Determined to see "the river," two young children living in Los Angeles leave home to embark on a magical urban odyssey, in the marvelous new film by American indie icon Alexandre Rockwell (In the Soup).
Playing as part of Little Feet preceded by Old Moon
Returning to his early roots and shooting on 16mm black-and-white stock that he had been saving for years, Alexandre Rockwell turns Little Feet into a perfectly judged miniature of deep intimacy and near-neorealist power. The film feels like a rediscovery — of what a camera can do, of what simplicity brings to a film, of what improvisation can add to the texture and flavour of a work.
The film is about children, and the story is one of utter guilelessness. A couple of young kids living in Los Angeles (played by Rockwell's children Nico and Lana), decide that they want to see "the river." Setting out alone, their encounters along the way provide the heart and soul of the movie. Moments of wordless play are interspersed with the camera exploring the city as if through the eyes of his youthful protagonists. Hearkening back to some of the great masters who have mined this idea — Vigo, Truffaut, Fellini — Rockwell finds, in these straightforward and uncomplicated exchanges, the magic of a lost world.
Little Feet starts amidst the familiarity of
home, but soon moves into the foreignness
of the streets of the city as our gang of little
feet strays further and further away, and the
search for "the river" takes them well beyond
that place. Little Feet is preceded by a screening
of Raisa Bonnet's Old Moon. Bonnet is a
student of Rockwell's and her film, set in
Puerto Rico, is another work of naturalness,
sketching an almost wordless tale of
the relationship between a young girl and
her grandmother. Beautifully shot, it never
tries to do too much within its limited running