The Image Formed

Previewing the 12th Austin Film Festival

The Image Formed

Steel City

W-D: Brian Jun; with John Heard, Thomas Guiry, America Ferrera, Clayne Crawford, Laurie Metcalf, Raymond J. Barry

As winter sets in around a dilapidated Illinois mill town, PJ (Guiry) and his brother (Crawford) face the incarceration of their father (Heard) for vehicular manslaughter. It's an event that sets into motion the seemingly inexorable cycle of blue-collar family disintegration: Marriages inevitably fail, fathers inevitably disappoint their sons, and brothers inevitably disappoint each other. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Jun's first full-length feature is a thoughtful and well-executed character drama with a contemplative pace. It creates an atmosphere of working-class middle America that feels lived-in and real, with bleak bluish, treeless landscapes and grimy interiors, and the script is believably understated. Guiry is a talent to watch: Like a young Robert Patrick, he's steely enough to be a worthy intergenerational foil for Heard and Barry. – Marrit Ingman

10/21, 7:15pm, Dobie; 10/24, 9:15pm, Arbor

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READ MORE
More by Marrit Ingman
Wonder Stories
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Books

July 25, 2008

King Corn
The film’s light hand, appealing style, and simple exposition make it an eminently watchable inquiry into the politics of food, public health, and the reasons why corn has become an ingredient in virtually everything we eat.

Nov. 9, 2007

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