Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tribeca Film Festival: Beneath the Harvest Sky

My favorite film of all time is Stand by Me. One of my favorite books of all time is Stephen King's Different Seasons; within that book is the novella, The Body - the story that Stand by Me is based on. When I was going through and making a wish list of films to see this year at the Tribeca, I noticed people comparing Beneath the Harvest Sky to Stand by Me. This was a comparison I did not take lightly.
So first, why is Stand by Me my favorite film? Coming of age films are a popular genre, but I think the genre that impact people the most - there is always something that reminds us of our childhood. I loved the journey the boys went on when I saw it as a teenager. As an adult, of course I can relate to the Gordie Lachance that is narrating the film; going back and reliving a memory of when your life changed forever. And when you were that young, there were moments in life that shifted everything into another orbit completely and it was never the same as you remembered it.
Beneath the Harvest Sky, is directed by  Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly. The story is about friends Dom and Casper (Callan McAuliffe and Emory Cohen) and their existential teenage crisis of sorts while on the potato harvest break in their small Maine town. Muddying those waters more for troubled Casper is his father Clatyon (AidanGillen) who survives by selling prescription drugs. Of notes, is Emma, played by Sarah Sutherland. Her genes will take her far.
While I don't want to spoil the story, I will guarantee you that the writers have creatively worked a Facebook status into a plot line. Between the very real dialogue of high schoolers and anyone of authority, the questions of love and life are sprinkled throughout. The emotions were raw and uncertain, as is anything at that age in your life.
One of the things the film did was bring back a high school memory that I had not thought of since the spring of 1995. Every class had the cool, really hot kid that all girls wanted to hang out with. Befriending him was huge. So while taking full advantage of my freedom from a study hall, he and I walked around the halls chit chatting. Without reason, he basically said, don't look up to me. Don't become me. That isn't you. It wasn't said with a dismissive tone, he almost said it with realization.
This film reflected more of my experience of growing up in Western Pa . The sheer boredom, silly things that only make sense in Pa (instead of Moosefaris, we had snowdrift busting and deer spotting), and the need to bust your butt during your time off to make any money to support your dreams are all apart of this film and memories from my own youth. 
And yes, I can relate this to music. Dustin Hamman is the brilliancy behind the music to this film. I did some very quick research on him and his project RunOnSentence seems like something I need to check out. There is life in his music and it really was perfect for the film. Check out his website
And finally, what is it with Aidan Gillen and adorable animals? (re: this film, Treacle Jr and Sigur Ros videos)

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