(On the lawn)
On The Lawn
50 Bedford Ave. at North 13th St., Brooklyn, NY 11222
L to Bedford Ave. or G to Nassau Ave.
|8:30PM||Live Music by The Hairs|
|10:45PM||Q&A with filmmaker Evan Glodell|
|11:30PM||Afterparty at Bar Matchless, 557 Manhattan Avenue (at Driggs), Brooklyn, NY 11222|
Bellflower (Evan Glodell | USA | 103 min.)
Bellflower follows two friends as they venture out into the world to begin their adult lives. All their free time is spent building weapons of mass destruction, hoping that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang. While waiting for the world to end, their call to excitement comes unexpectedly when one of them meets a charismatic young woman and falls hard in love. Quickly integrated into a new group of friends, they set off on a journey of betrayal, love, hate, infidelity and extreme violence more devastating and fiery than any of their apocalyptic fantasies.
Glodell takes lots of chances in his wild, boozy, twisted feature film debut, and at times it seems like he is reconfiguring the direction of the film every twenty minutes or so. But the daring visuals of Bellflower (shot on a hand-made camera designed specifically for this project) remain thrillingly innovative and arresting, and the visual logic of the film holds the movie together even when the narrative threads of the tale fly wildly in one direction and then the other.
It’s a story about a couple that meet at an insect eating contest and it’s a buddy movie about best friends who build flamethrowers and install whiskey dispensers in their hot rods. It’s about love and infidelity and friendship and betrayal, about sex and fire and brain damage and revenge; it’s about the false myth of the state of California and it’s about wild young men who self-mythologize until they destroy whatever it was they believed they wanted to become in the first place. When you consider all that, you realize that Bellflower is a chaotic MESS of a film. But it is a gorgeous/grotesque and well-considered mess, and it isn’t boring for a second. Glodell clearly knew he was making a wildly unconventional film right from the beginning, and not only did that not bother him–it got him really, really excited. That reckless enthusiasm explodes off the screen from start to finish, and that’s why any screening of Bellflower is one of the most exciting film-going events of the year.
If you like your Friday nights safe, then maybe Bellflower isn’t your type of movie. But if you like your weekend evenings a little messy, with the potential for gloriously colorful explosions, then you are making a mistake if you don’t check out Bellflower as soon as you get the chance.
- Dan Nuxoll