Doug & Ralph Brekan Team For Surreal Horror Film, “LIGHTHOUSE LANE”Movies/TV,News Camilla Jackson
Ralph Brekan is a prolific artist who has had an extensive career in the art world, exploring themes of popular culture and mass consumerism. Drawing heavily from the pop art movement and commercial artists of the ’60s and ’70s, Brekan’s designs blends those aesthetics with color theories applied by the abstract expressionists. His fine art has been exhibited in three continents, seven countries and eleven cities, making Brekan a recognizable figure throughout the international art scene. Brekan has managed to fuse his extensive background in fine art to working professionally in props and art departments for motion pictures and theatre. Now, through his company, Brekan Arts International, this work has culminated into producing and editing his debut feature, LIGHTHOUSE LANE.
A collaborative effort between he and his brother Douglas, LIGHTHOUSE LANE came to fruition two years ago when both were working as academics at the University of Phoenix. It was one day in the cafeteria that Ralph suggested that they take the screenplay and make the film themselves. Douglas has wide and eclectic influences as a director, from quirky narrative storytellers such as Woody Allen, to master of horror, John Carpenter. However, LIGHTHOUSE LANE leans more toward the David Lynch school of psychedelic visuals and non-linear narrative.
The film follows protagonist Dawn Snyder (Leeann Dearing) who drops out of the prestigious Yale University after having a nervous breakdown. She is now living under the roof of her cold and unsympathetic European mother, whose unattainable expectations of her daughter do little to help her situation. Dawn suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a condition quite close to director Douglas Brekan. Dawn’s malady spirals downward as she experiences schizophrenic and unnerving hallucinations that start to blur the edge of reality as they become increasingly nightmarish and surreal.
Ralph’s background in fine art is quite apparent in this art-house psychological chiller, through his dreamy episodes that permeate and resonate throughout the film. A bit like the surrealist practice of automatic writing, parts of the film feel as if it could have been made in a trance, dredged up from within the mind of Ralph Brekan. Likewise, the sound track is a sonic, slow-burning hum that pounds and drones beneath collage-like kaleidoscopic sequences, taking you on a dark, visual experience.
It is the OCD that Douglas suffers from and portrays in the film that has possibly given him the strict attention to detail that is imperative to the outcome of this film. A micro budget has not held the Brekan brothers back from exploring the inner depths of an on the edge, OCD college drop out and her somewhat dark turn during her time back at the vortex suck of LIGHTHOUSE LANE.
A highly collaborative process, LIGHTHOUSE LANE was not just the Brekan brothers combining their capabilities, but the whole creative team contributing to the outcome of the film. Leeann Dearing composed the award-winning theme song for the film whilst on set, and the film has won numerous awards including the Maverick movie award for Best Actress as well as five LA film awards including Best Experimental Film. The Brekans will now be heading to Sundance with their new screenplay in hand, THE HUNT.