Indie Beat is here again! For the latest episode of Everyone’s Very Favorite Indie Film Podcast™, we had on director and cinematographer Brennan Vance.
Vance had a stint in art school before he even decided to start sculpting in time, meeting future collaborator and best bud Peter McLarnan at the University of Minnesota. The two went on to create the feature film “The Sound Of Small Things,” a beguiling and deceptively simple relationship drama indebted to the early work Nuri Bilge Ceylan. The film went on to play the 2012 Slamdance Film Festival. Critic/Programmer Ben Umstead (who hipped me to the film way back when) said in his review, “…McLarnan’s first feature is some kind of mini-marvel. It is a film that filters very nuanced, naturalistic dialog and settings through increasingly experimental means and ways. ” Watch the trailer below.
After lensing the aforementioned feature, Vance decided to get in the director’s chair for “Alma.” The short film follows non-actor Gera Pobuda as she investigates her husband’s catatonic state, suspecting he might be trapped in an out-of-body experience and thus begins a journey to enlist the help of her withdrawn stepson. Vance proves himself still a student of Ceylan and Andrei Tarkovsky, continuing the tone and aesthetics him and McClarnan established in ‘Small Things’ (here, McLarnan makes a turn in front of the camera as the aloof stepson Thad).
The idea proved too enticing for the bounds of a short to hold it, though, and Vance spent time further exploring the design and out came his first feature “The Missing Sun.” The filmmaker traded in the deep color compositions found in “Alma” for a stark black and white palette, kept the cast (which includes Pobuda, an absorbing lead unlike many others), and dug into the group (cult?) that provides the facilities to travel to other planes of reality. This stunning film was welcomed to the IFP Narrative Lab and went on to play festivals around the country. You can now catch it on Amazon and Kinoscope.
We had on Brennan to talk about filmmaking outside of the box, dealing with feedback and reviews, and working within the industry. Press that play button — hard — and don’t forget to like us on Facebook!
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