"Sun Don't Shine"
Director/Writer: Amy Seimetz
Producers: Adele Romanski, Kim Sherman
Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Kentucker Audley, Kit Gwin, Mark Reeb and AJ Bowen ("A Horrible Way to Die")
Haunted by a recurring nightmare from childhood, writer and director Amy Seimetz attempts to actualize that very dream in her upcoming "Sun Don't Shine." Though she's keeping mum on plot details, we did get a sense of the film's themes and atmosphere in indieWIRE's interview.
The narrative opens mid-action during what is described as a "tense, mysterious roadtrip," with the viewer devoid of any further information. Two lovers driving through Florida who are "up to no good" may sound like a simple plot, though the thematic elements seem to carry a bit more weight.
Seimetz's attempt to fully realize her nightmare, she says, approaching themes such as "a sense of childlike denial in the face of adversity" and how "lying to yourself makes it impossible not to lie to other people." When asked to elaborate, she said that the notion came from having "these secrets that you know are lurking around in your family, and no one wants to tell you because you're too young, but as you get older you realize that they aren't withholding them from you simply because you're a child, but because they can't face the lies themselves."
Traveling through the "desolate yet hauntingly beautiful landscape of central Florida, the purpose of their journey is unclear, and the motivations behind their heated altercations and shady errands are hazy, but sporadic moments of tenderness illuminate the loving bond between the two that exists underneath their overt tensions," said the team's description.
The oppressive heat of Florida also contributed to Seimetz's vision, as she sees the state as a sort of purgatory, with "an underbelly of aggression," and as a place to, or from, which everyone is always escaping (retirees, newlyweds, etc). The morbidity of her impression of Florida extends to the darkly comic idea that Seimetz, as a child, always assumed that [her] body would end up in a swamp, and quietly accepted that fact.
She continued: "At a young age, I thought, 'that's where I'll end up.' Living in an atmosphere where it's hot all the time causes your surroundings to feel violent, even the landscape is this clash of the south and the tropical, and so it also becomes visually violent."
On the success of bringing her dream to reality, Seimetz said, "I was able to make my dream more realistic, I was able to take this very visceral and emotional feeling in the dream and ground it in a way that I wouldn't have been able to if I had just kept analyzing it."
This is Seimetz's first feature as a director. As an actress, she has a long list of indie credits that include "Autoerotic," "A Horrible Way to Die" and "The Myth of the American Sleepover."
Attempting a balance between cinema vérité and surrealism, Seimetz sticks to a linear, focused plot; the story takes place over a 12-hour period. Shot on Super 16, the film draws inspiration from 1970's flicks such as "Two-Lane Blacktop."
Kate Lyn Sheil plays Crystal and her boyfriend Leo is played by Kentucker Audley. The crew plans to wrap shooting this week in Florida; after that, Seimetz plans to take a deep, deep breath, and start editing.