Brian Mihok's — ‘Sunspot’ — an homage to Realist cinema of the '70s and '80s, a solid debut. - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Brian Mihok's — ‘Sunspot’ — an homage to Realist cinema of the '70s and '80s, a solid debut.

Brian Mihok's — ‘Sunspot’ — 

an homage to Realist cinema of the '70s and '80s, a solid debut. 

Brian Mihok’s “Sunspot” is not a film for everyone but for those movie fans that enjoy watching people reminisce about their boring existence this will remind you, I think, of the work of John Cassavetes and is an homage to the Realist cinema of the '70s and '80s. The director took a minimalist approach to storytelling and won nine awards (Directing, Acting, and Best Feature awards) for his efforts, and the film has been selected to screen at over a dozen festivals all over the world, from Milan to New York to Los Angeles. 

This is Mihok's feature-length directorial debut with a film that had a budget of just $10,000 and to that, I tip my proverbial hat to his determination and solid storytelling in his minimalist approach. 

The story is about a young woman, River, struggling to find her place in the world living in a community for the working poor, and can be seen as a narrative that is glued together by a series of vignettes.

I can’t say that I care about River, to be frank. She’s just there but perhaps that’s what the director wanted? An everywoman that doesn’t leave any impression bad or good. The plot is paper thin if there is a plot at all. The annoying guitar music, I think, was inserted to try and string these scenes together but it’s a distraction (and not in a good way). 

Don’t get me wrong. I find great beauty in the “ordinary” and in my personal experience, those people considered hard working and the salt of the earth, are filled with interesting, untold stories that tease being unearthed.  Sadly, this isn’t the case in this film. 

However, River’s aimless wondering does hit some tender spots along the way, not many but enough to make a view pause, and think. 

As a director, I believe that Mihok is someone to watch. I feel that in this film he’s proven that he’s interested in looking inside his characters with respect and enough fascination that will eventually shape him into a first-rate storyteller. 

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