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Circulation (2008)



Anyone who watches bad movies knows that it's pretty common to pick up a movie with a great cover only to find that the quality of the filming isn't anywhere near as good as you had expected.  I don't mind that.  If you've read many of my reviews here on Film Apocalypse, you'll see that most of the movies I watch probably fall into that category, but I try to let people know what they can expect from a movie beyond what they can assume from the cover art.  Over the last decade or two, promoting independent, no budget movies on the internet has expanded that idea into professional websites, awesome trailers, and great cover art for a movie that wasn't filmed well at all.  With that in mind, when I see a poorly designed website and cheap looking cover art, I don't expect to see great quality filming.  Although good cover art doesn't necessarily mean good filming, bad cover art usually does mean bad filming.  I wasn't very impressed with the cover for the movie Circulation.  Actually, I wasn't impressed with the description either, so when I got around to watching it I was totally surprised to find that not only was it filmed extremely well, but it was also a unique and interesting story. 

Trying to describe the plot of Circulation is difficult to do without making it sound like a very different film.  Although the synopsis describes the film as being about "a world where human and animal intertwine as one" and proclaims to "explore an afterlife where humans are trained to be reborn as animals" I was presented with a very different kind of film than what I had expected.  In fact, if I hadn't read the synopsis, I wouldn't have had any idea what was going on until much later in the movie.  From a viewer's perspective, the story seems much more natural in the beginning and only slowly moves into a strange and eerie, David Lynch style as the movie progresses.  By the end of the film, it is definitely
weird, but it moves slowly from a reality that we know to one that is different from our own.  In fact, Circulation could have been described as a story about an English speaking guy who picks up a hitchhiking, Spanish speaking woman and shares a strange adventure with her - even though the two can't communicate with each other very easily.

Circulation was written and directed by Ryan Harper.  After being rejected by several different studios, Harper decided to teach himself how to make a movie and film the movie himself.  Many filmmakers get their start that way, but not many of them make a really good first film.  I was amazed with the quality of the filming and surprised to find out that Circulation was the director's first foray into filmmaking!  All of the actors were wonderful and that usually means, not only that the actors talented, but also that  the director did a really good job.  I would have to say that a excellent cast and crew were put together for this film.  Lead actors Yvonne Delarosa and Sherman Koltz are both amazing.  Although there were several points in the film that I felt could have been edited down, the overall vibe of the movie is supposed to be somewhat slow and dreamlike, so it works out ok.  Other than that, I really don't have any criticisms of the movie.  Because of the strange nature of the film, I feel like both my description and the synopsis on the film's website don't do it justice, so I'll just say if you like David Lynch style, slow moving, artistic films please give this one a chance.  If Ryan Harper decides to continue making films, I'm very curious to see what he comes up with next as this will be a tough film to follow!

Gore-o-meter rating: 1 out of 5
(Not much gore, but what is there is pretty strange)

Skin-o-meter: 1 out of 5 (Brief nudity in a dream sequence)