Indie Memphis Film Festival Daily Pick: Thursday 

The Indie Memphis Film Festival concludes today at Muvico’s Peabody Place theatre, with prize-winning local documentary Nobody screening at 8:45 p.m. (See Flyer story.) But be sure to show up early for another prize-winning local film, The Importance of Being Russell, which won the festival committee’s own prize for “excellence in filmmaking” ... and screens at 6:45 p.m. tonight.

This local feature unites two known forces on the Memphis film scene, the Paradox Productions crew responsible for the ambitious feature Strange Cargo a few years ago and actor/writer John Pickle, creator and star of the cable access skit show Pickle TV. The pair previously collaborated on the short film The Last Man on Earth, but this comedic fantasy-farce is their first feature. Pickle plays “redneck” inventor Russell Hawker (among his many great ideas is fashioning a “shotgun silencer” by duct-taping a pillow over the barrel), unhappily married, professionally frustrated, and coming up on his 10th wedding anniversary.

Pickle’s Jim Varney-esque hick character is a confident creation who holds the screen and provokes some actual laughs. The film also boasts some good ideas, such as the neat symmetry and casual critique when Russell and his wife sit down to breakfast opposite one another and separately watch the same program on adjacent televisions. The Importance of Being Russell works well early on, finding humor in its backwoods setting without being condescending, but despite a well-staged combat scene (that’s right – a combat scene!), it loses its footing a little as the plot becomes more fantastical. But it’s handsomely shot (by Paradox’s Jeff Hassen) and well made (Sean Plemmons directs, Jeff Bryant produces) throughout. — Chris Herrington

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Lady Bird

      Greta Gerwig directs Saoirse Ronan in the dazzling coming of age comedy
    • Thor: Ragnarok

      Taika Waititi takes The God of Thunder in a comedic direction

Blogs

Music Blog

Band Geeks: A Live Tribute to The Last Waltz

Politics Beat Blog

Democrat Dean, On Nashville-Memphis Back-and-Forth: "I Love I-40!"

Beyond the Arc

The Hustle Report: Week 2

Fly On The Wall Blog

Memphis College of Art in the 1960's-70's

News Blog

A Q & A with Veda Reed, Dolph Smith

News Blog

MLGW Warns Customers to be Wary of Scam

News Blog

Oswalt New Downtown Memphis Commission CEO

Beyond the Arc

Pacers 116, Grizzlies 113: Five Thoughts

Politics Beat Blog

Filling in the Blanks

ADVERTISEMENT

More by John Branston

  • Pit Stops

    Ten BBQ joints worth a day trip from Memphis.
    • May 16, 2013
  • Where Do We Go From Here? | School Choice

    Modest voter turnouts notwithstanding, next week’s referendum is key to the schools’ future.
    • Mar 3, 2011
  • Great Deal or "Get Real"?

    Condos go for half-price in a unique Mindtown neighborhood.
    • Jul 28, 2010
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Eye In The Sky

    Remote controlled warfare picture misses the mark
    • Apr 7, 2016
  • War For The Planet Of The Apes

    Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson get down to serious monkey business
    • Jul 21, 2017
  • Knight Of Cups

    Adrift in images with Terrance Malick
    • Apr 12, 2016
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation