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Story

Director Jon Jost may have made a few enemies with the local homebuilder's association and the Mormon Church in this devastating 1993 psychological drama, but then again, hardly anyone has seen it. "Just a one-day drive" from the urban sprawl centers of California, the quiet and beautiful Utah landscape in and around Circleville becomes the gleam in the eye of a struggling real-estate developer (Tom Blair). A middle-aged entrepreneur, with the talent of a certain cheery, common-sense sales-pitch, is, at this late stage in the game, only barely able to contain his raw and mean temper with friends and family. Despite tensions with his wife and friends, he nonetheless forges ahead toward his version of the American Dream. Themes of economic growth versus environmental decay (both in the geographical and community sense) have been visited by filmmakers before, but Jost links his narrative with the locale in a complex, original way: with awesome economy, he pares what we see of human conflicts down to the bone while generously allotting much of his 85 minutes to the rural landscape. A lonely road and a long line of ecstatic poetry appear on screen, but this ain't no hymn to Walt Whitman or Manifest Destiny. No other filmmaker has explored more deeply the dark side of the American entrepreneur. The unforgettable final scene--a weekend hunting expedition in which his son Philip learns the mechanics of a rifle as well as the male code of what "not to tell mom"--is both astonishing and horrifying. Jost dedicated the film to his father. --Christopher Chase

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Widescreen

Cast

Tom Blair
Kristi Hager

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Jon Jost
  • Producer: World Artists
  • Length: 83 minutes
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 1, 1990
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaJun 25, 2002
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