We all have a past. Most of us want to forget much of what we have done, where we have gone and who we have met. We want to start over, with no ties and no responsibilities. In Calvin Lee Reeder's The Oregonian, the protagonist feels the same way. After suffering a car wreck she wanders into the thick woods, running away from her problems but mentally proving that many are never to be forgotten.
I will not lie, I did not enjoy Reeder's The Oregonian, in fact, I wanted to walk out. However, out of respect for the filmmaker and actors I chose to stick it out. As the credits rolled, I still wasn't a fan, but I had gained an understanding for the film, and though I didn't enjoy it, I somewhat understood its purpose. For that, I applaud Reeder. Will I ever see this film again? Probably not.
Given a protagonist without a name, played by 'True Blood' actress and Utah native Lindsay Pulsipher, audiences are sent on an adventure that never truly makes any sense. Left to fully dissect the film's plotline and interpret the actions for your own understanding, Reeder has crafted a truly symbolic film that requires an active mind and a late night screening time. This isn't a film to be watched during the middle of the day, and it is unlikely that you will walk away scared. However, if you are like me and the rest of the Sundance 2011 attendees, you will be discussing the premise and your own interpretations long after you leave the theater.
All together, the loud screeching and the constant flashbacks and skipped spots within the film left me frustrated and confused. It is a Grindhouse style film, and that I can respect; but, the film goes on too long and never really answers any questions. I get that there will be those who will enjoy the film, and Reeder admits that The Oregonian isn't for everyone and I couldn't agree more.