Friday, August 5, 2011

365 Movies Day# 130 "Pioneer"

PIONEER - Trailer from David Lowery on Vimeo.

Life is interesting, especially when you are trying to do something as ludicrous as Texas no less. There are a lot of people out there calling themselves filmmakers and only a minority truly are making anything worth watching. Every time you sign on to something it's a gamble with a small chance of a true pay off. I've learned not to expect a lot, but occasionally I am epically surprised at the folks I get to work with.

Awhile back (about a year ago), I got a message from director James Johnston about coming out and helping for one day on his latest short endeavor "Knife". Now, in many ways I live under a rock when it comes to the local film scene. With a work schedule and kids and all that excitement it's hard to break away for every film event and mixer in the area, especially when you have the viewpoint I expressed above. I didn't know James, but the idea of coming out and working with fantastic local actor Charles Baker (Skinny Pete from "Breaking Bad" and also a big player in one of Malick's upcoming flicks) was too tempting. My shoot was brief, but I was impressed with Johnston, his crew, Baker and fellow actors Frank Mosley and Matt Socia. Good times.

Well a year goes by and I get an invite to go to the premier last night where "Knife" would be showing along with a group of other shorts and projects presented by Johnston and company. I almost didn't go. I've become a bit disillusioned of late. Frank Mosley shot me a message on facebook and told me I better be there so I went. I'm so glad I did. Now, you'll probably hear more about "Knife" down the road (it was wonderful), but first up I want to rave about another project I got to see for the first time last night that Johnston was a part of..."Pioneer".

Directed by David Lowery and starring wonderfully talented Will Oldham and the adorable Myles Brooks, this film is amazing. What is so wonderful about it, besides the fact that it's absolutely beautiful cinematography, is that it's simply a father, telling his son a bedtime story. That's it. But the story he tells is son is so epic and moving and the connection between the two is so endearing that it will move even the hardest of hearts. It's also rare in big budget Hollywood productions to find good child actors and Lowery and company struck cinematic gold with Brooks who is totally believable and so cute you just want to reach out and hug him. Oldham has a very Giamatti feel to him and connects to Brooks in a way that is so authentic and touching that I don't think anyone could have done it better. And if that description isn't enough to move you to find a viewing of it near you, it was also an official selection at Sundance this year.

So glad I went to the screening and so excited that folks like Lowery and Johnston are working here in my area. Truly talented filmmakers are hard to find and these guys are it!



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