Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Realm of the Bird

Author(s): Douglas Reese
Location: Michigan

"Realm of the Bird"

Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Produced by Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Lupi
Cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond
Film Editing by Steven Rosenblum
Art Direction by Nathan Crowley
Set Decoration by Nancy Haigh
Costume Design by Arianne Phillips
Original Song “One Night at a Time” performed by Bob Dylan

Main Cast

Samantha Morton … Carrie
Adrien Brody … Pete Townshend
Emile Hirsch … Charlie
Anne Hathaway … Nellie
Ellen Page … Bobbie Jo
Luke Wilson … Abbie Hoffman
Hunter Parrish … Daniel
Ashley Tisdale … Frances
Lenny Kravitz … Jimi Hendrix
Confidential … The Dark Shadow

Tagline: "They Came with Hope. They Left with Strength"


FRANCES (16) and DANIEL (17)
(Maysville, Kentucky)
They ran away from home. Their parents probably have the law looking for them, but they never mentioned Woodstock, not even once, so in their own mind, they are safe. Brother and sister, in need of fresh air of mommy and daddy’s suffocating love. Woodstock is that first step for freedom, where they can be accepted by what they are affected by: a deep affection for one another.

CHARLIE (20), BOBBIE JO (19), and NELLIE (26)
(Spring Gully, South Carolina)
The three are swarmed in on a tie-die painted school bus, heading for Woodstock to sell their precious LSD and Woodstock would be the best place to sell, to make enough money, to purchase whatever they please, whenever. They call themselves Lucy’s Children.

(Skandia, Michigan)
She was brought there by a dream. Maybe she could actually talk to the man she finds irresistible to any person breathing. She gave her body away to many to get where she’s going. She loves him. She adores him. Pete Townshend…

PETE (23)
(The Who)
The fame, the fame. He loves all of his fans for adoring him. He makes sure day by day that he either gets a nice skinny broad in the sack, some good substances in his system and the loud cry of the audience as he performs. Woodstock was ‘made’ for him.

ABBIE (32)
(The Child of Woodstock Nation)
LSD. What everyone wants. The feeling – the heightening of all things weak into all things powerful. The growth of a child. A child of rebellion. A child of all that is best. Protester. Believer. Lover. He’s there to speak his mind. All that’s good. Yes, ‘all’ that’s good…

(??, ??)
It moves along through the festival. Three days he waits. He waits until the final performance. The very last one. He will pull the trigger. He will. He has to. The singer is too much for him. There is a grudge. There will be a murder, there will be an end. The world just can’t go on like this.

What the Press would say:

Paul Thomas Anderson follows up his brilliant “There Will Be Blood” with another masterpiece: “Realm of the Bird”. Visually astounding, powerfully acted, and masterfully told, “Realm of the Bird” trails the days of sex, drugs, rock n’ roll, and rebellion that existed among the individuals at the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. Stunningly directed and poetically written, Anderson’s screenplay follows nine lives that reach a decision to be what they are supposed to be: themselves. Anderson fuels a heavy-handed cast including Samantha Morton (“In America”) as a quiet and scrawny prostitute who begins to drown in her own obsession and cannot distinguish that she is sinking deep to the bottom of her desire. “Morton plays simple and reserved in a standout performance!”*

As the young LSD-dealing hippies called Lucy’s Children, Emile Hirsch (“Into the Wild”), Anne Hathaway (“Brokeback Mountain”), and Ellen Page (“Juno”) give bravura portrayals of three people drawn together, yet torn apart. Hirsch plays an openly gay man with perfection. Happy with his sexuality, yet peppered by society. Hathaway portrays a person so distracted by life’s importance and has trashed it with her naivety. And Page gives nerve as the strong-minded, but socially confused young woman who actually plans to flee from the festival in search of a better life full of acceptance and apprehension of how good of a person she believes she is. “Page delivers another Oscar-worthy performance!”**

As brother and sister who runaway to be what they truly are, Hunter Parrish (TV’s “Weeds”) and Ashley Tisdale (TV’s “High School Musical”) play the incestuous siblings with a manner of affection that they become believably two individuals that cannot deny a growing affection between each other. Love, they learn, is an uncontrollable thing and the rejection of approval leads them to taking radical choices for the sake of their emotions.

Adrien Brody (“The Pianist”) and Luke Wilson (“The Royal Tenenbaums”) give tremendously superior performances as The Who’s lead singer Pete Townshend and his rival, the anti-Vietnam flower child Abbie Hoffman. Two seemingly odd casting choices both lead toward two of the most demanding performances of the year, portraying true historical figures full of shadows and demons with incredible energy. “Brody is phenomenal!”* “Luke Wilson gives the performance of his career!”***

The film also includes many fantastic singers of today in the roles of the performers of yesteryear. The biggest highlight is Lenny Kravitz who gives a strong performance as Jimi Hendrix singing “Hey Joe” while The Dark Shadow (played by a surprise celebrity actor) is moments away from planning to murder him, only to take the life of one of the film’s leading characters. It is no doubt Paul Thomas Anderson has pulled together a film full of energy and hope that projects the American spirit as it was in the defiant lives of the Woodstock people in 1969. With terrific editing by Steven Rosenblum, a bold original song performed by Bob Dylan, and a fascinating selection of music from the festival itself, “Realm of the Bird” is a masterpiece honoring the true intensity of what has become the most legendary concert ever given. “Prepare yourself for a powerfully unforgettable movie experience!”*

* Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
** Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
*** Richard Corliss, TIME


“Born on the Bayou” – Creedence Clearwater Revival
“Bluebird” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
“Foxy Lady” – Jimi Hendrix
“As Good As You’ve Been to This World” – Janis Joplin
“Johnny B. Goode” – Johnny Winter
“Blue Suede Shoes” – Mountain
“Persuasion” – Santana
“Na Na Theme” – Sha-Na-Na
“BBY” – Quill
“Somebody to Love” – Jefferson Airplane
“Love City” – Sly & the Family Stone
“Pinball Wizard” – The Who
“Long Black Veil” – The Band
“Spinning Wheel” – Blood, Sweat, & Tears
“Hey Joe” – Jimi Hendrix
“Dark Star/High Time” – Grateful Dead
“One Night at a Time” – Bob Dylan

For Your Consideration:

Best Picture
Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Best Original Screenplay
Best Actor (Adrien Brody)
Best Actress (Samantha Morton)
Best Supporting Actor (Emile Hirsch, Luke Wilson)
Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway, Ellen Page)
Best Art Direction
Best Cinematography
Best Costume Design
Best Film Editing
Best Sound
Best Original Song (“One Night At a Time” by Bob Dylan)

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