Sunday, November 18, 2012

Amy Seimetz & Sun Don't Shine

Amy Seimetz
This weekend, there's a group of five films being shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A woman directed one, Amy Seimetz's Sun Don't Shine. The five films are nominated in the Best Film Not Playing a Theater Near You category at the Gotham Awards and were selected by the editors of Filmmaker magazine. None of the films have theatrical distribution and the winner will receive a one-week theatrical run next year. I looked at the trailer for Sun Don't Shine, and then tracked down a rich Anne Thompson two-part interview with Amy Seimetz. There's so much in these clips – a discussion of Amy Seimetz's move from acting (including Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture and Megan Griffiths' The Off Hours) to directing, of how she raised her funding, of why she doesn't engage with social media. (Incredibly, Sun Don't Shine hasn't even got a Facebook page or website I can find – has that affected its distribution chances?) Here's the Indiewire assessment of Sun Don't Shine.
Amy Seimetz's directorial debut is a vivid, suspenseful noir set against a sweltering backdrop of a barebones Florida crime saga. "Two-Lane Blacktop" by way of "Bonnie and Clyde," Seimetz's pulpy tale follows lovers Crystal and Leo (perennial character actress Kate Lyn Sheil and microbudget filmmaker Kentucker Audley) on the lam for mysterious reasons only vaguely made clear near the end of the first act, but even then much of the drama remains deeply ambiguous. Sheil's performance, all scowls and muffled shrieks, provides the ideal counterpoint to Audley's muted delivery. From the shock of its opening shot to the tension of its closing moments, "Sun Don't Shine" conveys mood so eloquently that it's easy to get lost in the proceedings without realizing that so little has happened. It's one of the most impressive debut features to come along in years. Criticwire grade: A-
 I'm really glad to learn about this writer/director and the way she works! An original? Yep! I think so.








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