'X' Marks the Spot

No Country for Full-Lengths

At the after-movie Q&A, Josh Brolin immediately pointed out the first question he fielded had just as much to do with another movie - that would be No Country for Old Men, natch - as it did with his own, X, the short which aired that Saturday afternoon.

The question was whether this, his first directorial effort, was filmed in the same Marfa locations as the Coens' epic. Nope - it was California, although you'd be forgiven for thinking his dusty family travelogue unfolded in some windswept corner between West Texas and purgatory. It documents the journey of a father and his daughter (played by Brolin's real-life daughter, Eden) as they tend to some unfinished family business. It unfolds at first obliquely, then unflinchingly, the grim tone indebted to Brolin's recent cinematic educators - the Coens, and Robert Rodriguez.

Another filmmaker - Paul Haggis - was also brought up; according to Brolin, he encouraged him to translate the $15,000, 15 minute short into a full-length feature. With friends like his, don't be surprised if Brolin parlays his recent resurgence to the other side of the camera.

X plays in front of Tulia, Texas Tuesday and Thursday.

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