Let me transport you, back, back to the far off year of 2005, over ten years ago. We were halfway to 2010. At the time we had no idea what the future of cinema would hold for us, on one hand we had great films people will remember for years to come, like Batman Begins, Brokeback Mountain, and Sin City. On the other hand we had films that depicted a bleak future, a future of forgettable films laced with bland meaningless plot and awful effects that exist for no proper creative credence, such as Star Wars Episode III, Alone in the Dark, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Notice how all of the things I mentioned were either based on a preexistent property, a remake, or a sequel. Yet in this huge wave of films with huge budgets and all released by huge companies all for the sake of money, there was a film that completely stood out, a film made solely from sweat, tears, a passion. That film is the Neil Breen directorial debut, Double Down.
The true beauty and genius in Breen’s art is hard to express, his films are confusing puzzles that refuse to bend to you. Everyone of his films is a deep expression of his inner self that he demands to show to the world, and he refuses to let things like, budget, actors, special effects, or distribution stand in between him and his vision.
It’s astounding watching any Neil Breen, whether it be Fateful Findings or Double Down, when watching you have the clear idea that it means something, at least it does to Breen himself, but seemingly everything in the film goes wrong thus completely destroying his message. Despite this, Breen still makes movies, he’s made 4 films and is currently working on a 5th, he’s been making films non stop since his mid 40s, each one with pretty much the same plot and all directed, written, and starring himself. On the surface this sounds like a narcissist wanting to stroke his ego, but in interviews he is so humble, saying things like “the true meaning of my films are meant for you to interpret” and “budget doesn’t matter, all that matters is the love put into it the final product”. This reveals a new side to Breen, a side that isn’t an egomaniac, or a scam artist, he’s someone who loves to make art, and doesn’t care what others think of it.
Breen’s films have constantly been bashed and made fun of, but Breen is such a respectable and lovable man. He and his films reveal a strange yet beautiful philosophy, he doesn’t work cause he wants money or recognition, he works cause he wants to work. He doesn’t care what people think of him, yet he expresses himself in an abstract way. He is the true example of the passionate artist, despite his art often being considered subpar.
This story shows a lesson, a lesson that I hope any aspiring artist can learn something from. What I learned from it is that if you are passionate enough about what you do, you can get it done, and you can get people to see it and love it in some way. Breen is a prime example of what it’s like to be a great person, selfless, artistic, and humble. In a way, he is a true human being, or could I say, human breen…
~Daddy Denied (2017)