Bass Ackwards Aug 8, 2016 10:45:06 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Aug 8, 2016 10:45:06 GMT -5
Bass Ackwards (2010)
Directed by: Linas Phillips
Directed by: Linas Phillips
After ending an affair he had with a married woman, Linas (played by writer, director, and editor Linas Phillips) decides to take time off of his odd-job-driven life, hop in a rickety VW Bus, and just drive and see what he can find. Linas has been lonely and out of touch with himself for many years and hopes that this journey to nowhere will help him make some sort of meaningful connections with people.
Most of Linas's trip involves stopping at local bars, farms, and social areas where Linas clearly stands as an outsider, festering his way through the alienation in order to get in the middle of things, as if he was trying to get the stage at a crowded concert. During his adventure, however, Linas discovers probably the most piercing insight of all - he's not alone in his own personal loneliness. He sees everyone around him starved for something more meaningful or uncomfortable in their current position. One particular soul he finds and sticks with is an older man who gets into his car one day, asking if he can rest for a few minutes. He winds up falling asleep in Linas's car before waking up and telling Linas that he'll go wherever he does, as he's trying to be reunited with his wife and kid after they separated.
Bass Ackwards feels like Linas Phillips wanted to get away from everything in his comfort zone (or everything that was allegedly making him comfortable) and decided to take a camera with him and create a film about his experiences. While the film bears no resemblance to a documentary, its incredible focus on naturalism and intimacy make it feel more personal and personable with its audiences than most films of the like. Phillips is an engaging performer mainly because he simply is; he's not decorated for the camera nor is he looking to groom his settings nor his characters to make everything look attractive and extractable. He's keen on allowing everyone and everything to exist in essence of itself and themselves.
The VW Bus serves as a lovely metaphor for the human spirit, a fragile, sometimes unreliable, asset that sometimes gets in the way more than it does actually help. But without it, as Linas sees, he wouldn't be anywhere and nor would he have gotten anywhere in the first place. His bus serves as the glue that keeps his trip going; it may not be a smooth ride but it suffices in the moment and that's the most important thing.
As far as an extremely low-budget, mumblecore-style film goes, Phillips' hat in the ring is sweet and off-kilter enough to play ball. It doesn't hit the heights and the commentary of technological and relationships that Joe Swanberg films often do nor does it find the beauty in the wry and situational like your average Duplass brothers' picture. Phillips' Bass Ackwards is more intent with bringing you little moments on a big adventure; an adventure you may find yourself taking at one point in your life for no reason at all.
Starring: Linas Phillips, Davie-Blue, and Jim Fletcher. Directed by: Linas Phillips.