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2015 Sundance Trading Card Series: #45. Josh Hamilton (Take Me to the River)

2015 Sundance Trading Card Series: #45. Josh Hamilton (Take Me to the River)Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2014 discoveries”…
Josh Hamilton: Book: Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon. Record: The Clean — Anthology.
Movies: Dance of Reality and Two Days, One Night.

Lavallee: At this year’s Sundance, you’ve got a brief appearance in the Experimenter (working with a seasoned pro) but you find yourself (not unlike a “little” Sundance debut film called The House of Yes) working for a newbie. I was wondering if you could first describe your first impressions about Matt Sobel’s text, subtext, dialogue, themes and character set and if there is an added layer of profundity when you find yourself drawn to a project coming from a new voice?
Hamilton: When I first read Matt’s script, I was struck by the delicate yet unmistakable level of tension and unease that existed among these people. In any piece about families- where the layers of unresolved conflicts are so deep- it’s such a tightrope walk of not overwriting/over expressing these things and still revealing enough details and moments that draw you in and make you care enough to wonder “what the fuck is going on here?”

The atmosphere of suspicion created by the incidents in the film is- to me- just an extreme example of what goes on in so many families with legacies of anger and shame; resentments stoked by things such as which siblings stay and which leave —”American” values versus big city moral corruption–who Mom and Dad loved more……It was very clear that Matt knew these people and this place intimately and yet was enough of an outsider to have a clear-eyed take on it all. In terms of it being his first feature- Matt’s conviction of his aesthetic was so complete and his ability to communicate that to his actors so deft that I never really gave it a second thought.

Josh Hamilton Take Me to the River

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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