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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar Voynar@moviecitynews.com

SXSW Pick: Amy Seimetz’s Sun Don’t Shine

I don’t run a lot of posters and clips here, for big studio films at least, but every now and again a pitch will catch my interest. In this case, it was an email about Amy Seimetz’s feature film directorial debut, Sun Don’t Shine, which is having its world premiere at SXSW. Seimetz, of course, starred in Megan Griffith’s The Off Hours, a well-received feature that debuted at Sundance in 2011. And I’m on kind of a mission to support and write about female filmmakers right now, in anticipation of both another Cannes and another awards season that will be dismally bereft of female directors, writers and producers. Also, it stars Kate Lyn Sheil, who was in both The Color Wheel and Green last year. These two, along with Sophia Takal (director of Green) are perched to be strong female voices on the indie film scene.

Clip to the film is after the jump.

The music in the scene is by Cary Ann Hearst, who is also performing at SXSW.

Writer/director/actor/producer Amy Seimetz returns to SXSW with her mesmerizing film Sun Don’t Shine, which follows a troubled young couple’s road trip along the desolate yet hauntingly beautiful landscape of central Florida. As the couple travels up the Gulf Coast the disturbing details of their excursion gradually begin to emerge, revealing Crystal’s (Kate Lyn Sheil) sinister past and the couple’s troubling future.

Director(s): Amy Seimetz
Executive Producer(s): Tim Fargo, Andrew Krucoff, Shane Carruth, Mark Reeb
Producer(s): Kim Sherman, Amy Seimetz
Screenwriter(s): Amy Seimetz
Cinematographer: Jay Keitel
Editor(s): David Lowery, Amy Seimetz
Production Designer: Lanie Faith Marie Overton
Sound Designer: Ben Huff
Additional Credits: Co-Producer: Dalila Droege, AC/gaffer: Michael Wilson, Sound Recordist: Andrew “C-Nug” Brown, Associate Producer: Andrew Hevia

Principal Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Kentucker Audley, AJ Bowen, Kit Gwinn, Mark Reeb

Sun Don’t Shine – Worldwide Premiere- SXSW 2012 – Saturday, March 10th, 2012- Alamo Lamar C

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“Yes, good movies sprout up, inevitably, in the cracks and seams between the tectonic plates on which all of these franchises stay balanced, and we are reassured of their hardiness. But we don’t see what we don’t see; we don’t see the effort, or the cost of the effort, or the movies of which we’re deprived because of the cost of the effort. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice may have come from a studio, but it still required a substantial chunk of outside financing, and at $35 million, it’s not even that expensive. No studio could find the $8.5 million it cost Dan Gilroy to make Nightcrawler. Birdman cost a mere $18 million and still had to scrape that together at the last minute. Imagine American movie culture for the last few years without Her or Foxcatcher or American Hustle or The Master or Zero Dark Thirty and it suddenly looks markedly more frail—and those movies exist only because of the fairy godmothership of independent producer Megan Ellison. The grace of billionaires is not a great business model on which to hang the hopes of an art form.”
~ Mark Harris On The State Of The Movies

How do you make a Top Ten list? For tax and organizational purposes, I keep a log of every movie I see (Title, year, director, exhibition format, and location the film was viewed in). Anything with an asterisk to the left of its title means it’s a 2014 release (or something I saw at a festival which is somehow in play for the year). If there’s a performance, or sequence, or line of dialogue, even, that strikes me in a certain way, I’ll make a note of it. So when year end consideration time (that is, the month and change out of the year where I feel valued) rolls around, it’s a little easier to go through and pull some contenders for categories. For 2014, I’m voting in three polls: Indiewire, SEFCA (my critics’ guild), and the Muriels. Since Indiewire was first, it required the most consternation. There were lots of films that I simply never had a chance to see, so I just went with my gut. SEFCA requires a lot of hemming and hawing and trying to be strategic, even though there’s none of the in-person skullduggery that I hear of from folk whose critics’ guild is all in the same city. The Muriels is the most fun to contribute to because it’s after the meat market phase of awards season. Also, because it’s at the beginning of next year, I’ll generally have been able to see everything I wanted to by then. I love making hierarchical lists, partially because they are so subjective and mercurial. Every critical proclamation is based on who you are at that moment and what experiences you’ve had up until that point. So they change, and that’s okay. It’s all a weird game of timing and emotional waveforms, and I’m sure a scientist could do an in-depth dissection of the process that leads to the discovery of shocking trends in collective evaluation. But I love the year end awards crush, because I feel somewhat respected and because I have a wild-and-wooly work schedule that has me bouncing around the city to screenings, or power viewing the screeners I get sent.
Jason Shawhan of Nashville Scene Answers CriticWire