Wednesday, March 30, 2011

SXSW 2011 -- Bellflower

Dir. Evan Glodell

Sorry again about the tardiness of these posts.  Currently, I'm at day 61 of this little project, I've watched 46 new movies, and have somehow ended up 12 posts behind my actual viewing.  So, in the following week, I'm forcing myself to get caught back up.  We'll see how it goes.

Synopsis: A love story with apocalyptic stakes.

My favorite movie of SXSW was probably Bellflower.  Funny enough, it was also the last movie I was able to hit up at the festival, and therefore a nice end to the thread of SX posts.  The movie was really well put together with everything from good cast chemistry to a strong plot.  But probably one of the biggest reasons for it's success, not only at all of it's packed showings at SXSW, but also it's acclaim at Sundance, has to do with what Kyle kept referring to as a gimmick.

When I say this, I don't mean it in a typically bad sense.  The gimmick is actually more like a cherry on top of an already good movie idea.  The movie follows a guy and his best friend, whom since childhood have been preparing to create a bad ass gang when the apocalypse occurs.  As one of them notes later, they are pretty influenced by Mad Max.  Over the course of the film, the boys create flame throwers and even a car that shoots flames.  This is the gimmick.  The movie is ridden with explosions, fire, and quite literally, even the linear plot explodes.  Again, no disrespect to the filmmakers, I'm actually more thinking kudos to him for coming up with such an amazing idea, but this whole idea of fire and explosions on screen make it nearly impossible to rip yourself from the screen.  It's a spectacle, almost like a firework show.  And it seems like, if you were to point a camera at something of that proportion, it's be difficult not to have a house-filling movie.

Along with this, for all of the cinemafiles and movie geeks out there, the writer/director threw in another gimmick for anyone that follows the behind the scenes stuff.  The boys built their own cameras (called the coatwolf), and not only that, they did it with full tilt-shift functionality (for any of you who don't know what that is, think back to the rowing scene in the Social Network...  remember how strange and dreamy that scene was?  well, imagine most of a movie like that).  So, not only is the movie an amazing piece of work, it's shot really well.  If you're interested in seeing their craftmanship, here's a link to their site:

Anyway,  they brought the car with them to Austin, so enjoy the video from the Alamo Drafthouse parking lot!

Run Time: 105 min +3395 = 3500 minutes

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