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Greasewood Flat

The theme of redemption delivers limited dramatic force in writer-director Susan K. Brigham's "Greasewood Flat." Many familiar tropes of indie cinema, from the dissolute urbanite finding "real folk" back home in the sticks to families teetering on the edge of collapse to a faith in characters' capacity to heal themselves are all on display.

The theme of redemption delivers limited dramatic force in writer-director Susan K. Brigham’s “Greasewood Flat.” Many familiar tropes of indie cinema, from the dissolute urbanite finding “real folk” back home in the sticks to families teetering on the edge of collapse to a faith in characters’ capacity to heal themselves are all on display and expressed with sincerity, but without the kind of originality that would help pic play far beyond regional fests. Modest vid and cable sales, though, shouldn’t be out of reach.

Alienating almost everyone around him in L.A., guitarist-singer Johnny (Chip Adams) ventures to his kin’s forlorn Arizona home, Greasewood Flat, where his sister Claire (Allison Marley) is struggling to keep their restaurant business alive. Outwardly resembling Jesus, but a ball of rage inside, Johnny eventually gets on everyone’s nerves, particularly Claire’s, who is hardly the picture of grace herself. These and other wounded souls living on America’s edge often feel like refugees from a John Sayles film; but story’s tidy conclusions could have used a dose of Sayles-like uncertainty.

Greasewood Flat

  • Production: An Archer Prods. presentation. Produced by Susan K. Brigham, Gary P. Brigham. Executive producer, Gary P. Brigham. Co-producer, Derek A. Welte. Directed, written by Susan K. Brigham.
  • Crew: Camera (Fotokem color and prints, Super 16mm-to-35mm), Ronald L. Walker; editors, Walker, Brigham; music, Mark Vogel; art director, Robert Michael Glenn. Reviewed at Dances With Films, Santa Monica, July 31, 2003. (Also in USA Film Festival.) Running time: 122 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Mark Boone Junior, Irene Bedard, Chip Adams, Allison Marley, Virginia Hawkins, Lee McLaughlin, Jamie Johnsen-Brigham, Kieran Mulroney.