Greetings from Either/Or Films!
Two pieces of good news: first, that THE SENSATION OF SIGHT continues to get great reviews and wider audiences after its theatrical release last summer and DVD release in the fall. Links to two recent reviews that we thought showed particular depth and insight (i.e. they loved it!) are given below.
Second, we're excited to announce that Either/Or Films is now in development on our next narrative feature, SOMEPLACE LIKE AMERICA. As was the case with THE SENSATION OF SIGHT, my producing partner Aaron J. Wiederspahn is the writer/director.
Currently scheduled to be filmed in New Hampshire later this year, SOMEPLACE LIKE AMERICA is a contemporary tale set in the state's North Country after the closing of its paper mills. Focusing on the struggles of people who find themselves suddenly unemployed or even homeless, it reflects in dramatic and cinematic terms on the possibilities of personal and communal rebirth in the aftermath of economic collapse.
Inspiring the film is the classic non-fiction book JOURNEY TO NOWHERE: THE SAGA OF THE NEW UNDERCLASS (for which we hold the option) by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Dale Maharidge, who is a professor of journalism at Columbia, and two-time Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Michael Williamson, who is on the staff of the Washington Post.
Maharidge and Williamson are now in the process of working on a follow-up book to JOURNEY TO NOWHERE, also to be titled SOMEPLACE LIKE AMERICA. The new book, that reexamines the issue of the homeless and disenfranchised today, is scheduled to be published in 2010, the 25th anniversary of the publication of JOURNEY TO NOWHERE.
A third component planned to complement the book and the film is a documentary by filmmaker Ron Wyman, who did the still photography and the "Making Of" documentary of THE SENSATION OF SIGHT (which can be seen on the DVD). Wyman's documentary will focus on the making of the film and the book, as well as the current situation of the unemployed and homeless in the U.S.
As part of the launch of this project, there will be a reading of the screenplay of SOMEPLACE LIKE AMERICA Thursday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. at Red River Theatres, Concord, NH|
Sponsored by the New Hampshire Film and Television Office, in partnership with Red River Theatres, the reading is part of an ongoing Screenplay Reading Series.
In addition to the reading, there will be a discussion with Aaron and myself, along with Dale Maharidge, Michael Williamson, and Ron Wyman, about this multi-faceted endeavor (the film, the book, and the documentary)--how it came to be and the process of developing the project.
Tickets for the reading are $8. For more information and to make reservations:
Review of THE SENSATION OF SIGHT at Past the Popcorn|
Past the Popcorn critic Greg Wright says that THE SENSATION OF SIGHT "profoundly moved" him and describes it as "tonic for the soul."
"The performances are all absolutely first rate....Wiederspahn coaxes subtleties out of each of his cast members that remind us of the humanity within us all....The Sensation of Sight is a cinematic world occupied not by Hollywood personalities or comic book archetypes but by real people with real faces, bodies, and behaviors....Leading the list here is David Strathairn as Finn in what may well be the defining performance of his career...but I could go on at length about everyone in Sensation."
To read the full review:
Review of THE SENSATION OF SIGHT at Moviegoings|
Moviegoings critic Jared Wheeler says that THE SENSATION OF SIGHT "quietly commands undivided attention from its opening moments" and "the performers who bring all of these characters to life are amazing here. Strathairn in particular has created (or perhaps I should say "inhabited") an iconic character...who is somehow still a bit of an Everyman, a person who is flawed and broken but still searching for answers....
"There is a very strong unity of purpose powering this story. That sounds like an obvious sort of thing to say about a film, but in actual practice it is rare enough to be worthy of comment. The writing is firm and focused. The performances are nuanced and spot-on. The camera-work is simultaneously full of ethereal beauty and a concrete connection to place that is completely immersive. This internal harmony is key to the movie's spiritual dimension, which is pervasive but not overt....
"The Sensation of Sight is the sort of film that demands to be seen more than once; not because it didn't make sense the first time, but because the experience becomes even richer and more meaningful with each successive viewing. Most movies diminish considerably with repeated viewings, and it is always a great pleasure to discover a film with the opposite quality."
To read the full review:
As always, we're grateful for your support of THE SENSATION OF SIGHT, of SOMEPLACE LIKE AMERICA, and of independent films wherever they're able to surface these days.
Since we can't afford to spend the $25-50 million on marketing that Hollywood studios do, we depend on your help by blogging about our films, putting reviews up on IMDB.com, Amazon.com, Netflix.com, RottenTomatoes.com, and other sites. It also helps when you recommend films like THE SENSATION OF SIGHT to your friends.
By doing these things, you help keep independent filmmaking alive. THANK YOU!