"After the Denim" is the story of James Packer, a retired accountant and recovering alcoholic who transforms from a bristly, argumentative, resentful man stuck in the routines of his own ... See full summary »


(short story), (screenplay)
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Credited cast:
Young Woman
James Packer
Bingo Winner
Edith Packer
Mary Margaret Lewis ...
Bingo Caller
Young Man


"After the Denim" is the story of James Packer, a retired accountant and recovering alcoholic who transforms from a bristly, argumentative, resentful man stuck in the routines of his own preferences into a husband capable of compassion for others. Written by Linda V. Guarducci

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Short | Drama | Family



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User Reviews

A Powerful Examination of Time, Perception and Loss
20 December 2010 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

After The Denim, based on the short story by Raymond Carver, a new film co-directed and adapted for the screen by Gregory Goyins marks the screenwriter's directorial debut. Impressive from start to finish, After The Denim suggests the start of a very promising new film-making career in the works.

Ill at ease, James Packer finds his normal state of discomfiture further aroused when, arriving late for bingo, he and his wife's seats are occupied by a young couple, one that may or may not have been themselves decades earlier. James' bitterness is apparent immediately upon seeing them. This sets up a dramatic standoff, which is carried out with brilliance, as James confronts them for what he perceives to be cheating. The pettiness of the (imagined) offense is exponentially magnified in James' uneasy world, where the loss of his own son (years earlier), and the imminence of his own decline factor strongly in the dark prism of his imagination.

Goyins takes a big risk here. As James and Edith Packer approach the bingo hall, I found myself asking, where can this go? And indeed, without the strength of impeccable direction and timing, the bingo-hall showdown could have foundered in a mire of banality. Casting, acting and film editing all factor to magnify the intensity of the moment, lending a sinister aspect to an otherwise ordinary young man and his date. The encounter between Packer and the young couple, wholly successful, takes us deeper into James Packers' fragile psyche.

As the Packers approach the bingo hall, James declares, 'I don't feel lucky tonight'. These words, finally, will be prophetic when, upon returning home, the specter of imminent tragedy is unveiled. James Packers' imagination races back to the youth and freedom of the couple at the bingo hall; his bitterness now displaced on them. If only...

After the Denim is a study on loss, age and the toxic effects of envy. Still, James Packer arouses our sympathy in spite of his failings, and in this there is much to be admired - and in doing so locates the part of elder agoniste appropriately into a length panoply of such characters - who's struggle is to remain meaningful in an age where one's relevance is marginal at best. We are reminded of Laertes, Odysseus' father, who, awaiting his sons' return from foreign adventure erodes the slow erosion of self that accompanies the loss of his son. There would be no harvest of vigor in the person of his child.

A short film, with finely tuned performances distills with maximum economy the breadth of the characters' experience, delivering completely on the strength of Carver's short story.

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