Impossible to pin down, Rick Schmidt's cold-war, punk movie "Emerald Cities" is shoe-string movie making at its stringiest and totally unlike anything else. It's also been 'lost' for years but thanks to Nicolas Winding Refn has only recently been rediscovered and given a brand new lick of paint. It isn't quite a documentary nor is it totally plotless but with its use of non-professional actors and in the improvisatory way Schmidt films it, it feels as it's just been thrown together. What plot there is involves Ed Nylund's Santa Claus impersonator heading to San Francisco in search of his daughter. Meantime, we are warned about the dangers of nuclear weapons and lectured on the possibility that Santa might indeed be real, all to a largely incomprehensible punk soundtrack. How you relate to it, of course, depends on how you relate to cinema in general and what you think cinema is. This is guerrilla movie-making, one man's demented vision of America in the Eighties and is, apparently, the last part of a trilogy. I'm not quite sure I have recovered from it yet.
Emerald Cities, completing the trilogy, is a story about a young woman who runs off from her Death Valley home to seek her fortune. Her drunken dad still stuck in his Santa suit from the ...
December 28, 2020