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#436968 - 05/02/12 08:36 AM 2012: Kurse a di Xtabai (trailer)  
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline
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They've named the movie that was shot all around Cayo, and locally at SHJC. 2012: Kurse a di Xtabai. Here's the trailer.

"First feature-length supernatural thriller produced entirely in Belize in Kriol! Make-Belize Films. "

#439784 - 06/05/12 08:26 AM Re: 2012: Kurse a di Xtabai (trailer) [Re: Marty]  
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Kurse a di Xtabai at Belize Film Festival

Kurse a di Xtabai will be premiering on July 13th at the Belize Film Festival. We had the opportunity to see Matthew Klink's thriller last night, and it's a winner. Funny, scary, and witty - the 'Hollywood' quote is hilarious - it's bound to score Make Belize Films the 1st place. They've decided to move the BFF back to the city, so we'll just say, "good luck with that, and better luck next year."

First feature-length supernatural thriller produced entirely in Belize in Kriol! Make-Belize Films. Stay tuned for more...

#444892 - 08/20/12 07:03 AM Re: 2012: Kurse a di Xtabai (trailer) [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline
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2012 Kurse of the Xtabai movie reviews from San Pedro

Reef TV caught up with a multitude of people that caught the showing of Cayo's Kurse a di Xtabai at the Paradise Theater on Ambergris Caye. Not only did everyone have rave reviews, but he interviewed Matthew Klinck, and it looks like Make-Belize Films will be doing quite a few more movies, and they'll be getting attention all over.

"2012: Kurse a di Xtabai is a Creole-language supernatural thriller and the first feature length dramatic movie to be entirely produced in Belize. It was directed and produced by Matthiew Klinck and selected as the opening night movie of the 2012 Belize International Film Festival."

The Kurse made it to San Pedro on the night of August 17/18 and this video shows what people thought of the production.

Kurse of the Xtabai will be coming to you in DVD form very soon.

#461628 - 04/04/13 08:29 AM Re: 2012: Kurse a di Xtabai (trailer) [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,706
Marty Offline
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Today Belize's new film industry took a giant leap: our first major 100% Belizean movie "Curse of the Xtabai" is now available for online viewing from anywhere in the world. It's 80 minutes long, employed all Belizean actors and crew, filmed in San Antonio Village and the caves and jungle of the Cayo district, appearances by 35 BDF soldiers, all Belizean musical artists, in Kriol with English subtitles. Only $2.49 payable by credit card or PayPal for a 48 hour online rental. By watching you're supporting the making of future Belizean movies. Here's the link, please help spread the word and enjoy!

#478897 - 12/03/13 03:34 AM Re: 2012: Kurse a di Xtabai (trailer) [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline
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Nehanda (Nehanda Higinio) has been having a reoccurring nightmare about a Mayan evil spirit known as the Xtabai. At the same time, a nearby Mayan cave has been exposed, and a strange sickness has fallen over Nehanda’s village. Fearing a major breakout, the Belizean government sends the army to quarantine the area.

When Nehanda’s brother (Tomas Fabian Serrut) gets sick, and the local doctor is unable to help, Nehanda’s mother (Miriam Antoinette-Ochaeta) defiantly tries to walk beyond the army blockade, despite warnings that she will be shot if she continues. As Nehanda and her schoolmates look on, Nehanda’s mother is killed by the army. Distraught, but convinced that her nightmare of the Xtabai may hold the secret to stopping the sickness and saving the world, Nehanda and a handful of her schoolmates, including her professor (Jim Goodchild Arnold), hire jungle expert Mr. John (Arran Bevis) to sneak them by the army blockade so that they can investigate the Mayan cave and, hopefully, stop the curse of the Xtabai. Unfortunately, death lurks in the jungle, and not just from the army.

Matthiew Klinck’s 2012: Curse of the Xtabai is a muddle of many things. Certain aspects are impressively polished and professional, while others are amateurish in the strictest definition of the world. Knowledge that this is the first film made entirely in Belize, with cast and crew made-up primarily of Belizeans, explains quite a bit; the film exhibits multiple signs of this being a first-time experience.

First, though, the quality. The cinematography is predominantly strong. The footage looks strong, even as it is framed in more of a floating camera, documentary-style. Some scenes don’t look as great as others, but often there’s an obvious obstacle involved, such as an extremely dark setting or a river, for example. In those case, the footage looks more than good enough.

There are also a handful of quality visual effects, mostly occurring near the film’s climax, that make for some interesting visuals. The imagery of the Xtabai haunting over the jungle is also integrated nicely, for the most part. It is creepy when it needs to be, though I will admit, at one point, it struck me more as comical than disturbing. The arrival of the army is also handled in an earnestly epic way.

Which leads me to the earnestness of this production. This is not a case of tongue-in-cheek drama amid a horror-thriller tale. No, everyone here is truly committed to the ideas and storyline, and everything is played serious. Almost too serious, because there is a disconnect between the level of drama the film is going for, and the level of drama the actors are capable of convincingly portraying. This means that, if you’re laughing at something, chances are it’s not for the right reasons.

It is clear that many of the actors in the film are new to the craft, or if they’ve had experience, they’re still early on in that experience. The result is that, when forced to come up with the necessary emotions for the scenes they’re in, often the vibe falls short. Part of it is the acting, but the narrative can be to blame too.

For example, the scene involving the death of Nehanda’s mother. Extremely dramatic moment where Nehanda and her class essentially watch Nehanda’s mother murdered in public by the army. It’s a devastating moment, or else it should be, but the class reaction feels far too tame for what has happened. Likewise, shortly thereafter, Nehanda and friends are sneaking off into the jungle in an almost care-free manner with little signs of the traumatic event that has just unfolded, or the potential dangers ahead.

This emotional disconnect continues throughout the narrative, as other characters start to die thanks to the Xtabai. If a friend dies in the river the night before, the next day probably shouldn’t be a time for hanging out in the river for fun. Some moments do come up to the proper emotional level, however, so it’s not all “off,” but much of the film lacks that cohesion between what has happened and the resulting emotional reaction.

And the edit doesn’t always help there, as it sometimes tries to mask these moments with audio score to drive the emotion, and instead comes off as awkward. Likewise, some sequences play out too long, giving a sense of bloated repetition (the aforementioned river at night experience, for example). The result is a film that often feels like it is meandering too much for its own good.

I think 2012: Curse of the Xtabai was an interesting attempt at a horror-thriller, and if it is the first film out of Belize, among other considerations (the production being a teaching and learning experience), then it makes sense that it stumbles where and how it does, and there is certainly room for improvement in future films. While the acting definitely had trouble reaching the levels of drama that were being set up in the narrative, I also think the story itself could’ve done a better job by having events occur in a way that made more sense in regard to the tragedies that unfold. Overall, though, as far as first efforts go, this could be much, much worse.


#511969 - 02/27/16 05:27 AM Re: 2012: Kurse a di Xtabai (trailer) [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,706
Marty Offline
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Creative Kaos Documentary

Creative Kaos, the documentary about the making of Kurse a di Xtabai, is now out on Youtube. It's actually better than the movie, and worth a watch. "Documentary of the making of Belize first feature length film, 2012 curse of the Xitabai, all mainly all local cast and crew, directed and co-produced by late Matthew Klinck and co-produced by me. Rest in Peace my Friend."

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