Levi Agee’s Screengems: Come Morning opens next weekNovember 29, 2013
By Levi Agee
Derrick Sims slow burn southern gothic film Come Morning will have it’s Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas this winter. Having already played at the Monticello Malco Theater on November 20, the film will start showing in NWA at the Rogers Towne Cinema on December 5 and in Little Rock at Market Street Cinema a day later on December 6. Come Morning, set in 1973, is about an older man named Frank and his grandson go on an afternoon hunt and an unfortunate accident shooting a trespasser on their land instead of a deer.
The film stars Michael Ray Davis, Thor Wahlestedt, Elise Rovinsky, Blake Logan, Maurice Mejia, Dean Denton, and Thomas Moore. Like the writer, director, cinematographer, and editor Sims, quite a few of the cast and crew are from or have ties to Arkansas.
Sims, who is from Kingsland, Arkansas and went to Henderson State University for a degree in Mass Media and Theater now lives in Burbank California and works as a Director of Photography, Editor and Colorist for Fabled Motion Pictures. Dean Denton who appears in the film as Jim, studied at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville before moving to Los Angeles to work in TV in film for a number of years before moving back to Arkansas to be close to his family. Thomas Moore who plays Marion Mitchell in the film grew up in Jacksonville and Richard Ledbetter who plays Charlie another pivotal role in the film is a Fordyce native. Jeremy Holden (Will) and Joel Gray (Jess) as small town police officers in the film were both born in raised in Arkansas.
The film has played well in festivals across the country including the Austin Film Festival, Oxford Film Festival and White Sands International Film Festival where it has received and been nominated for numerous awards including Best Narrative Feature and Best Cinematography. I was lucky enough to see a screener copy of the film and I enjoyed it.
As I mentioned earlier the film is a slow burn but if you’re patient enough the final act of the film is chock full of tension and suspense with exceptional performances by all of the leads. Sims has crafted this film in the vein of a darker Coen Brothers movie or perhaps taking some notes from David Gordon Green’s undertow or even Jeff Nichols’ Mud in some ways. Come Morning is not just a frivolous pulp thriller but an earnest look at a backwoods tragedy and the dark history and politics of small towns. For more information about the film visit fabledmotionpictures.com.
Levi Agee is a filmmaker and programmer for the Little Rock Film Festival. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org