2010, U.S. In writer-director Mike Ott’s deceptively low key and lyrical second feature, Japanese siblings Atsuko (Okatsuka) and Rintaro (Sawamoto), en route to San Francisco, are temporarily stranded in a small California town and take up with the local slackers. Ott worked with Okatsuka on the script, crafting an absorbing tale that pivots on her near-silent performance as a foreigner as curious about the young American men she encounters as they are about her—attractions simultaneously complicated and enhanced by an absence of verbal communication (Atsuko speaks no English). Set in an expansive western landscape that belies its characters’ stagnation, Ott’s modest portrait excels in its depiction of outsiders yearning for connection and understanding, a search poignantly encapsulated in the sibling’s ultimate destination: the site of a World War II internment camp for Japanese-Americans.
“Ott, a filmmaker who operates on the level of short story … orchestrates very private moments in which the language divide only extends the emotional utility that strangers provide us as they serve as blank slates for our pressing needs of the moment.” –Michael Sicinski,
A festival favorite,
Little Rock was awarded “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You” by the Gotham Independent Film Awards; "Someone to Watch" at the Independent Spirit Awards, Grand Jury Prize at the Independent Film Festival Boston and the Audience Award at the American Film Institute Festival.
Those that attended the BIFF Pow-Wow at Back Bay Social Club know that this is the film I most wanted to see before disc protrusion in the L4/L5 prevented me from experiencing the BIFF 2011 at all. Have managed to see
Another Earth, which is one of the best independent films released, this year, and notice that
Troll Hunter is now available on Netflix. Just reminds me that the
Boston Independent Film Festival is the most undiscovered film festival in the country.
Pamela mentioned the
Boston Common Coffee at an earlier ArtsEmerson event as a place we could gather before the film and I think she's right. I'll be there an hour before the film in order to enjoy anyone's company that wants to meetup before the film and sit together.
Rock Bottom Brewery is now re-opened for business and seems to be a great place for post-film discussion and micro-brew on a Saturday night. I'll send an email before the event making sure everyone, especially new members, know where to find us.
See you at the movie,