By Don Simpson | April 13, 2011
Director: Steven Peros
Writer: Steven Peros
Starring: Sybil Temtchine, H.M. Wynant, Pippa Scott
People often escape to Hollywood to start their lives anew…and once upon a time a young woman (Sybil Temtchine) wearing a green dress takes that quest quite literally. The woman mysteriously awakens, sprawled across the famed footprints and hand-prints in front of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. We never learn her name (she seems to have amnesia) and she rarely speaks, but we are given the opportunity to listen to her internal dialogue. A series of “quirky Hollywood types” try to “help” the dazed and confused woman, including a vagrant (Jeris Lee Poindexter) and a man wearing a bolo tie, Victor (H.M. Wynant).
Is she Mira Sorvino? Is she Wonder Woman? Is she Daisy? Why is William Wyler’s 1949 film The Heiress important to her? And who the hell is “fountain boy”? With Footprints, writer-director Steven Peros (author of the play and screenplay for The Cat’s Meow) gives us a heady and profound piece of cinema, one that plays with the blank slate of the LA-la land myth. The past and present (maybe even the future) coexist in Peros’ dreamily surreal incarnation of Hollywood. The million dollar question is: Why?
I really enjoy Peros’ concept and I think the classic jazz soundtrack (composed, orchestrated and conducted by Christopher Caliendo) works quite well; but the production quality (the footage looks like it was shot on consumer-grade digital video) is really distracting. The acting style — which seems quite purposefully over-acted — is quite annoying too. Footprints certainly conveys the dreamlike logic of cinema and the falseness of Hollywood, but I am definitely not sold on Peros’ directorial aesthetic. Maybe I am leaning towards the all too obvious, but I would have preferred to see Footprints projected in grainy film stock — maybe even black and white.