Alumni venture into film noir with 'Chiaroscuro'


What happens when you combine art, sex and drugs and mix it with deception, drama and great clothes? ‘Chiaroscuro, Baby!’

Sound intriguing? Well it should, as it was poured from the mind of one of UNF alumna Anthony Kilburn. Kilburn, who wrote and directed the film, incorporates issues to which the collegiate demographic can relate, including the usual run-down of drug addiction, infidelity, rape and confusion about one’s sexual preference.

Not only did a fellow Osprey write and direct this film, nearly all of the capital for ‘Chiaroscuro’ came from the wallets of UNF students. The combination of four great UNF grad minds, Kilburn, casting director and actress Kirsten Walsh, production manager Halina Lubczanska and co-producer Anthony Brooks, created a film that shows off UNF’s talent and promise.

Kilburn cast, filmed and edited the two-hour movie right here in Jacksonville. This film is the first of its kind to hit the big screen.

“You don’t hear of many movies that come out of Jacksonville, most of them are started but never get finished,” said Walsh.

Chiaroscuro, for you non-art students, is Italian for the contrast between light and dark — a seemingly obvious title considering Kilburn shot the entire film shot in black and white. But the meaning goes deeper.

Throughout the film, Nancy and Calvin force themselves to retain their relationship, even though they act as though they despise each other. Nancy does not care to understand Calvin’s paintings, while Calvin, the push-over, sits back and lets her control his artistic direction. She even goes as far as forcing him to make collages of magazine cut-outs, which he believes to be terrible and childish.

Despite Nancy’s lack of support for Calvin, and Calvin’s complete disinterest in anything his girlfriend says, they decide to get married. Not only does Nancy consistently cheat on Calvin, she also forces him to snuggle up with other girls. This twisted relationship finally takes a turn when Calvin meets Marjorie, a beautiful, smart and confident girl who poses nude for him and his paintings, giving him the inspiration for which he searched.

As the film goes on, we see that Calvin and Nancy’s relationship problems are nothing compared to the drama surrounding their best friends, who include a serial dater, a sexually confused drug addict and sideburn-bearing tough guy with whom Nancy continuously cheats. Calvin’s friend Ashley becomes addicted to drugs and loses control of himself and his actions, sparking a situation between friends that can never be mended. And so forth.

Keep your eyes peeled for some familiar places.  You’re bound to catch a glimpse of some of your favorite hang-outs, including my personal favorite, Burrito Gallery.

What’s another thing to look for? Great clothes! Trinity Baker, the production’s key costume designer, decked out the ladies of this film in fashionable 60’s and 70’s style clothing, while the boys sported tights pants and too-cool haircuts.

The film’s major public premier will be a Nov. 4 black-tie event at 8 p.m. at the Florida Theatre in downtown Jacksonville. Tickets cost $38.50. Check the Spinnaker’s Twitter for further updates.