Sunday, October 14, 2012

Playing pool with the director of 'Sparrows Dance'

Noah Buschel looked at me. He was standing by the billiard table at the Colony Cafe. It?s a worn thing, small but usable. I said I was on my way out. He pleaded. Well, maybe not pleaded, but he said I could interview me while we played. Well, I thought, I can?t refuse a game of pool.

Over 15 minutes, Buschel and I played stripes and solids on the Colony table, which we found out was on a slant, really because the entire cafe is on a slant. As he was beating me early, he told me about his previous film at the festival, three years ago, a film called ?Neal Cassady,? about Cassady and Jack Kerouac, starring Amy Ryan and Tate Donovan. That year he couldn?t make it.

His film this year is ?Sparrows Dance,? starring Marin Ireland and Paul Sparks, about an agoraphobic woman who falls in love. Here was the kicker: While he was playing pool with me, Buschel?s film was playing down the road.

Why wasn?t he there?

?I?ve seen the movie,? he said. ?I mean, it?s about an agoraphobic in an apartment ? you don?t want to see that too many times.?

Fair enough. As we continued, he told me he was sick of his friends in Brooklyn making mumblecore movies. Those films, made with natural, improvisational dialogue with low-budget values and amateur actors, are still all the rage with young filmmakers despite peaking in popularity a few years back. That?s why he made ?Sparrows Dance.? It?s a story. And a simple, nice story with a nice script and two actors. It?s an independent filmmaker?s independent film. Simple as.

As for the game, I won with a nasty comeback, using the table?s natural slant.

?Sparrows Dance? screens at 5 p.m. at the Rosendale Theatre


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