Director: Evan Glodell
Starring: Evan Glodell, Jessie Wiseman, Tyler Dawson, Rebekah Brandes
Duration: 106 min.
As two friends venture out into the world to begin their adult lives, literally all their free time is spent building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang "Mother Medusa". 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.
Bellflower is the debut film from writer, director and actor Evan Glodell. It premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
It's a micro budget indie film that presents itself with an inventive scenario that follows two aimless 'dudes' Woodrow (played by the director himself), and his best friend Aiden (Tyler Dawson) who grew up in Wisconsin and recently moved out to Southern California to take on the world. They spend their days fantasizing about and preparing for the apocalypse by building flame throwers, bombs, and muscle cars; their nights drinking, smoking, and hanging out in seedy bars.
At it's core, Bellflower is essentially a stylized film that tracks the happy beginnings and disastrous breakup of a relationship. One night out, Woodrow meets Milly (Jessie Wiseman) a fellow finalist in a cricket eating contest, and it's love at first sight. For their first date, they head off on a road-trip in Woodrow's car, a cool little late 70's Volvo 262C Bertone coupe with a built in dashboard whiskey dispenser, headed to Texas to find the nastiest roadside diner around. From there we witness the rapid ups and equally rapid downs of their whirlwind romance and its psychological affect on Woodrow.
Unfortunately for me, aside from the brilliant setup the rest didn't work. The acting levels are painfully amateur, with lines of dialog delivered consistently in an awkward manner, I couldn't tell if they were doing it on purpose to make fun of Cali hipsters or what. The cinematography which often gets praised for its stylishness and being shot with a home-made camera, certainly has some impressive shots, but to me seems more like someone just discovered a bunch of Adobe After Effects filters and decided to use as many as possible, rather than any concerted effort at setting an aesthetic mood.
Credit though for its interesting premise, ambitious intentions, and for making the film look like it was made with a much greater budget than the reported $17,000. It will be interesting to see where Glodell goes from here.
— Bonjour Tristesse