Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Over the Hills and (Blown) Away

When the lights went up at the end of this film, so did everyone in the audience. The standing ovation was for not only the director, Michel Scott, but for Rupert and Kristin, the parents of Rowan and co-stars of the film as well. I wasn't technically crying when the movie ended, but it was close enough.

Everything about the movie is phenomenal. The cinematography was, to me, the most impressive aspect of the movie, story aside. When he spoke to our class, the director talked about being on horseback and how difficult it was to ride with camera. Many of the shots in the film are shaky and bouncy which often ruins student films. But he (and the editor, who did an amazing job) used the shots that traditionally would be seen as useless in a way that really showed how difficult a journey this was for the family and the film crew. The shots of Rowan in particular are amazing because (and this may not make sense) they seem to treat him gently. It always seems as though the camera and the man behind it are treating Rowan as respectfully as possible. They focus on his eyes and smile as well as his tears and far away expressions. The landscape provided really nice lighting most of the time and the colors from the native people and plants almost melt into the audience. It almost looks like you can lick the screen. Moving on...
The story of the family is amazing, but we all know it, even if only vaguely, so I don't really want to talk about it. go see the movie!
A woman, Rita Sanders, lead the editing on the film. It's nice to see a woman as editor. Even though there are many females in the profession, that stage of film production is still a boys club. She was able to propel the story forward purposefully; it never dragged or waned. It was never uninteresting or jarring. One person even asked a question about the editing in the Q&A, which never really happens. 
Michel Scott showed himself to be a thoughtful director and cinematographer by and throughout his film. It's award worthy, distribution worthy, and give-it-as-birthday-presents-to-anyonewhosaystheydontlikedocumentaries-worthy.

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