What happens when things stop being pretentious, and start getting real. It's important to learn how to properly fire a flare gun before setting out to shoot an art film.
"Deadpan comic minimalism," "fiercely original," "offbeat and surrealist" and "wonderfully off-kilter" are but some of the phrases used to describe the films of Nathan and David Zellner, two filmmaking brothers from Austin, Texas, who are as gleefully outside the mainstream as possible. There is no room for somber coming-of-age tales or bland relationship dramas in their worldview. Instead, street mimes turn to a life of crime (1997’s PLASTIC UTOPIA, their maniacal feature debut), a lonely girl becomes best friends with a disembodied voice in a well (KID-THING) or Eastern European socialist village dramas are inexplicably reset in East Texas (2001’s mind-bogglingly eccentric FRONTIER). Raised and still proudly based in Austin, having made movies together since childhood, the Zellners have turned from pre-adolescent backyard Federico Fellinis into leaders of the town’s strong film scene, collaborating with everyone from Andrew Bujalski and the Duplass Brothers to Richard Rodriguez and Richard Linklater, all while continuing to churn out a steady stream of features, shorts and music videos. "You gotta support the Zellners," Richard Linklater raved to the New York Times in 2013. "I think they’re great filmmakers." Having introduced themselves with the giddily idiosyncratic features PLASTIC UTOPIA and FRONTIER, the Zellners quickly downsized to more maneagable (yet just as deranged) short films, with works like RUMMY, FLOTSAM/JETSAM and AFTERMATH ON MEADOWLARK LANE earning them cult-like status on the film festival circuit. KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER, based on the real-life tale of a Japanese woman obsessed with the Coen Brother’s FARGO, was a hit at the 2014 Sundance festival and has been hailed as arguably the brother’s breakthrough success. "They are following their own muse," noted documentary filmmaker and University of Texas professor Paul Stekler in a 2012 New York Times article on the brothers. "Is there anything better than being able to support yourself doing what you want to do rather than what someone in Hollywood tells you to do?" Fiercely unique, always independent and constantly surprising, the brothers Zellner are still as free as they were growing up, models of how to make a career out of making films your own way. - Jason Sanders
Sasquatch Birth Journal 2The North American Sasquatch is a megafaunal bipedal hominoid, also known as "Bigfoot," "Nuk-luk" or "Woolybooger." Both female and male alike are considered to be highly promiscuous and generally lack discretion in regard to hygiene. The male Sasquatch unceremoniously...Watch Movie
Aftermath on Meadowlark LaneA smoldering car wreck moves two brothers to ask their mother about a significant difference in their upbringings. The Zellners’ knotty dialogue touches upon Pilgrims, foreskins, European sexual preferences and smallpox, a welter of neurosis and shame. If the script seems...Watch Movie
Flotsam/JetsamA grainy black-and-white adventure on the high seas turns into something else entirely in this typically idiosyncratic short from David and Nathan Zellner, their very first to appear at the Sundance Film Festival. Adrift in the open water, a man clings to some floating suitcases (along with a...Watch Movie
RummySam (David Zellner) runs into Lacey (Stephanie Wilson) walking her dog in the park. She doesn’t seem too thrilled to see him. But he is really, really thrilled to see Choo-Choo. The dog used to be his and he is less-than-thrilled to learn that Lacey has since re-named the dog Rummy. This fateful...Watch Movie
FrontierAfter their feature debut PLASTIC UTOPIA was deemed too strange by most festival programmers, the brothers Zellner responded like any truly independent, outsider filmmakers would: by making something even stranger. Filtering Soviet propaganda through a mouthful of powerful East Texas...Watch Movie
- Action/Adventure / Disaster
- Action/Adventure / Seafaring
- Action/Adventure / Wilderness
- Adaptation / Literary / Prose
- Comedy / Anarchic Comedy
- Comedy / Black Comedy
- Comedy / Coming of Age
- Comedy / Mockumentary
- Comedy / Parody
- Cult / Psychotronic
- Drama / Dramedy
- Drama / Realism / Pseudodocumentary
- Drama / Tragedy
- Independent / Narrative
- International / Americas / North American / American
- International / Oceania / Australian
- LGBTQ / Narrative
- Short / Narrative
- Sport / Baseball
If you haven't seen a few of the Zellner Brothers shorts the humor in this one might be a little slow to register, but I think it's hilarious. Basically: breakups...
No laughs! Slight chuckle at the newborn's first breath though.
This film was produced a while ago, sure, but, the concepts presented here are very current. We take a short but deep look at ourselves here. Enjoy!