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GIFFONI EXPERIENCE 2015 - 17.26 July

Sections & Films


Category: Edition 2015

James is a restless teenager lost in the wilderness of his own mind. He struggles to deal with the absence of his father, and lives in a world of his own making: a world that is defined by his bizarre fascination with death, leading him to believe he can foresee deaths. He seems strange to other kids, and his mother, Abigail, is concerned about her son’s social peculiarities. Visits with his psychiatrist don’t help, though James does take a liking to a fellow patient. Abigail’s concern comes to a head when, a day after James predicts that his hamster will die, it indeed comes true. James wanders from his home first into woods, then into the city, where he meets a mysterious kid. James will open his eyes as he will be forced to deal with the truth.

Category Official Competition
Section Generator +16
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 85'
Production Year 2014
Nationality USA
Directed by Michael Johnson
Screenplay Michael Johnson
Director of photography Adam Newport-Berra
Editor John-Michael Powell
Production Design David Storm
Costume Design Savannah Kay Johnson
Sound Steve Utt
Music Jonsi & Alex
Main cast Kodi Smit-McPhee (James Charm)
Virginia Madsen (Abigail Charm)
Isabelle Fuhrman (Val)
Danny DeVito (Walter Pembry)
Evan Ross (Harmon)
Sarah Buckley (Gunny)
Produced by Jonathan Schwartz, Andrea Sperling

Michael Johnson was raised in Portland, Oregon (USA). ALL THE WILDERNESS is his first feature film as a director.

Director’s statement
“ALL THE WILDERNESS started out as a short story that I wrote in 2010, entitled ‘Charm’. The story details a series of sessions between young ‘James’ and his psychologist, ‘Walter’. James has a strange obsession with death, and Walter tries desperately to get him to open up. The story is very cryptic. James has a dark persona, and his motives are never fully revealed throughout these meetings.

“The seed for ALL THE WILDERNESS grew from there. I became fascinated with the character of James and I wanted to know more about where his preoccupation with death came from. As I started working on the script, I wanted to shed light on James' issues, but I also wanted to tell a story about a teenager dealing with regular teenage problems.

“I set the story in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. The city itself soon became its own character. The Pacific Northwest has such a unique palette and landscape.

“ALL THE WILDERNESS is the culmination of many influences. There's a quote from Francis Bacon that could sum up the entire film, ‘Without friends, the world is but a wilderness’. The Carl Sandburg poem, ‘Wilderness’, served plenty of inspiration as well. In his autobiography, ‘Manhood for Amateurs’, Michael Chabon talks about, ‘the wilderness of childhood’. Chabon reminisces on growing up in a neighbourhood with an adjacent forest... always thinking there was something lurking in the trees at night.

“In the film, the wilderness comes to represent a number of things for James. It is both a sanctuary and a prison. It is a place that represents life and death. James is lost, constantly navigating the wilderness of a city, and the wilderness of his own mind.

“I wanted the story to feel like a poem. There is something very romantic and poetic about being a teenager that I wanted to capture. During those years, the amperage is turned way up. The first time you experience feelings like love, or loss, it is such an intense thing”.

Super Crispy Entertainment
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phone +1 2123081790
fax +1 2123081791
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