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Carson Lund Eephus Movie Review


Eephus | 2024 Cannes Film Festival Review

Eephus | 2024 Cannes Film Festival Review

Diamonds Are Not Forever: Lund Looks Beyond America’s Favorite Pastime

Carson Lund Eephus Review Even with a full count of three balls and two strikes, it may seem like the stakes are low, but the never-mentioned patriarchal foundations are rife with uncertainty in filmmaker Carson Lund’s feature film debut. As a regular contributor to Tyler Taormina’s recent cinema of suburbia and nostalgia, working with the same reflections of the past in a short and very present window — it would be a huge oversight to peg this simply as a pinstripes and leather glove essay. Working within masculinist traits and rural mindsets parameters, Eephus is reminiscent of Richard Linklater’s seminal walk-and-talkathon Slacker. A micro-indie that is full of aimless banter without a clear focal point, and populated by an array of undeniably eccentric yet easily forgettable characters, the titular baseball pitch that catches the batter off guard serves as a fitting allegory for how a collection of male egos who were ill-prepared for a future that no longer invites them to be the centre of the pitcher’s mound. Employing a formal strategy that utilizes the baseball diamond as a sanctuary, Lund’s unassuming portrait casts a sincere light on this microcosm, however, akin to watching the sport itself, the film can be sluggish in parts and lacks a bit of punch—put simply in layman baseball terms, it’s a solid double.

In a small-town New England baseball diamond, adorned in traditional divisive colors of blue and red we encounter two opposing beer league baseball teams. In the collection of infield and outfield men going to war, we see token young players with hopeful futures alongside pot-bellied lovers of America’s favorite pastime who are also past their prime. The infield includes cigarette-smoking, beer-can-chugging folks who admittedly might have made odd life choices but from dirty uniforms to friend and foe dynamics you’ll be hard-pressed to take away the rituals that belong to this game. There are exceptions – as the scene-stealing presence of former professional ball player in Bill Lee – who defiantly still has it “in him” and the full of zest inspired casting choice in the radio voice of filmmaker Frederick Wiseman.

Carson Lund Eephus Movie Review

As they take to the field for one last game, the need for securing a victory plays less of significance to trying to hold onto and safeguard their love and standing — change is good but it’s also a slow-moving accident. Each player, to some extent, understands what is at stake: for a few, it is a game of inches, for the rest, it is a loss of the summer hangout ritual that allowed for things to stay the same. Penned by Lund, Michael Basta, and Nate Fisher, much of the dialogue revolves around typical on-field banter and playful jibes, interwoven with snippets of adverts from the local radio station, creating a stream-of-consciousness-like narrative.

Lund inserts a chaptered-like set of adages from some of baseball’s greats in what could be described as scorecard Haikus which works well with the numerous (designed with cinematographer Greg Tango) camera set-ups — each play deserving of its own POV, crack of the bat sounds, errors and saves on the field. Employing a linear format and count up or down of the innings, fortunately, this is less of a sports-themed film and more of a proper decade-plus seismic shift in social standing norms. Eephus might be an uneventful film but it’s not without its charm. The fall season can be death, but the first part is a longer cycle-of-bloom – it depends if the beer can approach is half full or half empty.

Reviewed on May 19th at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival – Directors’ Fortnight. 98 Mins.


Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury 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 was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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