Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Indie # 6 - America's Heart and Soul

Indie # 6 - America's Heart and Soul

I saw this film purely by accident. I needed to kill time between work and another appointment, and this film's time span fit the slot. It only stayed in theatres for 2 weeks, supporting the concern over how even Indie films are being forced to have big opening weekends in order to survive.

A documentary by Louis Schwartzberg, this 84 minute gem has captured the most beautiful photography of America I've ever seen. His use of time-lapsed photography is brilliant and amazing. I've experimented with various lenses and cameras, but don't think I have the patience for time-lapsed photography! However, it serves him well because so many scenes--from sunrise over snow-capped mountains to a flower unfolding in bloom--are absolutely majestic. So glad I saw this on the big screen, even though it's worth viewing on DVD.

The entire movie is comprised of 3-4 minute interviews with people from all walks of life, talking about dreams/hopes/freedom. Some famous people appear (Ben from Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Patty Wagstaff, and others) but mostly it's the local folks, peppered throughout the USA.

One of my favorite snippet behind the scenes is Minnie Yancey, the rugmaker in Appalachia. Her main quote: "I've been broke many times, but I've never been poor." When I researched the making of this movie, I learned that she wasn't originally scheduled to be in the film. Louis Schwartzberg got lost driving through Kentucky and stopped at a local store to get directions. She told him how to get back to the main highway and he put her in the movie. It's one of the best interviews, in my opinion.

Go see it when you're in need of a little inspiration or you want to see how beautiful Americana can be with the right amount of time and the right camera lens!

No comments: