NIGHT DIVINE is a 53-minute film written, produced, directed
and acted by me...during the winter
of 1994 and 1995.
I am not eager to screen the film today. Though still lovely to look at (shot on Super 16mm film by Heidi Mehltretter Lanni, and tautly edited by Dennis Miller)…everything Chris White brought to the film (screenplay, acting, and camera direction) seems so cloying and derivative. Initially conceived to be a two-person Christmas play for my church, the story simply did not merit the loving cinematic treatment it received.
Still. It exists (hundreds of VHS copies remain...hidden). And I am glad it does…though I would prefer that it not ever be screened again.
At age 24, I raised the money, wrote, directed, acted in, and self-distributed a $60,000 movie. It was a baptism by fire that I have referred to at various times as “my film school,” “a miracle,” and “unusually ambitious for a young man living in Columbia, South Carolina.”NIGHT DIVINE is not a good movie. But is a valid portrait of this artist as a young man…collecting every resource he could find, telling a story he sincerely believed in, and failing brazenly…his eyes locked on what might be.