Film festivals have become the center of my life in the last few months. Between working on getting current projects into festivals and attending films at festivals, I’ve become dependent on festival catalogues and spend far too much time looking at what films are playing at what time. It’s almost like I’m back working for a festival again but for once I’m on the other end of the phone asking the questions instead of having to know all of the answers.
Now normally I would try to see documentaries to see what other people are working on but I’ve been mixing in narrative film as well. One film in particular, Tracks, is an interesting mix of the two as it is technically a narrative piece while being based on a true story. Now perhaps some scenes aren’t exactly the way that it happened, but for the most part the story is in tact.
Dir. John Curran
I know that the idea of watching a girl walk across q desert with four camels and a dog, interrupted periodically by a photojournalist, may not sound like the most invigorating story, but somehow it captures your attention for the full two hours. I love the cinematography in this film. It’s beautiful and it moves the viewer through the film so seamlessly (with many thanks to the editor and the composer too) that it’s pure eye candy.
The film also has another draw for me in that photojournalist Rick Smolan is featured in this film which adds an interesting connection for me. I happen to work with Rick’s brother and at times with Rick. It’s a surreal experience watching a film where you see the same name that’s sitting in your inbox pop on the movie screen. I know better than to think of this person on the screen to be the true Rick, but it’s amazing to see someone who looks and sounds so much like him.
If you have the chance to see this film, I would highly recommend it. And, for those who are completely entranced by the story and want to know more, there is a book and the original National Geographic article.