Writer-director Matthew Nourse performs a piece of filmmaking haiku with “The Pacific and Eddy,” a graceful, atmospheric slice of life handsomely repping a trend of American indie director grasping the lessons of East Asian film artists. Basic narrative outline of Nourse’s script could very well fit inside an episode of a primetime youth soap, but a subtle and elliptical treatment makes all the difference in positioning pic as an title to watch in upcoming Cinequest and Anthology Film Archives unspoolings.
Returning to his beach hometown after fleeing from a tragic accident whose details are never revealed, Eddy (Ryan Donowho) blows unannounced into the lives of old buddy Barron (Mark Gregg) and aspiring artist Chelsea (Dominique Swain, in her most mature perf to date). Like a prodigal son with a black cloud over his head, Eddy has demons to exorcise, and the pic portrays his struggles in many cinematic ways other than mere talk. Nourse’s sensitivity to his cast’s nuances is matched by his fine cinematographer Aaron Platt’s and sound recorder Olivier Virmont’s sensual grasp of the sights and sounds of a small town by the shore.