Wednesday, April 8, 2015
The wonderful Below Dreams opens Friday
Here's the piece I wrote last year for our Tribeca coverage:
Three unconnected stories of three people returning to New Orleans after some time away. An ex-con comes back hoping to get his life in order, a man from New York chases after a girl and a young woman with multiple kids crashes at her mother's house in the hopes of regrouping and finding away of getting her man back.
A sort of hybrid documentary, drama, experimental film that seems to blur the line of reality and fiction, this is going to split audiences who either are going to click with its vibe or run fleeing into the night. Several critics at the screening I attended walked out. Many more of us stayed to the end. I liked the documentary like nature of the film and I liked two of the three characters and wanted to see what happened to them.
Very much rambling and of the moment the film covers a period of several months in the lives of the characters, something you have to listen to the dialog to realize. We are dropped into various moments, memories and other things, we are left to surmise whats happening or will happen on our own, especially at the end when the film just stops.
As I said I like the film a great deal. I love the complexity of the film and it's construction with the multiple story lines and the the use of radio and TV broadcasts under the dialog, or in place of the dialog as a means of adding shading to events. The film isn't always successful in what it's doing but it's ballsy enough to at least to try and be different that every other small film- hell I love that the film just starts mid action with no opening titles of any kind- lights down boom we're in the film.
If the film has any flaws it's that the story about the guy from New York goes nowhere. What is he doing in this film when he doesn't really do anything except remember New York? Yes his early scenes show promise but some where along the way it loses it's momentum. Its like a rocket that is fired suddenly running out of fuel and coasting to a stop.
While decidedly not for all tastes, for anyone wanting to go in a different direction Below Dreams is worth trying.