Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tiger Eyes ((Film Festival) (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway
Tiger Eyes

A film based on favorite Key West author Judy Blume's controversial novel "Tiger Eyes" has arrived at the Key West Film Festival. "Tiger Eyes" is especially poignant because it is directed by the author's son Lawrence Blume, while The Tropic's own George Cooper is the Executive Producer. It is a genuine holistic creation with spirit. 

The film focuses on Davey, a young girl who is coping with the sudden loss of her dad slain during a random shooting. Gossip Girl's Willa Holland does an excellent turn here showing Davey's mercurial temper. Dark haired and sly, Davey is a preternatural hawk both ethereal and feminine, that has lost her way. Together with her mother, (Amy Jo Johnson) Davey relocates to New Mexico and becomes alienated by the vast red rock fauna and florid cultures that surround her. When she wanders alone along a burgundy sky that turns navy blue before her eyes its as if the towering rock formations have teeth.

In the canyon, Davey meets the existential and charismatic Wolf (Tatanka Means) who is imbued with a cosmic self awareness and a quirky, deprecating manner. Wolf takes care of his ailing father who is played by Tatanka's real-life father, the iconic Native American actor and activist Russell Means. This is Tatanka's first feature film, though he has more in the works and he possesses a warmth and a poetic mystique that recalls a young Johnny Depp.

"Tiger Eyes" is a sensory experience with many highs and haunts. The nimble cinematography weaves back and forth like a shapeshifter. We reach into the blue horizons of sky only to go sideways climbing the walls of an adobe house with more dark corners than Polanski's Dakota in New York City. Davey is cut off from her reticent and emotionally challenged uncle (Forrest Fyre). who stands over her like an imposing effigy of  'The Rifleman' while the Luminaria in brown paper hover like gingerbread stars that she cannot reach, and shine to mock her.

It seems more like Halloween than Christmas in Davey's New World. 

One of the highlights of "Tiger Eyes" is its stirring and immediate use of local color from the scalloped boardwalks of Atlantic City, the incarnadine plains  of Los Alamos that are as Exotic as Planet Tatooine in "Star Wars", to a Pueblo ceremony that places us in the realm of the numinous and psychedelic. This is due to the bubbling cinematography by  Seamus Tierney (Liberal Arts)  that weaves a literal maze upon the eyes.

And let us not forget the legendary Russell Means who gives this spritely film a generous gravitas. In his last role, Means simmers as a benevolent volcano. Under his eyes art is life, and life is art. History is within.

The audience will also be treated to a cameo by none other than Blume herself who flashes a knowing Pajarito smile.

"Tiger Eyes" ultimately puts us in the spectrum of a kaleidoscope. We are a prismatic fly on the wall, seeing Davey's tricolor tempests firsthand, and it makes for a satisfying push and pull on the tumble of hearts.

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