Skip to main content
The Independent Critic

Della Haddock, Camden Filtness, Kirsty Peters
Kyle James-Patrick
109 Mins.

 "Not for the Saving" Available on Vimeo 
Add to favorites

With his first feature-length film Not for the Saving, Vancouver-based writer/director Kyle James-Patrick proves right off the bat that he's willing to tackle weighty, difficult subject matter with intelligence and honesty. Available on Vimeo, this self-financed project was filmed on a Vancouver rooftop over the course of six days. While the production limitations are occasionally obvious, especially in terms of lighting and sound, Not for the Saving is an involving project that includes two solid performances from co-leads Della Haddock and Camden Filtness.

Filtness is Alistair, a party boy turned unlikely savior for Mia (Haddock), a young woman he'd only briefly encountered until having the ultimate encounter with her on the aforementioned rooftop. She's suicidal. He's determined to stop her. He's everything she hates, yet he may very well be the only one who can convince her that life is worth living.

If it sounds like Not for the Saving is one of THOSE "important" indie films, well, it actually IS one of those important indie films. The film tackles difficult subjects like suicide, class, and gender issues yet it does so largely within the confines of these two people and the situation in which they find themselves now. While the dialogue occasionally dips into the unnecessarily histrionic, it never stays there long and both Haddock and Filtness do a nice job of keeping things feeling natural even when the dialogue doesn't quite feel as authentic.

Despite the challenges inherent in shooting a film on a rooftop, Bruce Borland's lensing is natural and intimate. Christopher Xiao's original music gives the film an emotional resonance that companions both the lighter and more dramatic moments quite nicely.

Not for the Saving isn't a brilliant film, yet it's a nicely constructed and involving film that shows tremendous promise for all involved in the project. While these types of indie flicks can occasionally be sabotaged by the challenges of working on a lower budget, Kyle James-Patrick clearly entered the film with a vision for how he wanted to bring this to life then made it happen.

For more information on Not for the Saving, visit the film's official website linked to in the credits and watch for it as it hits the indie fest circuit.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic