Monday, December 15, 2014

The Dust Factory

I'm back, did you miss me? Ok, enough joking around…

This post will probably be one of the ones that makes me the most nervous. I suppose it's because it's about a film that matters a great deal to me, and I know that it won't be everyone's cup of tea. I don't want you to think I’m weird, and all that. But I'm willing to risk that, because I think it's a great shame that next to nobody knows about it. I'm tired of being one of a handful of people that cares about it, let alone knows about it. I want everyone to have the chance to see it… even if they end up hating it. Enjoyment of, and learning from, something is multiplied when shared. It's not quite hitting where it should for me, if I have no one to analyze it with. "Meet me halfway, ____?"

At its heart, this movie is about a young boy, struggling to understand how to cope with loss and life.

Without giving too much away, I will endeavor to explain why it meant so much to me, all while getting you curious enough to take the leap yourself. (I hope, that is.)

Ryan Flynn, when we meet him, is mute by choice, as a result of something that happened years earlier. Let's stop there a moment.

I need to give major props to the actor, Ryan Kelley… I had thought his small contribution to Smallville history was incredible. So much so, that when I saw a DVD cover with him on it at the video store, I had to rent it. (ok, the synopsis on the back was also intriguing) It was this film… and this role is what cemented my admiration for him from that point on. Speaking as a community theatre actress, and as a person in general… what he pulled off as a teenager… in this role, was difficult.

Sure, everyone is expressive in their own way. But to get your point across, in a genuine, believable way, with just your eyes and expressions is tricky. But he pulled it off… I always knew what he was thinking or trying to say, even when he wasn't speaking. Odd as it sounds, the times he didn't speak, were the ones that made me realize how gifted an actor he truly is. Anyway, back to the film itself.

It's obvious from the beginning, that Ryan's hurting… his mom has trouble reaching him. His best friend Rocky (played by Michael Angarano) has a little better luck, but not much…

and let's just say, I wish everyone had a friend like him. He's awesome. :) Fairly early on in the film, something happens that changes everything.

This is when things get wacky for Ryan… he finds himself somewhere familiar, yet changed. A place where his grandfather (Armin Mueller-Stahl) with Alzheimer's is lucid, and he meets a spunky girl named Melanie (played by Hayden Panettiere) who has been there for years. A place known as The Dust Factory… a sort of in-between place. (if I say much more, it'll ruin it)

Throughout this film, our protagonist is forced to face his insecurities and fears… and to relearn about love, imagination, faith and hope.

Favorite quotes, that are always better in context:

1) "I mean, if there weren't a God… that'd be harsh!" -Rocky
I totally get what he means by that!! I don't know where I'd be without God…

2) "Sometimes, you have to step back, to see what's right in front of you." -Grandpa
Ain't that the truth… thanks for the reminder!

3) "When I die, I don't want it to hurt." -Ryan
I've totally felt this way, and said this myself. I am convinced I should die in my sleep. Life is painful enough… why leave this world that way? Glad to know this is a more universal feeling than I originally thought.

4) "The man in the moon has a magic all his own." -Grandpa

I have to admit, writing about this beautiful, deep, lost in time film from 2004 took some thinking on my part. I had to figure out the perfect way to draw you in, without totally spoiling it for you. I would have loved to have said more… and to shown you more quotes. And if this was a more popular film, and a regular review… I wouldn't have minded so much if I "ruined" it. But I dare not… it's one of those things you have to experience for yourself, to truly "get". And I don't want to take that from you. I mean, why give you every detail and have you wonder why you watched it… if I gave it all away, there'd be no point. And my goal for this post, is to get you to see it. Anyway, I'll leave you now, with this…

"See ya later!"
"Not later… just 'see ya'."
-Ryan and Melanie

author's note: screencaps taken from the film, by me.
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  1. I've never heard of this film, but it sounds so awesome. I like awesome, obscure films. The only downside of that is that there's no one to fangirl with, because no one's watched it.

    Anyway. This movie sounds rad.


    1. Thanks for commenting, I'm glad you liked my review! Let me know if you ever get to see the film? I'd love to have someone to chat about it with! :)