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quietearth [Celluloid 01.02.09] movie review drama documentary

Year: 2008
Directors: M.A. Littler
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: N/A

I don't even know where to begin with this one. Ok, let's try starting with a little salvation, Jesus style, driving around in a beatup old pickup, plenty of bars where you pull up and park in mud, and some random trains thrown in to imply life moves whether you want it to or not. Maybe this represents life bearing down on the starving musician, or maybe it's all just a collage.

Now given, this might not make much sense, but neither did the film. I'm a huge fan of M.A. Littler and his style (and especially The Road to Nod), but this docu-drama went on an exploration of something I couldn't find. Our main character plays bluegrass and loves what he does, but makes little money at it. He's got a baby on the way, no 9 to 5 job, and he's out on the road most of the time. We basically follow him and his friends around the whole film, the music they play being decent, although some of the live bar stuff is distorted due to the volume.

Between a visit to a Reverend to discuss Christianity and shotgun reverly while drinking whiskey, some of the film felt a little forced, like the shotguns were rented. Any self-respecting gun nut is going to have an arsenal to use and theirs 4 of them. Where's the rifles and handguns? And then they discuss the government in such a general way as to not provide much insight into their opinions other then distrust and discontent. The one thing they thoroughly covered is their love of music, especially when they threatened a guy from LA wearing a Charlie Chaplin getup.

Ostensibly, the film is about music which was also prescient in Littler's previous film, A Road to Nod. It also shared the beautiful photography and the fantastic opening sequences with the names framed against the backdrops. And while most of it was lost on me, there was one deviancy with Reverend Deadeye. Bitten by a rattlesnake which caused the loss of sight in one of his eyes, he played some beautiful music against the backdrop of a turquoise, disused motel, yelling "F*** the DEVIL!" and discussed his vision of a large congregation. This man clearly had something on a deeper level and I would of liked to see more on him.

Like I said, this was lost on me but I'm still greatly looking forward to whatever Littler does next, even if it's another docu-drama exploring another esoteric facet of American life. His first film impressed me that much.

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Nicolas (13 years ago) Reply

Obviously you didn't get much about this film, then i wonder why you write about it.

It's about men, music,and the dying old america, as the under-title explains it cleary, which you could at least mention.

The key quote is said by Scott H. Biram and is also in the trailer : "We can rejoy in eachother's sharing of pain".

Ostensibly, this doesn't have much to do with music, but with sharing honest and personal emtions and feelings.

If you guys are fans first and journalists second, don't do like the journalists : try to really know what you are talking about before writing !

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