“a stunning feature film debut”
“an abundance of gifted filmmaking, accomplished and inventive”
~The Hollywood Reporter
“serious and cerebral, this stylish film turns into an eerie ghost story exploring oppressive racial and sexual stereotypes in wartime America with deadpan humor”
~The New York Times
“a heady jumble of Burroughs, Pynchon, and Kafka, Treasure Island is an artful, if confounding, picture”
“this film gets under the skin”
~San Francisco Chronicle
“strong, unconventional, and deeply compelling”
“cerebral and uncompromising”
The closing days of W.W.II. Treasure Island is a secret naval institution in San Francisco where intelligence experts censor all mail--seeking out hidden messages coded into birthday cards and love letters. Two such cryptographers, Frank and Sam, concoct a plan to outfit a dead body with falsified letters, to be dumped into the ocean as a wartime decoy--his letters containing coded misinformation to mislead the enemy.
This much, at least, is true.
But in Treasure Island, communication is a zero-sum game: for every truth revealed, some other knowledge is taken away. The more one knows, the less one understands.
And as Frank and Sam devise the fictional backstory for their dead soldier, they project more and more of their own private lives into him--hidden desires and fears so secret that the project begins to haunt them. Is the Body, lying comatose in a refrigerated coffin in their office, indeed dead--or have they conjured his corpse back to become an irrevocable part of their own lives?
* * *
First-time director Scott King announced himself as a truly original voice in cinema with this audacious, auspicious debut. In an incident that quickly became notorious in the world of independent film, Treasure Island won the Jury Prize of the 1999 Sundance Festival but was rejected by all the mainstream distributors, and nearly buried. All Day Entertainment joined with King to give Treasure Island a second chance on DVD in this deluxe special edition disc.
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“A beguiling, navel-focused freakazoid as original and mysterious as
Sundance award winners are ever likely to get.”
~Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
"For a film that never found a theatrical distributor, writer-director Scott King's dark and dreamy feature debut, Treasure Island (1999), gets the royal treatment for its DVD release, produced by All Day Entertainment. With the disc nestled into the back pages of a slim hardcover book --which opens with an overview of the film's genesis and production --this DVD-ROM comes complete with a behind-the-scenes documentary, deleted scenes, original storyboards, a trailer, an isolated music score and two audio commentary tracks, one in which King discusses the making of the film and one in which he focuses on its meaning. It's an abundance of extras for a remarkably well-crafted film that itself could be viewed again and again without fear of exhausting its essential mysteries. Much more than a neo-noir, Treasure Island taps deep into the perverse psychologies that fed the noir style in the first place, with an immediacy made all the more striking for the assurance of its execution."
~Paul Malcolm, LA Weekly