Monday, July 08, 2013

"Stranger Things": an English woman bonds to a homeless man in her inherited cottage

I remember some days a decade ago networking with IFPMSP in Minneapolis, and it seems that in the IPF independent film world, simplicity is a good thing.  That’s really true of the quiet British film (made in part with IFP in New York) “Stranger Things”, directed by Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal.  The title is a pun.
   
Along the English Channel coast south of London, Oona (Bridget Collins) inherits a country cottage and attached garden shed when her mother, whom she had cared for, finally passes away.  Unbeknownst to her, a homeless man and apparent Muslim, Mani (Adeel Akhtar) has settled into the shed and started drawing and building up a little collection of personal art and writings in a diary.  No high tech stuff here.

She even shows the little flat to a realtor, and then, just after the realtor leaves, discovers him. First, she orders him out, assertively.  But then she begins to notice his situation and his talent, and gradually develops a bond.

There’s another man on the beach, who appears in Mani’s story, who is even more desperate, and who may be Mani’s dad.

I rented the film on Amazon Instant Video for $3.99. It was simple and convenient to do. The Washington Post Weekend had reported that this 2010 film was being released directly to various video distributors.  Is that the wave of the future for smaller films?

The official site is here

  

The only company listed is Faces Films.  This may be more common in the future, self-distribution to video and DVD outlets.  I wonder how industry rules (regarding guilds, script clearance, and the like) will be followed.  

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