Friday, May 16, 2008

Son of Rambow Comes to Madison

Some of you have heard me recount my experience at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival more than a few times. I'm warning you that you're about to be subjected again. Sundance was an incredibly unique experience, at which I had the opportunity to see four phenomenal film premieres. Away from Her was picked up and released at theaters worldwide almost immediately. For the others, the process has been a bit slower. I think that finally all four have been picked up, with the possible exception of David Stenn's documentary "Girl 27." I have no idea where that one ended up. Even The Go-Getter, which underground fans worried they'd never have the chance to see, is coming to NY, LA, and Toronto in June.

But this post is about Rambow's son. Or something like that. So just last night, I was paging through the Isthmus weekly Madison newspaper, when I saw a huge ad for tonight's release of Son of Rambow at Westgate Arts Cinema. I was overjoyed. Although Garth Jenning's film sounds like some crazy war movie on steroids, it's actually funny and touching, and one of the best film's I've ever seen. Apparently, the film was released in the UK on April 4, and opened in limited release in the United States on May 2. Here's a synopsis of the plot:

Set in "a long, hot summer in the early '80s", the film is a coming-of-age comedy. It tells the story of two schoolboys who are inspired by the film First Blood to make their own action adventure film, which they hope will win them a young film-maker competition. Neglected youngster Lee Carter (Will Poulter) — the worst-behaved boy in school — has access to the home video equipment used by his bullying elder brother's video pirating enterprise.

Will (Bill Milner) couldn't be more different; quiet and shy he comes from a family that belongs to the strict Plymouth Brethren religious sect. Will is forbidden to watch films or television and is made to leave his classroom when the teacher puts on a documentary film. In the corridor he meets Lee, thrown out of another class for bad behavior. At first, Lee sees Will as an easily manipulated lackey but after Will sees a pirated copy of First Blood and throws himself into the film making experience, the two realize how much they each need a best friend.

Their movie takes on a chaotic life of its own, as they fight to keep control of it, and also to keep it secret from Will's family. Ultimately it changes the lives of both boys, and their relationships with their friends and families.

I loved this film, and will likely attempt to relive my Sundance glory days by dragging some friends along with me to see it again. I hope you will check it out if the film comes to a theater near you! Son of Rambow. Now there's a movie title you won't forget.

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