Director: David Gordon Green, USA 2013
In the summer of 1988, Alvin (Paul Rudd) and Lance (Emile Hirsch) work together repainting markings on a country road that passes through a fire-damaged forest. Alvin is in love with Lance’s older sister and spends his free time writing passionate letters to her and exploring the isolated woods alone. Lance seems to love anyone who will have sex with him on the weekends when he travels to town.
The two have more in common than Lance’s sister, but it is a slow realization as they fight over music, share home brew with a local truck driver and pound poles. Their friendship grows into more than a guy giving his girlfriend’s kid brother a job. Quirky, at times, humorless and full of laughs, two guys bonding in a tent makes for a pleasant summer outing. Bring your own beer!
Press Conference:Director David Gordon Green saw the film location near where he lived in central Texas. The devastation of the fire was something he wanted to film, where the fire would be like a character in the film and he wanted to do it simply and quickly before the re-growth of the forest. So, from the location, he wanted to make a film but didn’t know what to film, just that he had to do it quickly and simply with just a couple of actors. For ideas, he talked to an art director friend of his in New York who told Green to remake the Icelandic film Either Way.
So Green watched Either Way and got the idea about how to make this film; it was a perfect blueprint for what he wanted to do. The makers of Either Way were amused and gracious in letting him base his new film on that one. Both films were set in the ‘80s and Green decided to stay with that time period because the guys needed to be isolated, with no access to cell phones, so he chose to go back to when times “…were more pleasant, better music.” The beauty of this film for Green was the intimacy and simplicity.
Trivia: The woman going through the ashes of her home, Joyce, was not part of the script. They met her while filming. She was looking for her pilot’s license. (Mary N.)