Director Alexandre Rockwell collection now available to stream, including his most recent, Sweet Thing
Film Movement Plus invites home audiences back to school – film school, that is – with a curated selection of works from the award-winning filmography of one of the forefathers of the American independent film movement with THE ALEXANDRE ROCKWELL COLLECTION. Coming on the heels of his latest acclaimed theatrical release, SWEET THING, the collection, launching on September 17, takes viewers through Rockwell’s career, starting with his feature film debut, and ending with LITTLE FEET, a 2013 drama that returned him to his black & white Sundance-winning roots, allowing home audiences to view the evolution of Rockwell as an indie auteur. Perhaps best known for making the most of the small, quiet moments that other filmmakers might gloss over in favor of meatier drama, Rockwell’s ability to craft complex, multi-dimensional characters has gained him a dedicated following in the world of independent filmmaking.
While his latest film, SWEET THING, a family affair starring his children Lana and Nico Rockwell and his wife Karyn Parsons, premiered at the Berlinale 2020 and enjoyed an acclaimed theatrical release through Film Movement, Rockwell has a singular filmography showcasing the talents he has honed since his early days studying at Paris’ Cinemateque Francois, and Film Movement Plus celebrates the director and showcases some of his finest works with THE ALEXANDRE ROCKWELL COLLECTION, featuring four films – from his feature debut LENZ (1982) to 2013’s LITTLE FEET, the first film starring his children.
Rockwell’s debut feature, LENZ (1982) is an adaptation of Georg Büchner’s novella chronicling the poet Jakob Lenz’s gradual descent into insanity and madness. The setting is transposed from 18th century Germany to New York City’s early 1980s punk milieu. After premiering at the Berlinale, it quickly became a fixture of the Berlin and Munich midnight movie circuit, paving the way to the German financing of Rockwell’s sophomore effort, HERO. (92 minutes)
Beautifully photographed by regular Wes Anderson collaborator Robert Yeoman (in his first DP credit), Rockwell’s second film follows a makeshift family of eccentrics on the road in New Mexico. Though HERO (1983) won a Special Jury Prize at the U.S. Film Festival (later rechristened Sundance), it has been unseen for decades. When Paul, a disabled, disaffected teenager and his older adoptive sisters are pronounced by a protective-services bureaucrat to be “not our idea of a normal family,” they shed their gloomy urban confines and set out for Truth or Consequences, New Mexico in a Yellow Cab. As the cab wanders through the desert, the group meets a cast of colorful characters in a drama that Variety called “A major film poem of the independent American film movement”. (105 minutes)
IN THE SOUP
IN THE SOUP (1992) truly put Rockwell on the map after it beat out Reservoir Dogs for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Marking the beginning of a long collaboration with actor Steve Buscemi, IN THE SOUP follows Adolpho (Buscemi), a struggling screenwriter who has dreams of turning his 500-page screenplay into a film. Unemployed and in debt, he meets the boisterous and chaotic, Joe (Seymour Cassel) who wants to come on board as the film’s producer. Adolpho agrees, but quickly becomes a pawn in Joe’s wild shenanigans and criminal schemes that postpone his ultimate goal of getting the film made while bonding him ever closer to Joe. Buscemi and Cassel are just the tip of the iceberg for this wonderful cast: Jennifer Beals’ lovely performance as the literal girl-next-door is captivating, and peppered throughout the film are Carol Kane, Stanley Tucci, a very young Sam Rockwell, and a cameo by Jim Jarmusch. Trevor Johnston of Time Out called the film “an unheralded gem” and TV Guide wrote “There isn’t enough one could say about the casting in this film – it’s simply perfect. The story is elevated by the chemistry and sense of improvisation between Buscemi and Cassel.” (93 minutes)
Determined to set their pet goldfish free, Lana and Nico embark on a magical urban odyssey from their Los Angeles home to the ocean. Their adventure, seen through the eyes of the brother/sister team, is filled with an array of wild and sometimes frightening encounters. LITTLE FEET, featuring Rockwell’s children Lana and Nico, was a return to the black and white 16mm roots that won him the Grand Jury Prize for IN THE SOUP. Featuring acclaimed cinematography showing the poetic side of Los Angeles one rarely sees, LITTLE FEET, nominated for a prestigious “Best Film” Golden Spike at the Valladolid International Film Festival garnered critical acclaim from every quarter. Jeanette Catsoulis of The New York Times said “Ladles of charm and a tender poignancy, Little Feet is a quixotic poem to youthful resourcefulness” and Eric Kohn of Indiewire proclaimed it as “the first great film of 2014.” (60 minutes)
THE ALEXANDRE ROCKWELL COLLECTION Launches on Film Movement Plus September 17, 2021. Stream Four of the Indie Auteur’s Films, Including his 1982 Debut, LENZ, and Sundance Grand Jury Winner, IN THE SOUP.
His most recent release, SWEET THING, is available only on iTunes and Amazon.
FILM MOVEMENT PLUS (www.filmmovementplus.com) opens up a world of provocative, compelling and award-winning films from Film Movement’s singular library. Priced at $5.99 per month with a free 30-day trial, the SVOD subscription service, currently available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, mobile (iOS and Android), and Chromecast, offers consumers immediate access to over 400 festival favorite feature films and 100 short films, including: THEEB, the 2016 Academy Award® nominee for Best Foreign Film; AFTER THE STORM, a powerful family drama from 2018 Palme d’Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters); HUMAN CAPITAL, a political thriller from Paolo Virzi (The Leisure Seeker) that was Italy’s Best Foreign Film submission for the 87th Academy Awards® and MY LOVE, DON’T CROSS THAT RIVER, an unforgettable documentary about true love that transcends generations and cultures and is South Korea’s most successful film of all time. Classics from the Film Movement catalog include Bille August’s PELLE THE CONQUEROR, an Academy Award® winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 1996 and much more.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.