|Jan 27th, 2010 08:54 PM
Bass Ackwards is a captivating and consummately human film that reminds us that whatever we think the road is about; the trip is probably about something else.
Alternating between scripted action, improvisation, and the unpredictable spontaneity of vérité encounters, BASS ACKWARDS is the semi-autobiographical story of Linas Phillips, who stars as well as directs. Born of the imagination of Linas and his easy collaboration with old friends, costars, and co-conspirators Davie-Blue, Jim Fletcher, Paul Lazar, and Sean Porter, the film effortlessly and organically crosses the line between reality and fiction, incorporating the people and characters that Linas meets on an unscripted and adventurous ride across America.
The journey begins, as journeys often do, with an ending. Romantically bereft and a bit of a lost soul, Linas is seeking some kind of life change, and, already a documentarian, he is contemplating a personal road film as the antidote. What may have been a dark quest is quickly brightened through the introduction of “Shorty,” a 1969 Volkswagen van that Linas impulsively acquires early on. Shorty is not an ordinary van. Instead, as with most characters, places, and events in BASS ACKWARDS, it is beautifully imperfect. Cut out in the middle and welded back together, Shorty is an eccentric vehicle, the bizarre love child of Herbie (of Disney fame) and Pimp My Ride, with a small helping of Christine. An unlikely but charming traveling companion for Linas as he makes his way eastward from Seattle to Brooklyn, Shorty becomes the film's deliriously off-center sidekick.
As Linas Phillips and the BASS ACKWARDS filmmakers realize in their seat-of-the-pants continental odyssey, stories tell themselves. Traveling light and meeting an assortment of people who, as themselves, became featured players in the world we discover when we put aside our expectations, Linas, Shorty, and the small BASS ACKWARDS film crew have no day-to-day itinerary. Instead, their 10 days on the road bring them into contact with people and characters that are themselves living on the edge, feeling their way through lives that are sometimes rich, sometimes desperate, sometimes comic, and always real.
Stuck in Brooklyn as financing and schedules fall apart, challenges mount. But Shorty comes to the rescue, producing smiles and an unexpected ebullience that shines through the urban streets. In these moments, and throughout BASS ACKWARDS, Linas is reminded that you never really know what’s around the next turn, but it just might turn out to be great. Armed with little more than a rag-tag crew, a funky car, and the vague idea that hope can show up anytime, Linas and BASS ACKWARDS get down to a simple truth: our meaningful experiences aren’t always the ones we plan, or even the ones we think we want, but the ones that find their way into our lives and our souls. You’ll remember BASS ACKWARDS. We’ve all been there.
GEE AH WUNDER HOO WROTE THE WIKIPEEDA AHTICLE
I hate indie filmmakers