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A carousing college professor's life takes a series of unimaginable turns, and all the old stories are given a new twist, when he begins to have surreal hallucinations and learns he may not be long for this world.
Antoine Olivier Pilon
Michael Brown's birthday begins with a telephone call from his estranged, drug addicted brother Tobey. Tobey is totally unaware that it is his older brother's birthday, but he is very aware that his car is broken, and he begs Michael to drive him on various apparently legitimate, vital errands. As Bruce Springsteen has astutely noted, "a man who turns his back on his family just ain't no good". So Michael puts off his seemingly romantic birthday plans, and with his brother embarks on a sketchy, meandering day long odyssey though the mysteries of Los Angeles County. As the day wears on, it becomes clear that this drive will lead them to some very unexpected destinations.Written by
Funny, quirky little indie with a fantastic soundtrack
I attended the World Premiere of "Passenger Side" at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival. Written and directed by Matthew Bissonnette, "Passenger Side" stars Joel Bisssonnette and Adam Scott as two brothers reluctantly brought together on a mission to find...well, we're not quite sure. And, yes, Joel is Matthew's brother, so it would be hard to escape the autobiographical implications of Bissonnette's script.
Road movies are not that rare. What is novel, however, is one which takes place within the confines of one city. Here the location is Los Angeles.
"Passenger Side" is indie all the way -- in its look, sound, and quirky sensibilities. Nothing fancy here, just a character-driven narrative that is both poignant and witty, as one would expect from a story centered around two brothers driving around in a car for a day. The strength of a film like this lies in the impact of the sketch comedy represented by each stop along the way, and some vignettes are gut-bustingly hilarious.
What makes this film unique, though, is the way in which the filmmakers worked the music into the story. Unlike most movies where songs are added in post-production as they become available, Bissonnette actually crafted scenes around tunes that he already had in mind. It's as if the movie is a series of music videos, with the action set to the songs, not the other way around. I got chills when the pair reached the shores of the Pacific with Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" playing in the background ("you can hear the boats go by...").
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