Sunday, May 06, 2012

"Sun Don't Shine": taut noir thriller set in Florida, plays at Baltimore film festival

The Maryland Film Festival in Baltimore screened (in the Charles Center) the gritty  “Sun Don’t Shine”, by Amy Seimetz.  The 16mm-to-digital film (82 minutes) takes tight plotting and the “thriller” genre to the ultimate.  At one time, the byline was “the plot is top secret”.  The title does seem to poke fun at John Sayles and his "Sunshine State" (2002), because in this movie the action comes quickly and time moves fast. 

Leo (Kentucker Audley) and Crystal (Kate Lyn Sheil), on the run in central Florida, have a stormy relationship.  Crystal acts jealous and childlike.  But there’s a terrible secret in the trunk of their carm vulnerable to break-downs on the road.

As the film progresses, we’re led to wonder who is really the “fox” here. 

Seimetz and the cast were present for questioning.  The comment was offered, that the film does not re-enact the back story.

The film was shot around St. Petersburg, FL and has a hot, swampy feel. 

I couldn’t help feel that Kentucker is about as physically attractive as the male gets.  The camera, despite the 16mm, can dawdle on the details.

Is this film like “Bonnie and Clyde”? Not exactly.  It reminds me more of “Body Heat” (1980) – there is a chimes scene, and there’s somebody “not smart enough not to get outsmarted.”   (There’s no line, “He’s not too bright. I like that in a man.”) Needless to say, the police find they have their work cut out for them, maybe literally.  I think some swamp alligators have some work to do, also.

The film also screened in Austin, Texas at SXSW, link.

The film apparently doesn't have formal commercial distribution yet.  I would think it would attract notice.  

Picture: near Clearwater, FL (mine, personal trip, Nov. 2004).  

Second picture: Q&A last night. 

Below: Art grille overhead at the Charles Center, Baltimore.

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