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October Country (2009)

April 1st, 2010 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · 2000's, Oregon director, Oregon film new definition, Oregon producer

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Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher’s first feature, a non-fiction portrait of an upstate New York family, was inspired by photographs by Mosher. It won the Grand Jury Award for Best US Feature in the 2009 Silverdocs documentary competition.

Palmieri’s music video clients have included The Strokes, Foo Fighters, Beck, Belle and Sebastian, Tears for Fears and The New Pornographers.

From a review on the film blog Hammer to Nail:

With October Country, Palmieri and Mosher have created a small and quiet masterpiece of transcendent filmmaking. The film is based on Mosher’s essays and photographs of his family and the town in which they reside. Palmieri, as the cinematographer and editor, gorgeously captures the shattered fairytales of Americana and the family unit that is supposed to reside within those fairytales, seemingly waiting for the most highly prismatic light at every moment with which to frame it all. I have seen few other instances where visual, aural and emotional instincts are so delicate and clean and pure. That delicacy and purity is in Palmieri and Mosher’s photography and in their musical score. It is also in their deep sensitivity to the liminal world around them, their subtle innate understanding of human emotional strength, and in their flawless cinematic craftsmanship. I was utterly transported.

Their storytelling partners are the shuttered, yet eloquent Don; the stoic, emotionally resonant Dottie; the wry and weary Donna and her two daughters, pain-filled young mother Daneal, and the young Desi who provides both uproarious comic relief and the wisdom of the ages; Don’s outcast and lonely sister, Denise, our guide into the spirit world (“Every family has its ghosts. You just have to figure out how to live with them.”); and the damaged foster kid, Chris, an outsider’s outsider, shunted aside since he was five by his birth family and out for revenge ever since because of it, even against the people who have shown him nothing but love and forgiveness. It’s quite a crew, and I fell madly in love with every single one of them.

— Pamela Cohn

October Country opens at Fox Tower in Portland on April 2. Filmmakers will be present after the 7:05 PM shows for Q & A on April 2 & 3 (Fri. & Sat.)

I hereby claim October Country as an Oregon film, based on the Portland citizenship of the filmmakers.

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