LITTLE ROCK Is That Rare Indie That Consistently Defies Expectations

by Ted Hope
August 12, 2011 3:00 AM
3 Comments
  • |

Truly Free Indie Film lovers get a rare treat this weekend; that is IF they are in NYC. I got to screen MIke Ott's LITTLE ROCK for my HopeForFilm series at Goldcrest earlier this year, and am pleased to see that it opens today at Cinema Village. Mike will be there in person on Friday and Saturday. Don't let his modesty mislead you: this kind of thing is not easy to achieve -- as natural as he makes it look.

When we screened it at Goldcrest, I wrote the following:

I have something I would like you to consider: How do films defy expectations? They have to create such expectations first, right? And then still surprise you but also ideally make everything feel inevitable and part of the underlying concept. It is no easy task and so few films are able to do it these days. But we have one for you that does.

Mike Ott's LITTLE ROCK was all of that -- right up and through its end. I suspected things to come that didn't and was given consistent pleasures that I didn't even know were on the menu. Road trips seem to have become uncommon ground for indie films for some reason, but Ott's trip was all about taking me to somewhere unknown and doing it in a very quiet way. We are brought into the world, almost becoming one of the characters in the process, so personable is the filmmaking approach.

Winner of the Gotham Award for Best Film NOT Coming To A Theater Near You and the John Cassavettes Indie Spirit Award, the film has has had no shortage of acclaim. Ott's tale follows a brother and sister from Japan to Little Rock; we are never quite sure where they are heading or what they are looking for, but getting lost has always been part of the journey--and maybe all of the plan. Perhaps it's improv'd, perhaps scripted, it all seems real with a deep connection to place. Cast with locals, unfamiliar faces, and non-professionals, Ott's actors, like all other aspects of the film, feel entirely authentic, forever beckoning you into their circle.

It may not seem like a lot goes on in Little Rock, but Ott and his characters walked away with some part me, leaving me glad for the giving and happy for having been able to dwell there for each and every minute.

Please see it this weekend. These are rare films. We must vote for the culture we want with our dollars.

get email updates
  • |

More: Aesthetics, New Movies, Recommended Viewing

You might also like:

3 Comments

  • Anita Chase | November 10, 2011 12:01 PMReply

    My Husband and I love Indie films....
    we were delighted to see the trailor for your film LITTLEROCK -"We actually live in Littlerock, Ca" and the trailor was right on the mark! The story looks very intresting too....cant wait till this is out on DVD, or here in California. If we were near NYC we would be so there!!! (but we are sooo in the sticks of LA county) "Congratulations on this film and best wishes for contiued success"
    A note to the writer of this review...Mike Ott has it right...Littlerock is spelled just that way "LITTLEROCK" (oneword) Not "LITTLE ROCK" thats a whole different place some where in Arkansas! *grin* Peace and God Speed......~Anita York Chase
    NitasnurseryUSA.com

  • Philbert Ooper | August 15, 2011 7:59 AMReply

    i got cut off.

    i was typing that it looks like a top 25 film of the last 25 years when compared to the work of those lackluster overhyped filmmakers.

    but i digress. congrats on little rock.

  • Philbert Ooper | August 15, 2011 7:57 AMReply

    congrats on your success.

    as good as this movie may be, it pales in comparison to a movie i produced. it's titled UNICORN NINJA SOLDIERS. you can find it on youtube or vimeo.

    it was conceived in 3 minutes, shot in 3 hours, and edited in 3 days.

    by no means am i saying it's a masterpiece, but when compared to anything by joe swanberg, lena dunham, or andrew bujalski it looks like a top 25 film

Hope on social

Popular Posts