×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Open Five

"Open Five" explores the frailty of romantic relationships and the strength of open-endedness on a double-date tour of Memphis.

With:
With: Shannon Esper, Jake Rabinbach, Kentucker Audley, Genevieve Angelson, Amy Seimetz.

Illustrating Stephen Stills’ maxim “If you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with,” Tennessee mumblecore helmer Kentucker Audley’s third feature, “Open Five,” explores the frailty of romantic relationships and the strength of open-endedness on a double-date tour of Memphis. A filmmaker (Audley) and a musician (co-writer Jake Rabinbach) squire two visiting Brooklyn actresses around their hometown, hitting high spots and low. More focused than many of its brethren, “Five” opens Nov. 26 and reps another worthy theatrical preem for Gotham’s ReRun Gastropub Theater, fast becoming the NXNE launchpad for minimalist SXSW-type fare.

Pic opens with a nighttime cuddle on a Gotham fire escape. Jake (Rabinbach) invites new g.f. Lucy (Shannon Esper) to join him at his home in Memphis, assuring her that his former g.f. (Amy Seimetz) will have moved out before she arrives. Lucy does indeed come to visit, but accompanied by her best friend, Rose (Genevieve Angelson), which considerably alters Jake’s imagined scenario.

It quickly becomes apparent that Lucy is hiding something, investing the genre’s usual awkward pauses with palpable narrative tension. She eventually admits she met someone in New York and is unwilling to enter into a long-distance relationship with Jake, though they eventually relax back into friendly sex. Rose, meanwhile, has hooked up with Jake’s pal Kentucker (Audley), and the four set out to see the sights, from cozy little dives to gospel-rocking churches to tourist-jammed Graceland, music providing the thematic thread.

If “Open Five” is about something other than hanging out in Memphis, it’s long-term commitment. Given the ease with which Jake and Lucy slide in and out of romantic couplings, the question is less whether they can sustain lasting relationships than whether any projected future is even feasible. The strength of the film is that director Audley, together with lenser Joe Swanberg (a venerable mumblecore helmer himself), poses the conundrum less through dialogue than in purely visual terms; closeups of lovers fully invested in each other are juxtaposed with amorphous long shots (i.e., Jake and his dog desultorily meandering through the countryside). Characters’ connections with their surroundings shift constantly — their ability to go with the flow, latching onto each other along the way, becomes less a moral choice than an organic response.

Thesping is faultless, particularly on the part of the women, with Angelson enormously appealing in her expanded sidekick role. Rabinbach, falling back on his real-life musical skills, fares better than taciturn Audley, whose work as filmmaker is never brought up in the story.

Assured tech credits belie the pic’s budget, reportedly less than $20,000.

Open Five

Production: A Paper Moon Films production in association with Alarum Pictures. Produced by Nick Case, Ryan Watt. Executive producer, Adam Hohenberg. Co-producer, Nicki Newburger. Directed, edited by Kentucker Audley. Screenplay, Audley, Jake Rabinbach.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Joe Swanberg, sound, David Lowery; associate producers, Guy Cobb, Reece Crothers, Kent Osborne, Jeni Stephens, Leonard Zelig. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Nov. 19, 2010. Running time: 66 MIN.

With: With: Shannon Esper, Jake Rabinbach, Kentucker Audley, Genevieve Angelson, Amy Seimetz.

More Film

  • SONDRA LOCKESONDRA LOCKE - 1986

    Oscar Nominee Sondra Locke Dies at 74

    Actress and director Sondra Locke, who received a supporting actress Oscar nomination in her first movie role for “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” died Nov. 3 at 74. The Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed her death. She died due to breast and bone cancer, according to Radar Online, which reported that she [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • 'Dead Women Walking' Review: Uncompromising, Powerful

    Film Review: 'Dead Women Walking'

    The sober and gripping “Dead Women Walking” focuses on the final days of a series of female inmates facing the death sentence. Divided into nine chapters, each inching its way inexorably closer to the moment of execution, the drama turns the fragmentation of its approach to a powerful advantage. Not only do the individual stories [...]

  • Sam Mendes

    Sam Mendes' World War I Drama '1917' Set for Awards-Season Launch on Christmas 2019

    Universal Pictures has given an awards-season release date of Dec. 25, 2019, to Sam Mendes’ World War I drama “1971.” Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is producing “1917” through its DreamWorks Pictures brand. “1917” will open in limited release on Christmas Day then go wide two weeks later on Jan. 10, 2020. Mendes wrote the script [...]

  • Ventana Sur Queer Latin Film Panel

    Ventana Sur: Panel Talks Merits, Setbacks in Latin Queer Cinema

    BUENOS AIRES — Four venerable professionals from the cinema world joined on Monday evening for Queer Cinema In Latin America, a frank discussion on Latin America’s role within the queer filmscape for Ventana Sur’s Industry conference series held at the UCA campus in Buenos Aires. Touching on advancements in character arc and notable achievements in [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez 'Absolutely' Wants to Direct Film and Television

    Jennifer Lopez epitomizes the phrase “she’s done it all” — but there’s still more that the superstar would like to do. Lopez recently directed her first music video, “Limitless,” the track featured on her new rom-com “Second Act,” and it seems the multi-hyphenate has caught the directing bug. “Absolutely, absolutely,” Lopez responded when asked by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content