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Hobo with Shotgun Stories; Michael Pitt and Robinson Devor Team for Seminal Book “You Can’t Win” Screen Adaptation

Indie feature and docu helmer Robinson Devor will direct, while the extremely selective Michael Pitt will both star in and produce the seminal book to screen adaptation of Jack Black account of the life as a hobo in this 1920’s railroad Americana drama. Considered a staple by William S. Burroughs, the survivors guide/addiction-riddled story will be shot later this month in the train-yard friendly, Seattle. Variety reports that indie stalwarts Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy will produce with their Parts & Labor shingle alongside newbies Robert Scarff and Zach Sebastian. You can put You Can’t Win way up on our most anticipated must see films for next year.

Gist: Scripted by Devor, Pitt, Barry Gifford and Charles Mudede, this basically gives us a first person experience “in the hobo underworld, freight-hopping around the still Wild West of the United States and Canada. He tells of becoming a thief, burglar, and member of the yegg subculture, exploring the topics of crime, criminal justice, vice, addictions, penology, and human folly from various viewpoints, from observer to consumer to supplier, and from victim to perpetrator.”

Worth Noting: Devor was last working on a docu film based on Sara Jane Moore, a suburban, middle-aged wife and mother who attempted to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford on September 22, 1975 outside the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. From what we know the doc would still be in somewhere between production and post.

Do We Care?: After both wowing (Police Beat) and disturbing critics (Zoo ) – we are all aboard on any Parts & Labor project especially of this caliber. Pitt’s got a great face for the era — big question: will there be narration of any kind?

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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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