The Man in the Silo is one of those films that definitely fits the description that it “defies explanation”. Part psychological study, part suspense thriller and part experimental film, the low independent, intentionally modest picture (it runs just under an hour), gives vet actor Ernie Hudson an opportunity to give a genuine a tour de force performance.
Essentially chronicling the psychological and emotional breakdown of a man after the death of his wife and young son, the film, very effectively (and helped by Bernard Hermann’s haunting score for Hitchcock’s Vertigo), paints the harrowing portrait of a man falling apart at the seams.
His terrible situation is made even worse since Hudson’s late wife was white, which brought about, at times, an intense racial conflict between themselves and her relatives as well.
The film was made last year in the Chicago area and written jointly by playwright Christopher Ellis and Chicago stage actor and director Phil Donlon, who also directed the film
Also, the presence of Hudson in a small indie film proves the point (at least one that I believe) that most actors want to do challenging work - which is why they became actors in the first place.
So no matter the budget of your film, if the material is good enough and if there’s a name actor you want for the part for your project, and if they’re serious enough about their craft to always welcome a challenge, you should definitely try to get that person. It might work out.
The Man in the Silo is now just beginning to be shown on the film festival circuit so keep an eye out for it.