Bellflower: The Unusual and Highly Intriguing First Feature from Evan Glodell
On Wednesday night at The Yarrow hotel theater I had the fortunate chance to see a screening of Bellflower, a film apart of the next category at the festival. The film is set in California and tells the story of Woodrow, writer and director of the film Evan Glodell, and Aiden played by Tyler Dawson, best friends heavily influenced by the film Mad Max and regular consumption of alcohol who in their spare time build flame throwers and other weaponized gadgets, in order to be prepared when a global apocalypse occurs, and have their imaginary gang Mother Medusa take over when the proverbial dust settles. Things are complicated when Woodrow enters into a relationship with Milly played by Jessie Wiseman, a woman who has problems with commitment. The development and ultimate collapse of their relationship sets the rest of the narrative in motion. Speaking of the aforementioned narrative that aspect of the film is truly unconventional and unique and embodies what independent film has become a breeding ground for. Not only is the film a non-linear presentation of the action but using a montage of scenes that we eventually see later on to start the film and chapter headings for different parts of the story the film conveys a distorted and fragmented sense of the world the story is taking place in. Repeatedly and somewhat overzealously the film jumps back and forth between scenes that have happened or have additional stuff that was not shown the first time in a effort on the filmmaker’s behalf to have the viewer to be confused and question whether what actions taking place are a dark fantasy in the character’s mind or is the reality of the situation. This aspect is what makes the film unusual and highly intriguing compared to most films shown at Sundance and in general what kinds of film hollywood tends to make. Another thing that stood out in my mind at least was the cool and unique look of film which I found out during the Q&A session with the cast and crew after was due in large part to the fact the cameras used were home built and designed by the filmmaker specifically for the film. Credit also goes to Joel Sharpe’s cinematographic choices. Although the film has its weaker points such as character development and tone imbalance I think its ambitious style and presentation is quite refreshing in the world of cinema and makes me look forward to what Mr. Glodell and rest of the his team can do next.