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Open Five Opens Indie Memphis

October 14, 2010

A film as much about a sense of place as it is about the relationships that occur over one vacation weekend in Memphis, Open Five is a quiet but beautiful film by Memphis filmmaker Kentucker Audley. Opening next Thursday (Oct. 21) at Indie Memphis, the film will screen at 9 p.m. at the Playhouse on the Square in Memphis. But if you are unable to attend, don’t fret, you can still take part in the fun by watching the film for free online at http://www.KentuckerAudley.com beginning at the same time as the screening. The film will be free online for only a limited time.

Kentucker Audley and Jake Rabinbach star as two Memphis boys who spend a weekend on a double date with two girls from New York. Rabinbach wrote the film as a love letter to the city that opened up to him when he moved there in 2005 to start a band.

“As a musician from New York City living and playing in Memphis, my relationship to the city has always been one of searching—-searching for the best and most authentic live rhythm and blues music, the best barbecue, the best places to swim in the middle of the night, the right rhythm section for my particular brand of Yankee-Dixie Rock and Roll music, and of course the right audience to play it for,” Rabinbach said. “Some of it came easy and some of it I’m still searching for, a fitting experience considering Memphis is a place defined both by incredible ease and undeniable struggle.”

The film aims to be a realistic portrait of Memphis both from the outside and inside and it achieves that with its quiet rambling weekend of Memphis experiences, both touristy and hometown.

We see Elvis Week, Cozy Corner BBQ, Beale Street and New Olivet Baptist Church, but we also see the quiet evenings in the backyard with friends and a dog talking about nothing, the garage parties and the restless nature of its youth. But as you can fall in love just with the journey through the city that they take, the film is also about these characters and how they relate to one another as they travel through the sights. Jake is a man torn between two worlds, a musician in both New York and Memphis, but with his two worlds seemingly different. Yet, his friends from both manage to blend well while his relationship with a girl from New York suffers when he attempts to bring her into his Memphis life. It shows that a film that seems quiet and simple can have so much more happening under the surface with the Jake forced to make choices about his life.

After the film screened in Atlanta Film Festival, a critic dubbed it mumblecore because of its low budget and quiet sensibility but with bad camera blocking. I disagree completely. Much like Aaron Katz’ “Quiet City,” because of its intimate character driven story. Yes, it is intimate and it is about the characters but is so much more about the place. The film has several very beautiful images including the closing shot which is simple yet stunning and the framing of several scenes that let the action leave the scene, letting our imaginations wander. For example, when two characters are kissing, they next walk off screen and we are left for a good 15 seconds watching the couch listening to the music as it continues to play. I find shots like that refreshing to allow the story to breath and allow the audience to participate by forcing them to insert what they believe is happening off screen (It’s sex, ya’ll, but hey, you never know).

This is Audley’s third feature film, “Team Picture” and “Holy Land” both went on to some success. Audley also had a short film in last year’s Indie Memphis. Rabinbach divides his time between New York and Memphis serving in bands in both cities, much like his character, Jake. Crew includes Joe Swanberg as director of photography and David Lowery, both well known filmmakers on the festival circuit. The film is produced by Nick Case and Ryan Watt of Paper Moon Films – the Memphis based production company. Case is a graduate of Ole Miss with a degree in marketing. Alarum Pictures also executive produced with Adan Hohenberg, producer of numerous Memphis films, on board.

For more on tickets and Indie Memphis, visit www.indiememphis.com

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