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The Independent Critic

Peter Carlson, Gabriel Meyer
Jared Varava
Justin Varava
7 Mins.

 "Tumbleweed!" Review 
Tumbleweed! is a 7-minute short film is the latest creation from An Illusion of Movement, an artistic collaborative featuring the individual and collective works of brothers Jared and Justin Varava. This time around, Jared directs the film and Justin serves as screenwriter for this unique and entertaining "true and historically accurate tale of one tumbleweed that did not tumble."

It's not often that you find yourself watching Western-themed short films, but the Varava's deserve major kudos for fully committing to this somewhat experimental theme and visual style. If you find yourself thinking "How could a film about a tumbleweed possibly be interesting,?" you're definitely not alone. Against the odds, however, Justin Varava has penned a narrative, delivered in Old West style by Gabriel Meyer, that holds your attention and makes you wonder where he's going to go next.

The other big thing that Tumbleweed! has going for it is stellar camera work by Damien Acevedo with pristine imagery while evoking both the faux seriousness and the absurdity of the entire scenario. Tim Rutili's original music slowly builds throughout the film's several minutes, simultaneously experimental and traditional enough that it would be right at home in a Coen Brothers film. The film also benefits from subtle yet effective special effects that will almost escape your attention until you find yourself reflecting back on the film and wondering to yourself "How did they do that?"

Tumbleweed! was recently completed by the Varava brothers after a three year production journey and is now preparing for its festival run where it's likely to experience considerable success on the indie and microcinema fest circuit.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic