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A family feud in rural Arkansas threatens to erupt in this American indie that returns in feel to the character-driven, landscape-rich works of Hollywood in the 1970's, and in plot to more ancient tales of blood ties and vengeance. Produced by David Gordon Green (George Washington) and shot in breathtaking CinemaScope, this debut by Jeff Nichols is a lyrical ode to the slow-paced rhythms of the forgotten South, and to the dreamers and dead-enders that struggle within it. The discarded sons of patriarch Cleaman Hayes, who left to form a "better" family elsewhere, bear the evidence of their father's detachment in their names: Son, Boy and Kid. Years later, they're still living half-sketched lives. When their father finally passes away, the three men decide to attend his funeral, sparking a bitter war with his "better" sons. It's a war that, even fought half-heartedly by half-wits, with broom handles and fists, can only lead to one conclusion. Nichols, a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts (Green's alma mater) plays out this timeless, seemingly archaic tale across an equally archaic landscape of cotton fields, back roads to nowhere, deserted towns and long sunsets over emptied lands. Like its characters and its setting, Shotgun Stories is not "of" or about this era of mobile phones and digital downloads. Shotgun Stories is deeply rooted in the abandoned American South, with a lyrical feel for its intimate rhythms and heat-baked landscapes. The cinematic equivalent of a Cormac McCarthy novel, it's one of the most original debuts in years.
JEFF NICHOLS is a writer and director born in 1978 and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking in 2001. In addition to Shotgun Stories, Nichols has written and directed six short films. Since graduating, he has worked on several feature films including Gary Hawkins, The Rough South of Larry Brown and Margaret Brown's Be Here to Love Me, a Film About Townes Van Zandt. Nichols currently lives in Austin, Texas. Shotgun Stories is his feature directorial debut.
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