Friday, November 02, 2007

blue in green

Caught wind of this about three years ago, when it was having prelim screenings and festival appearances. Here are some scraps from various sources, including a thread at the A&F conversation board)

Using the human face as its landscape, this dogme-esque exploration of desire takes place over the course of one night, and was crafted by 'UNICA', a filmmaking collaborative that shares a group credit. Born out of a deep collaboration between the filmmakers and the highly gifted cast, this unscripted and entirely improvised story culminates in a simple and unforgettable moment of truth and beauty.

cygnet74 writes;
"I recently completed my collaboration on a feature film, Blue in Green with a group of filmmakers of varying religious backgrounds commited to three principles common to all spiritual traditions: living in the present moment, entering the mystery of the other, and transforming conflict. As a community, we support the individual with a safe environment to "go deeper" without fear of judgement.

STORY On the night of her 35th birthday, Colleen throws a party to introduce her closest friends to Dan, the man she is certain is the love of her life. None of them have met Dan, and everybody eagerly anticipates his arrival. Dan's conspicous absence begins to have an unexpected effect on her friends, as truths unfold.

THEME Blue in Green examines suffering caused by desire, and reveals for Colleen over the course of one night’s event, a path to confronting the truth of her essential incompleteness."
There's a website for the film, which includes a couple trailers. The website includes an interesting description of the filmmaking process;

Here's the L.A. Weekly write-up;

Jeffrey Overstreet writes;
"I had the privilege of seeing this film over the weekend, and was both moved and impressed. Brilliant improvisational work from a large cast of talented actors. Effective cinematography. It's more powerful in all the things the characters don't say than it is in what they do.

Imagine CLOSER or WE DON'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE, but with a lot more hope for redemption, and with characters that have a stronger sense of conscience. It still amounts to 90 minutes of flawed characters mistreating each other, but you care about these characters, and you can sense God reaching out to them through light, through color, through quiet, through each other.

But more than those two films, it reminds me of THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY, with Alan Cumming, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Kevin Kline, which made the rounds a few years ago. It's similar in structure, tone, and subject matter, but I think this is a better film. It's more subtle, more communicative through imagery, and more hopeful.

There's a Dogme feel to the film, even though it has a improvisational "smooth jazz" soundtrack that runs through almost the entire film (the only real drawback to the production, in my opinion). At times, it's discomforting to feel so close to voyeurism as we listen in on private conversations. That speaks to the power of the actors' work.

The film ends on an admirably restrained note, all loose ends and questions, but that makes it stand out as one of the most thoroughly discuss-able movies of the year. I hope this finds a larger audience soon, because I'd love to hear what you all think.

...but this (in Image Update) is the first I've heard of the film in some time....
Blue in Green Film Screening with Ron Austin
November 26, 2007, 7:00 p.m., Seattle Pacific University Library Seminar Room

Join Image for an evening with renowned film writer and producer Ron Austin on Monday, November 26 at 7:00 p.m., in the Library Seminar Room at Seattle Pacific University. The evening will feature a screening of the film Blue in Green, created by the Unica collective Austin helped to found, followed by a question-and-answer session. Blue in Green is a funny, accessible, real, and moving exploration of desire and its subtle but devastating effects on our lives. Ron Austin was born in 1934, and was raised in Hollywood. At age 12 he became a child actor, initially working under the direction of Charlie Chaplin and noted teacher Viola Spolin. A graduate of the UCLA film school in 1956, he is a veteran writer and producer in the Hollywood industry, with over a hundred credits in film and television. He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and has won two lifetime achievement awards from the Writers Guild of America for his service to writers and the Hollywood community. Over the years, Austin has written episodes of Mission Impossible, produced powerful documentaries on the war in Sudan, and spoken before Vatican officials at large international events. Through all the hubbub, he has preserved a spiritual equanimity that conveys profound thought, openness and curiosity, and a grounding in the timeless. Most recently, he published In a New Light: Spirituality and the Media Arts, chock full of wisdom for budding filmmakers (and film-watchers) interested in linking the cinema with faith.

For more information contact Julie Mullins at (206) 281-2988.
Must see if I can't track me down a copy, love to put it in my book. The title has me intrigued - it must reference my current favourite track off my all-time favourite album, "Kind Of Blue" - though Jeffrey's reference to a "smooth jazz" soundtrack has me nervous - I'm thinking Grover Washington? But the whole thing has me utterly intrigued, even if it turns out somebody like Bob James does mount an assault on Miles...

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