David Lowery

Casey Affleck

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints proved the effectiveness of David Lowery and Casey Affleck; now it seems as though these two great tastes will taste great together once more in To Be Two. Based on a short story from Paul Broks‘ “Into the Silent Lands: Travels in Neuropsychology.” To Be Two describes a future where teleportation is an everyday occurrence. To visit Mars, just step into a teleporter; a perfect clone appears on Mars while the original copy is instantly, painlessly vaporized. Of course, the teleporter malfunctions and two Casey Afflecks are now on the loose, with the government hunting them down to correct such a grievous mistake.

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Aint Them Bodies Saints

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints isn’t a Terrence Malick knockoff. Whenever a movie has beautiful landscape shots or characters talking with a musical quality, Malick’s name is the first one to appear in comparison, but writer/director David Lowery‘s Sundance darling bares little similarity to Malick’s work. This isn’t a story of criminals wildly in love, but of a man, Bob (Casey Affleck), trying to return to his lover and former partner in crime, Ruth (Rooney Mara). With the exception of the film’s opening, Lowery doesn’t show any of the big scenes you expect from that plot synopsis: Bob escaping from jail; getting into a car chase with the coppers; or finding himself in a shootout. The film starts with a bang, but as Lowery puts it, he wanted to focus on what came after that bang.

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Aint Them Bodies Saints

For the writer and director of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, David Lowery, the story of Ruth (Rooney Mara) and Bob (Casey Affleck), two lovers pulled apart by their Bonnie and Clyde-style life, was too compelling to be confined to one film (read our own Allison Loring’s glowing review from Sundance here). Thoughout Saints, the characters are mostly apart, compelling Lowery to go so far as to write a short film about the couple in their carefree, young-love days before their crime spree caught up with them. But alas, the project never worked out. Enter Criterion Collection artist Eric Skillman, who together with comic book artist Matthew Southworth, took the plot of Lowery’s prequel and created New Tattoo, a digital graphic novel available in its entirety over at Entertainment Weekly. It’s a cool-hued (and just plain cool), subdued little feature that complements the film beautifully; anyone who saw Saints would have loved to see more about the hopeless lovers in the days when things were a little less bleak. Plus, isn’t it always great when filmmakers give us something like this for free?

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A Catalog of Anticipations

This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career. “The film your watching now was edited on a computer. If you knew that I cut it by hand, that I spliced each cut over and over until I had it just the way I wanted it, that I wound the film on reels and ran it through my fingers and my fingers left their mark on each frame I touched, would you appreciate it more? If there were tiny scratches and specks from where I let it touch the ground and jumps in the sound from where the emulsion was rubbed off, would these flaws endear it to you? Would they matter? Not likely.” David Lowery has acted in, edited, directed, DPed, produced, written and been thanked in dozens of short films. After more than a decade of prolific output, he’s springboarded out of Sundance this year as the editor of Upstream Color, the writer of Pit Stop and the writer/director of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. Fans of those films won’t be surprised to find that these shorts feature (for the most part) the same calm, poetically contemplative affectations.

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Aint them Bodies Saints

So you wanna see the Rooney Mara/Casey Affleck movie that everyone (including us) lost their minds over at Sundance? Awesome. We want to show it to you. We’re co-hosting a screening in Los Angeles tomorrow evening (8/13) at 7:30 Pacific, and we need you (and your handsome/beautiful +1) to fill some seats. All you have to do is email me at scott@filmschoolrejects.com by midnight Pacific (8/12) with the subject “How About Them Saints?” and tell us your name and why you want to go. Super easy. We’ll choose the winners at random and notify them tomorrow morning. And in case you don’t know about the film, here’s a trailer and a bit more about it.

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Why Watch? Filmmaker David Lowery just wowed audiences at Sundance with his Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, so it seems fair to assume that we’ll be hearing his name a lot more in the coming months, so why not get acquainted with some of his previous work post-haste? Meet My Daily Routine, a short film that was commissioned by Fortnight Journal last year. In it, Lowery introduces us to, well, his daily routine as a writer…with some surprises. What will it cost? Less than 3 minutes. Skip Work. Watch More Short Films.

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postmodem-borscht

Halfway through the 2012 Borscht Film Festival, a documentary screened titled Rising Tide: A Story of Miami Artists. In the film, which offers a basic guide to the growing art scene in the city, local paper sculptor Jen Stark acknowledges the way the digital world allows contemporary artists to flourish outside of major art centers. “Ever since the Internet came out,” she says, “ I never thought I had to be in New York or wherever.” It was a resonating quote to hear in the middle of an event so devoted to both regional communities and how they can come together as a broader, networked collective of filmmaking scenes. The central occasion for Borscht, which was held last weekend, is a screening of shorts either made by local filmmakers or commissioned by the Borscht Corporation and at least shot in Florida. Many of the films involve an overlapping of talent, and by the end you’ve seen 20 works that have given you a good sense of what’s happening with the underground “Miami New Wave.”

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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