23 January 2009 | jonahsavant
The Best Film at Sundance. An original.
After seeing "Neal Cassady" at the Woodstock Film Festival last year, I was interested to see what young director Noah Buschel would do with the noir genre. I was not disappointed.
Like his beat "biopic," Buschel turns the genre right on it's head and makes something completely fresh and new. "The Missing Person" has very little to do with it's surface elements, and much more to do with innovative and original film-making.
Michael Shannon delivers his best performance to date. It's him in full movie star wattage. He looks great, he sounds great, and he makes a great damaged hero. The rest of the cast is so superb you almost wish there was more of them in the film.
Perhaps the best use of jazz music I've heard in a film.
There will be those who want a faster paced movie. More violence and quickness and loudness. They should just watch "Brick." That was a good example of a shallow neo-noir. This is not "Brick." This is a deep and unique film about loss. And also, somehow, a hilarious film about loss.
Geoffrey Gilmore, the festival director, introduced "The Missing Person" the night I saw it at Sundance. He said that it was the first film accepted at Sundance this year and that Buschel was doing something no one else was doing right now, which was going back to old forms and making them new again. A lost art, he said. Something that 70's directors used to do a lot.
The key point he made was that "The Missing Person" was an utterly unique film in the guise of a noir film. I couldn't agree more.