scenery on earth. Writer/director Scott Cohen pulling off the neat trick of mashing up "The Love Boat" and nature documentaries sets this one apart from members of the latter genre.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the trailer for "Knot" provides the desired tease regarding the themes and scenery that equally contribute to the quality of the film.


"Boat" caliber actors Vincent Kartheiser and Olivia Thirlby play Peter and Chloe Harrison. Fellow character actor Billy Campbell plays research vessel captain Captain Emerson. The "course for adventure" with their minds on their fairly new romance that Peter and Chloe take involves sailing from Argentina to Antarctica so that writer Peter can work with real-life whale expert Richard Payne, who plays himself. (A wonderful special feature that Cohen hosts discusses the experience of filming that actual fantastic voyage.)

The indications that Peter and Chloe may not be "docking in San Pedro" at the end of their trip begin with their quickly discovering that their cabin has bunk beds and that they are sharing a bathroom with another passenger. Chloe almost as quickly demanding that she be on top proves to be highly symbolic.

Other equally good symbolism and the skill of the cast conveying this is a nice bonus. You will feel the pain and increasing separation of our young lovers and their captain. Including flashbacks of happier times from earlier in the film helps solidify that sense.

In true "Boat" style, Peter and Chloe become increasingly estranged during the voyage, and Chloe develops a correspondingly closer relationship with Emerson. The angst that is behind "farm boy" Emerson finding himself very far from home in an isolated environment is a factor. A mid-point discovery that further estranges the once-happy couple further adds to the "Boat" vibe. However, this story does not include the same guarantee of a Hollywood ending.

The extraordinary footage of the aforementioned whales, a flock of seagulls (and penguins), glaciers, and other natural wonders provide a special background for all this. These scenes including images of a whale in distress is the only sad aspect of this travelogue element in "Knot."

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Knot" is encouraged to either email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.