DALLAS – Hey, Shreveport! Apparently, y’all headed west this weekend.
After last night’s screening of “The Last Lullaby” at AFI Dallas, the festival’s head honcho James Faust introduced director Jeffrey Goodman to a sold-out crowd. I think I saw one open seat at the 250-seat theater inside the AMC Northpark.
“Is the whole town of Shreveport here tonight?” Faust said. Y’all said yes. “There’s no gambling tonight.”
It was a pretty cool night for a couple reasons: One, it demonstrated that The Shreve’s movie business has grown to include an ambitious indie filmmaker. Two, that indie filmmaker happens to be brilliant. His movie, simply put, is a gem. Check out my review.
When you get a chance to see it, make sure you listen closely. It’s a very quiet film considering it’s a crime drama about a hit man. Ben Lovett’s atmospheric score subtly amplifies its mood of restlessness, and on some occasions, despair.
“I think my ear is stronger than my eye,” Goodman said during the Q&A. The movie’s soundscape is exquisitely constructed and really draws out the mystery of some of its rural location choices.
You’ll also notice that the love story between Tom Sizemore’s character (Price, the hit man) and Sasha Alexander’s (Sarah, the target) is played as a deeply personal, introspective (or inward) affair by the two actors. There’s no kissy kissy.
“In this movie it doesn’t happen,” Alexander said. Instead, the duo shares these private, vulnerable moments at a swimming pool, in a hallway and at a bar. “You really have to rely on your moment.”
As far as last night’s festivities go, the crowd seems to have enjoyed themselves (not a one left before the Q&A was up) and an after-party at a nearby hotel was buzzing.
I spoke a bit with the movie’s editor, Philip Harrison, who seemed pretty happy about the whole night. He and Goodman have crafted an extremely tight, extremely taut film that hums with interpersonal tension and unnerving portraits of small town America. I think a pic like “A History of Violence” provides a good comparison.
I’ll get some pictures up soon after I feed my wife.