AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL 2012
By Don Simpson | October 26, 2012
Director: Noah Buschel
Writer: Noah Buschel
Starring: Marin Ireland, Paul Sparks, Niesha Butler, Bennie Slay, Zoran Radanovich
An actor-turned-agoraphobic (Marin Ireland) finds herself hopelessly trapped within the confines of her own apartment. She orders take-out food, leaving the money outside the heavily locked door of her apartment, afraid of any human interaction. The sheer mundanity of her existence suddenly changes when her apartment is suddenly flooded by an overflown toilet. She must allow Wes (Paul Sparks) inside to fix her leak — and not to sound overtly snarky, let’s just say that Wes does much more than unclog the flow of her toilet.
Writer-director Noah Buschel’s Sparrows Dance is a film about characters who are mentally trapped by their own psychology. While the lonely female is unable to leave her apartment, the plumber is unwilling to leave the working class confines of his plumbing overalls.
This all might seem a bit too contrived, including a Brechtian sequence where Wes and the woman dance within the exposed apartment set illustrates the falsities of the sentiments. Buschel seems to prefer to focus on the contrivances of Sparrows Dance, utilizing the electric red glow of the blinking neon sign outside of the women’s apartment window as a showcase of oh-so-purposeful lighting.
In my personal opinion, Sparrows Dance could take a few hints from “Mumblecore” films and utilize some more naturalism. I have a really difficult time believing that this woman would not only allow Wes into her apartment, but also connect with him so quickly. It is as if Buschel is suggesting that love conquers agoraphobia; but, unfortunately, I do not think that agoraphobia is all that simple…
Sparrows Dance won Best Narrative Feature at the 2012 Austin Film Festival.