Friday, April 24, 2015

Dixieland (2015) Tribeca 2015

One of the great surprises of the Tribeca Film festival this year, its a film that came from nowhere to make you sit up and take notice. One of my favorite films of the festival it come perilously close to being one of my favorite films of the year.

The film follows the star crossed path of a recently released ex-con and the girl next door. He wants to go straight, his friend want him to go back into the criminal life and an old enemy wants him dead.

While there is no doubt the film hits every one of the inde film tropes for star crossed lovers, the film in hitting them explodes them in such away that the film becomes something special. What I love is that it seems that director Hank Bedford seems to know that he's in well known territory, but decides to add a splash of color. We have real life interviews with people that add shading to the lives of the characters, we get flash backs and flights of fantasy that don't rehash material but instead reveal the inner life of the characters. A shot of the lovers at a fair, an event that never happened in real life shows us the longing between them. Its a bold move and it pays off in spades, you end caring about the characters in a way few films ever manage.

Technically and the acting the film is so perfect that I wasn't sure for a chunk of the film if the film was fiction or fact. It feels real. Not only does it feel real it looks real with several sequences, the meeting of the lovers for example, having the ring of a true event. I kept going Oh wow over and over again.

As perfect as some of the film is, there are is a problem toward the end that keeps this from going on my best of the year list, that is a late in the game twist that gives the film a tragic tinge. Its a twist that is completely out of left field of another ball park. Its as if Bedford didn't know what to do with the characters so ended it as he did.  Its a move that makes a truly great film into a very good one.

Definitely worth your time

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