Saturday, July 17, 2010


Jason Matzner, 2006 (8.4*)
This is a beautifully shot, almost expressionist indie romance, set in a sun-beaten trailer park named "Dreamland" in the desert of New Mexico. Into the lives of two best female friends comes a new boy, a basketball player from Las Vegas (Jason Long in his best "David Schwimmer's little brother" look) there to rehab a knee. Agnes Brucker, a young beauty who steals this movie with some breathtaking closeups (the camera loves her, photo rt), hooks him up with her best friend, played by gorgeous Kelli Garner, a blonde with some Marilyn attributes, who dreams of being in the Miss America pageant.

Bruckner's dad, John Corbett in his best film performance, has been driven to the life of a trailer alcoholic by the death of his young wife; he hasn't left the park in two years. The cast is perfect overall, and the cinematography at times reminded me of early Antonioni.

The original music is dreamily ambient, similar to music of Tangerine Dream and Vangelis. Photek wrote the score, and added a plethora of "soundtrack ready" songs, but what would be an excellent cd is not available online, apparently. I only saw it in LP format.

This is a realistic look at young romance, in a setting where there's really nothing else. Somehow it avoids feeling cliched, and Matzner manages to hold our interest while nothing unusual really happens. For this type of unpretentious film, you won't find many done this well - a must-see for fans of small indie romances.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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