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Ain't Them Bodies Saints

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Cory Everett

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Reply #45 on: January 20, 2013, 03:07:37 PM
This is great. I'm so fucking proud of Ghostboy right now I'm beaming. I cried a little at the end.
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Reply #46 on: January 20, 2013, 03:17:11 PM
Tweets are rolling in and the response is very positive. Comparisons to Badlands and lots of people highlighting the acting and the score. Congrats, David!

The crowd at Sundance seem to like the title a lot, by the way. I guess we'll see how the public likes it when it comes out!


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Reply #47 on: January 20, 2013, 09:31:29 PM
I feel like Ray Liotta in Good Fellas when Joe Pesci is going to be made, saying that if one of us gets made, is like all of us gets made. Except Ghostboy is not whacked, he comes out a winner. Congratulations, man. Can't wait to see it very soon in some mexican festival later in the year.


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Reply #48 on: January 21, 2013, 12:42:49 AM
Playlist review (not by mod)

EDIT: Fuck it.  Fair use!*

Searing & Terrific 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' Will Have The Movie World Talking All Year Long

Set in 1970s Texas, but stationed inside an authentic milieu and era that feels timeless and classic, David Lowery's second feature-length effort, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," is the culmination of a filmmaker who has put in over a decade of work in the trenches as an editor, cinematographer, writer, electrical department hand and more (fun fact: he's also the editor of Shane Carruth's "Upstream Color"). The jack-of-all-trades is not only fluent with several languages within the vocabulary of this medium, he clearly has an innate understanding of each. Lowery is the real deal and understands filmmaking, and this is abundantly clear in this searing, romantic crime drama and love story.

Tuned to the pitch of a moody and dark folk ballad that just won't end well, 'Saints' takes the familiar outlaw narrative and attempts to subvert it with a twist. Instead of lovers on the run from the law, it's lovers kept apart by the same forces. It's "Badlands" with a deeper aching heart as the Bonnie and Clyde of this story yearn for each other, but are kept apart by their own misguided circumstances.

With a muddy drawn title card that reads, "This was in Texas," the film opens up with a beautiful and then arresting and electric ten-minute prologue. Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck) and his wild child wife Ruth Guthrie (Rooney Mara) are criminals. They're also passionate lovers, and she's expecting a child. They plan a robbery with their pal Freddy (Kentucker Audley), but soon the law have them cornered in a violent shoot-out. Freddy is killed. Ruth shoots a police officer named Patrick Wheeler (Ben Foster), and sensing bloody revenge and no way out, Bob surrenders and takes the blame for shooting the lawman despite Ruth's pleas to make a run for it. 'Saints' then begins.

Sentenced to a long stretch in prison, Bob goes away, but Ruth is acquitted; though positioned as a victim of these two criminal masterminds to ensure she can raise her baby out of jail, she is no innocent. Her advisor and friend Skerritt (an excellent Keith Carradine), who seemingly planned the robbery in the first place, acts as a father figure and helps her out by selling Ruth and Bob's old home and placing her in a house he owns next door to him where she can care for her daughter and he can safely watch over them.

Four years later, Bob is still in jail and Ruth is raising a curious and precocious little girl on her own. In this time, Patrick Wheeler has graduated to become a local sheriff and he's become curiously interested in Ruth. Not only because of their connection – she was involved in this crime where he was shot years ago – but seemingly because of his empathy for her. Though her dark, alluring beauty sure doesn't hurt either. And just as Wheeler begins poking his nose into Ruth's life, she learns that her husband, after his sixth attempt, has escaped from jail.

While the law is convinced that Bob is coming to reunite with his family, Ruth vows that he would know better to bring that kind of trouble to her doorstep now. But the impassioned Bob, who wrote a letter to Ruth every day in jail, lives for Ruth and his driving impetus is to reconcile with his wife and the daughter he's never met at all costs. And like a bad moon rising, with a portentous storm brewing on the horizon, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" begins to tighten its anxious grip as Bob makes his way back to Texas, as Ruth fears for the prospect of his return and Patrick becomes more entwined in her life. Knowing that Bob will show his head, the protective Skerritt begins to put the feelers out on his whereabouts, but Bob's first stop is a local dive run by his friend Sweetie (a terrific Nate Parker). 'Saints' then lights a long fuse that throbs and slowly burns with beautiful and riveting intensity that rarely lets up.

While spiritually indebted to Terrence Malick – and yes, it possesses its fair share of the filmmaker's sun-kissed photography and the like – it's far too simple and reductive to just pass it off as nothing more. While perhaps a distant cousin, with very different concerns and personal preoccupations, it's ultimately a very different, darker beast (there's just as much Cormac McCarthy tenor in there if not more). Hickory smoked and sunstroked, Bradford Young's tremendous eye makes for some breathtaking and dusty gorgeous visuals, feeling tactile and lived-in. And just as sublime, and another MVP of the picture's below-the-line talent, is probably Daniel Hart's haunting and moody score. Cripple-creek fiddles pluck away anxiously, cellos drone, banjos twang out with ghostly notes and violins cry into the night sky creating a sonorous musical backdrop for this brooding picture to lay its ten gallon hat on.

And the performances are all top notch. Mara and Affleck's brief romantic sequences are moving, and the entire cast delivers pitch perfect turns and there's not a false note within. But the film's secret weapon might just be the inquisitive and caring cop played by Foster. His smoldering intensity does so much with so little, and it's a terrific, textured performance that hopefully gets him further notice.

Building like a spiritual sermon on fire, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" coils up to a terrific crescendo that's arresting and devastating. But if there's one main issue to be found, it may be its length. Some small trims throughout could help the pace a bit and also reduce the fatigue of the film's long sweaty simmer. But that minor quibble aside, Lowery has stepped up to be noticed, and "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" is a wholly engrossing and impressive piece of work that the movie world will be talking about all year long. [A-]

* I know that's not what fair use means.
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Reply #49 on: January 21, 2013, 08:19:13 AM
So who's going to start the David Lowery Fan Page?

Congrats, Ghostboy, realizing the Xixax Dream. I'm very excited for you. Can't wait to see it.
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Reply #50 on: January 21, 2013, 12:19:56 PM
Fuck the fan page! When is he going to have his own forum?


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Reply #51 on: January 21, 2013, 03:31:58 PM
Man oh Man... I keep saying this, but I'm so excited about this movie!


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Reply #52 on: January 21, 2013, 03:40:11 PM
David, I know it's not going to be entirely in your hands, but if you don't bring this movie to SXSW I am going to be so mad at you.


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Reply #53 on: January 21, 2013, 04:28:20 PM
Like everyone has previously stated: I badly want to see this. Great reviews, and really enjoying the interviews. Realizing the xixax dream. Fuck yes.


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Reply #54 on: January 21, 2013, 06:03:42 PM
Sundance: Five Directors To Watch
By DOMINIC PATTEN | Friday January 18, 2013 @ 9:00am PST

If the Sundance Film Festival is about anything, it’s about the directors. Careers are made in Park City with the right combination of talent, content, context and reception. Look at what happened in 2012 with Beasts Of The Southern Wild. Benh Zeitlin’s feature directorial debut seemed to come out of nowhere to win the festival’s Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic films. Now the fantasy drama is nominated for multiple Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. No predictions of course, but here’s five directors worth watching at Sundance this year.

David Lowery, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints: Lowery is actually a triple threat this Sundance. The Texan has the outlaw Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck starrer, which he directed and wrote, at the festival; Pit Stop, which he co-wrote, in the NEXT sidebar; and Upstream Color, on which he was one of the editors. Not bad for a guy who’s directorial feature debut St. Nick got rejected by Sundance back in 2009. Then again, Lowery’s short Pioneer won the Grand Jury Prize in 2011, so 2013 could really be his year.


Sundance: ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ Wins Indian Paintbrush Grant
By THE DEADLINE TEAM | Sunday January 20, 2013 @ 1:19pm PST

Indian Paintbrush has chosen Sundance contender Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and producers Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston and their company Sailor Bear as recipients of the 2013 Indian Paintbrush Producer’s Award and accompanying $10,000 grant. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints was written and directed by David Lowery. The award was announced today at the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program Producers Lunch. Mark Roybal of Indian Paintbrush made the announcement. Indian Paintbrush’s latest production, Breathe In directed by Drake Doremus, just debuted at the festival.
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Reply #55 on: January 21, 2013, 08:20:53 PM
So, does this mean Ghostboy won't be visiting the forum anymore?


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Reply #56 on: January 21, 2013, 09:04:39 PM
So, does this mean Ghostboy won't be visiting the forum anymore?

He's gonna start his own message board with the name of another Nina Hagen song:

Ever have a feeling and you don’t know why?


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Reply #57 on: January 22, 2013, 10:42:08 PM
You can see David and some other folks talking about screenwriting at a Sundance panel here:


(I'm not sure if the link is up for a temporary time or if it is a permanent link)


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Reply #58 on: January 23, 2013, 02:51:52 PM

This is awesome man, looking very very forward to seeing this
Congrats and cheers to many many more!
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Reply #59 on: January 23, 2013, 03:24:42 PM
I had no idea that this flick was doen by one of the xixax members.  Fucking awesome to say the least, I've read some of the reviews so far and I can't wait to get a chance to check this out when it's in my area.  Congrats Ghostboy!