Final Film: Baraboo

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We wanted to like Baraboo, we really did. It was a sold out show with a long rush line, so we weren't the only ones looking forward to it. No by a long shot. Local filmmaker, local actors, local location...there was a lot of buzz leading up to it. Sitting in the theater, I was not at all surprised to notice that APT's Sarah Day was sitting right behind us.

There is no denying that the film had visual appeal. Shot in the rolling hills around Devil's Lake, it made me long to head out and do something in the Wisconsin summer.

The acting had a natural and improvised feeling...perhaps some of it was improvised. Sadly, the actors were not given much to do. Much like the lives of the characters, the plot didn't go anywhere. Things happened. Then there was a shot of the trees. Then more things happened. Then there were more trees. Maybe a tractor. Brief conversation that amounts to nothing. More trees. Wordless shot of character going about their daily activities. More trees. Mildly dramatic interlude that promises to really get things going...then doesn't. More trees. Brief conversation that amounts to nothing.

I don't think I've ever checked the time as often as I did while watching Baraboo. 99 minutes was about 79 minutes too long. I think that this would really have worked for me if it had been trimmed down to a 20 minute short. There was enough plot and character development for that length, but not to sustain a feature.

When I wasn't checking the time or hoping that a moment of conflict I was watching would develop into something more, I was imagining all the things I wanted to do this summer. Hey, they're having a bonfire. Oh, bonfires are great. Hey, that guy is biking. I want to do some real biking this year. Hmm, what a pretty area. I should road trip up and over there some weekend...

As the finale for our Film Fest weekend, it was a bit of an anticlimax. Still, it was a good weekend. Some films were far stronger than others, but even our least favorites were not stinkers. And we couldn't have hoped for better weather.

Here's to next year!

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This page contains a single entry by Kayjayoh published on May 6, 2010 10:57 AM.

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