Described as a European flavored, romantic road-trip drama, “Here” is the latest effort from filmmaker and music video director Braden King (he’s worked with Sonic Youth, Chan Marshall, Will Oldham, Tortoise, Low, Yo La Tengo and Sparklehorse among others) and it boasts some strong talent.
The film stars Ben Foster and Lubna Azabal (who stars in Canada’s Best Foreign Film Oscar contender “Incendies“) as Will and Gadarine, two photographers who meet by chance in Armenia and decide to continue on their journey together, forging an instant bond. The film is not just a love story on the road as the ambitious production also boasts five interludes, helmed by five different directors (including King), that blur the line between film and documentary, movie and dream. In all, it weaves a lovely, dreamlike tapestry around a tale of solitary people who temporarily find a deep connection.
Michael Krassner, founder of the avant classical group Boxhead Ensemble and a frequent collaborator with King, scored the film (he also scored previous King short films as well as “Dutch Harbor: Where the Sea Breaks Its Back“). “Here,” the first American production to ever be shot in Armenia, premieres this afternoon at the Sundance Film Festival. Check out the full synopsis and three clips from the film below.
The first American film produced in the country of Armenia, Braden King’s HERE is a landscape-obsessed road movie that chronicles a brief but intense romantic relationship between an American satellite-mapping engineer (Ben Foster) and an expatriate Armenian photographer (Lubna Azabal), who impulsively decide to travel together into uncharted territory. Will Shepard’s solitary work – land-surveying satellite images to check for accuracy and resolve anomalies – is called “ground-truthing”. He’s been doing it on his own, for years, all over the world. Gadarine Najarian is a tough and intriguing art photographer on her first trip home in ages, passionately trying to figure out what kind of relationship – if any – she still has with her home country and culture. There is an almost instant, unconscious bond between these two lone travelers; they impulsively decide to continue together. The two become deeply connected as their sense of themselves – and their worlds – expands. As their trip comes to an end, each must deal with the conclusions to which their journey has led them – and each must decide where to go from HERE.