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Sweet Little Lies
crasheaters from United States
12 June 2011
Sweet Little Lies, directed by William Saunders, echoes Little Miss
Sunshine and Stand By Me without the high-profile cast. While the
road-trip premise is a precious ore that has been mined by a lot of
filmmakers, Saunders's cast and crew keep things looking professional,
while retaining a true sense of indie integrity. Aside from lack of
high-profile stars, this film could easily be a crossover into the
Saunders worked with a group of fellow film conspirators from the film
program at New York City's Columbia University to complete the feature,
which took approximately four years from start to finish.
The story introduces us to two "protagonist" characters whose destinies
will inextricably intertwine: 17-year-old Bess (Caitlin Kinnunen) is in
a trailer park rut in Kansas. Her mother has just died and she and her
sidekick best-friend (Joseph Montes) are headed for foster care, with a
deadbeat dad (Pedro Pascal) and a social worker (NataSha Yvette
Williams) on their heels. Bess's plan is to find the
Elvis-impersonating father she never met. In a separate story, conman
Roach (Bill Sage) has just stolen a ring from his dead mother's hand
and is on the run himself. When their worlds collide, they find
themselves all in the same car and peeling out of town. Many twists and
turns are in store, eventually landing them all into a resolution of
Celebrating the American landscape and West, the filming took almost
six weeks, as the production traveled from New York to Kansas City to
Las Vegas and eventually Monument Valley in Utah. Shooting the film in
HD allowed smaller set-ups and crew, but nonetheless the film has the
look of a high-budget feature.
As the son of former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Al
Saunders, William has a penchant for his strong area connections, and
enjoyed the benefit of locations that were for the most part unused.
"This is the landscape I remember from my early days," says Saunders,
"and certainly influenced my perception of things. The Kansas City area
is rich with all kinds of interesting visuals."
Hopefully a third screening will be added, as the first two KCFF
screenings are already sold out. But in whatever form you happen to
catch it in, you will not be disappointed by Sweet Little Lies.
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