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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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“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful. People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that. It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
~ Brett Ratner Has A Sad

“The loss of a local newspaper critic is a real loss. People who know the local audience and know the local cultural scene are very important resources. You can’t just substitute the stuff that comes in from nowhere through syndication or the wire. I think at the same time, some of the newer outlets have really beefed up and improved their coverage and made room for criticism. The real problem is in the more specialized art forms — fine arts, classical music, dance and jazz, say. There is a real slowing of critical voices, partly because those art forms have smaller audiences. Newspapers and magazines can say that doesn’t get enough traffic, so we don’t have room for that. To me, that’s especially worrisome. This is the opposite of what newspapers are supposed to do, which is not to try to figure out what people are already interested in and recite that back to them, but to hopefully guide them to something that they should be interested in, connecting potential audiences with more interesting work.

“Then again, not everyone needs a critic. People have been going to movies for more than 100 years now, and probably the vast majority of those people have not read movie reviews or cared what critics thought. But there has always been an important subset that wants to know more, that wants to think about what they’ve seen and what they’re going to see, and wants someone to think along with. I think critics are important, not just as dispensers of consumer advice — though that’s certainly part of it, too — but as trusted voices and companions for people to argue with in your head when you’re going to movies or afterwards.”
~ A. O. Scott