Away We Go

Waves crashing on a BIG BEACH

Article: Waves crashing on a BIG BEACH

I’m writing to give props to a small company that I love … Big Beach Films. Why do I love them? (They have summarily rejected plenty of my own scripts … so why?) Well, they’ve been making good work. They’ve been taking chances.

Formed in 2004 by producer Peter Saraf and funder/producer Marc Turtletaub, one of Big Beach’s first films was Liev Schrieber’s EVERYTHING WAS ILLUMINATED. A success? Well, not really. It had some beautiful elements. But overall, adaptation is really difficult, and this epic Jonathan Safron Foer novel was simply tough to reduce to the screen. When the documentary OPERATION FILMMAKER hit the screen, a profile of ILLUMINATED’s Iraqi intern, it didn’t help in making the film look a little indulgent. But Big Beach survived it without a hiccup – and maybe ended up looking okay. (Trailer here.)

The next film out was LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. Nuf said.

Learning, or not learning, from the road movie

Article: Learning, or not learning, from the road movie

It’s summer … let’s road trip!

Wait – hold that thought – New York City has been non-stop rain this June, and most of us in the Big Apple don’t have cars anyway, so road-tripping is reserved for road movies.

I saw one last night, AWAY WE GO, more accurately a plane/train/road movie from Sam Mendes, that engages some classic tenants of the genre: protagonists searching for something (in this case, a new home town in which to raise a child), wide open American landscapes (Colorado and Arizona, in particular here), and, as expected, personal growth.

I started to wonder – do road movies always include such traditional character arcs? Do the drivers on the road in the road movie simply have to learn about themselves?