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‘A Love Song’ is a film of extraordinary peace in a noisy world

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If you’ve never gone into any type of silent meditation that lasts more than a few minutes—a Quaker meeting, a Vipassana weekend, try it out to see if a Carthusian monk’s condensed lifestyle is right for you. Here’s what it can feel to like. The first three minutes are fun, like playing a quiet game in the back of a car, before you realize it’s a way for your parents to silence you for a few minutes. In the next 10 minutes it looks like you might die if you don’t look at your phone. After 20 more, you kind of settle down. The sounds around you (because humans are really incapable of being silent) become louder and somehow more endearing. Afterwards, your brain feels like it should rest and function in a way it hasn’t in a long time. And for a while, you take her back to the noisy world.

The movie “A Love Song” is something similar. In a filmmaking universe where Michael Bay and Zack Snyder are in a battle to see who can damage more earrings, first-time feature writer and director Max Walker-Silverman has dealt with the opposite. There is an excellent soundtrack and sound including the score, but no noise. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a deep breath and a cold drink.

We meet Faye (Dale Dickey), a woman with enough lines on her face to suggest that her life hasn’t been easy, camping by a lake in Colorado. This is not a spectacular landscape; The mountains are relatively small, and the grass is dry. While Faye is single, we are not sure if she is alone. One thing we’re sure of is that she’s looking forward to meeting Lito (Wes Study), a friend she hasn’t seen in decades. We also know that unless she writes “today” on a randomly chosen Thursday, her calendar is almost completely blank.

When Lito arrives, the silence continues, but in a different way. No small talk, no idle chatter. They sit, they play their guitars, they eat ice cream. Minimal dialogue means that each action takes place on a more substantial intimacy. It almost feels intrusive to see them set up a tent, because that moment is so special, so personal.

Dickie and Study, both veteran actors with multiple career-plus credits, are exceptional to the point that it’s hard to explain why and how good they are. They are absolute masters of their craft, and Walker-Silverman wisely lets them do their job. In fact, if she had chosen to put these two in Faye’s trailer without a script, mount some cameras, drop them off to drink some beers and come back to see what footage she got. , so maybe there will be gold in his hands. Instead, he works with them. He knows when a close-up creates a connection between the audience and the actor, and he knows when a wide shot does the same thing. Although Faye and Lito both begin — and, to a large extent, remain puzzles, we also feel like we know them on some crude level.

Like silent meditation, “a love song” isn’t for everyone. The film requires its audience to both stand still and be engaged. They are skills that many directors no longer value, so they are skills that many filmmakers do not have. But for those who will, “A Love Song” is a special film that will stick with you even after the real-life cacophony around you returns.

Postgraduate. in cinemas in the area. Contains mature thematic elements. 81 minutes.

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