Reflections

SXSW 2000 Film Festival and Conference

WILDFLOWERS

Dir/Scr: Melissa Painter; Prod: Zachary Matz, Tom Garvin, Christine Vachon, Tim Bird, Daryl Hannah; DP: Paul Ryan; Ed: Brent White; Cast: Daryl Hannah, Clea DuVall, Eric Roberts, Tomas Arana, Irene Bedard.

35mm, 97 min., 1999 (RP)

In late summer, senses are heightened -- the air is redolent with the fragrance of ripening harvests, the sky is a vast and brilliant blue, the sun warms your skin while the breeze carries a hint of cooler weather. You're eager for autumn's approach, but melancholy about summer's end. One of the flowers of the title, 17-year-old Callie, is an offspring of the Sixties, her upbringing unstructured and communal. On the verge of womanhood, she's rooted in an incomplete past and only by filling in some of the empty spaces can she be freed to grow. DuVall's Callie is so vibrant, so strong and sure, that she brightens the colors, quickens the breeze, of every scene she's in. She's drawn to an older artist (Hannah), a mysterious, golden-haired woman whose past may affect Callie's future. Though graceful and lovely, time has taken its toll -- Sabine's color is beginning to fade, her glory days are past. In her directorial debut, Painter captures the end of one season and the beginning of another in vivid, heartfelt hues. Marin County provides a lush landscape for these wildflowers, and if Painter's study of them is a bit languid, its beauty and composition and DuVall's amazing performance more than compensate.

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