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NoNAMES 2010
Description: About a tight group of mates living in a small, forgotten, Wisconsin town. The storyline revolves around Kevin and his war to search a fresh life for himself after 30 years of going nowhere.
Released: 27 Mar 2010 Director: Kathy Lindboe Writers: Kathy Lindboe, Kathy Lindboe (story), Jason Lausche (story) Actors: James Badge Dale, Gillian Jacobs, Barry Corbin, Darren E. Burrows Genres: Drama
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NoNAMES Reviews:

Kevin and CJ, the main characters of "Nonames", have been together for a long time, especially for their 20-something years. They are as committed to every another as they are to the crumbling Wisconsin mill city in which they live. The Mill is letting folks go, another businesses tumble, and folks leave for another opportunities. Kevin and CJ stay for every other, and also stay for their like-minded friends. Their rowdy crowd drinks, smokes, and cavorts as though they are about to be hacked to death in a slasher film. Sound depressing. It is. It's also, from what I've observed, not too various from what has been event throughout tiny cities all over our heartland for the last three years (and counting). When times are tough, survivors learn to lean on one-another. The characters that surround CJ and Kevin, aren't ever as fully developed as our young lovers (with a several exceptions to be noted later) but friendship and affection aren't everytime based on shared intimacies. Indeed, in "Nonames" comraderie seems to be based on a mutual desire to escape reality rather than share or discover a deep awareness of self or community.The production values in this movie are solid and serve the narrative action from beginning to end. Cinematography was cute straight forward without many tricks--clean and effective. I enjoyed the soundtrack and continued to root for CJ and Kevin throughout the film. I should say that this project was deeply private for writer and director Kathy Linboe. It gotta be hard to edit a movie that signifies true happenings and documents one's memory of a particular zone and time. Still, overall, the movie is largely satisfying even though I might have trimmed-off a nice ten mins or so. There were some confusing transitions and unclear connections that should be better explained. I hated one particular speech that reminded me of Richard Gere's "I got nowhere to go . . ." monologue in other movie.Gillian Jacobs and James Badge Dale do not disappoint as our star-crossed lovers struggling vs the odds to create something of their life in tandem. Their scenes together are alternately sweet, frustrating, or disturbing. Barry Corbin is right at home is this movie as not just a potential employer, but also as a part of the difficult scrabble community. His Ed does the greatest he can to help-out the young boys in his community. Peter McCain does a great job as Dave, a young dad and bartender who seems to be more stable than his friends. Jack, portrayed by Allen Hamilton, is also a tiny but strong role.I admire many things about "Nonames", and appreciate its dark portrait of deteriorating rural communities. The movie celebrates loyalty and friendship no matter how large your enemy is, or how stupid your mates might be. It also reminds us of the lingering power of zone and how it continues to inform and influence hero for the rest of one's life.


When I was twelve, the kids of Chillicothe, Illinois participated in a project at our local library. We were to every interview a local business owner and write a brief essay on their role in the community, which would soon be compiled into a ebook accessible on the counter-tops of each coffee store and thrift shop in town. I was assigned to interview a resident of the local nursing home, a feisty elderly girl called Mary Ellen. During the interview, we talked about the nice old days, about drive ins and rumble seats, about the days when Chillicothe was still the picturesque Midwestern tiny city we still like to imagine it is. "The young people just don't stay anymore," told Mary Ellen sadly, "But I don't blame them, they receive offered jobs somewhere else and they up and take off. It just isn't how it used to be." The movie "Nonames" is about a boy living a life that is just not how it used to be. Kevin's (James Badge Dale) mother died when he was nine. He began smoking and hanging out with the local terrible men even before her funeral was over. Years later, his family, balking under the withering results of the absence of their maternal bedrock, decides to package up and begin anew in the large city. Kevin stays behind. As time progresses, with no family and no shortage of booze and drugs, Kevin is a rebel without a cause. His days are spent in the bar with his buddies or stirring up problem at the town's Fourth of July celebration, in a stage that anybody from a tiny city would be familiar with. The movie is set in the fictional city of Dexter, Wisconsin. Even if the name isn't familiar, the abundance of plaid flannel and beer guts are a definite nod to Wisconsin's indigenous barflies. Life in Dexter is set in neutral. Motivation is looking forward to a minigame of pool and a beer (or two or three) at the end of the day. The obvious choice for anyone who has any ambition is departure. The shortage of progressive thinkers has left the city stuck in time. The old-folks are content with this lifestyle, but for the adrenaline-filled under thirties, it's a matter of survival of the fittest. Grudges stick, and the convenience of knowing the local police chief by name is constantly place into play.Everybody says Kevin that he will never amount to anything if he stays in Dexter, but he is hell-bent on proving them wrong. After receiving a sum of cash from his mother's death, which quickly materializes into a sports vehicle and a sprawling white house, Kevin and his girlfriend CJ (Gillian Jacobs) briefly taste an idealized happiness that is not to last. Progression is as essential to humans as breathing and when we test to halt it, we run the risk of self-destruction. The photo of tiny city America, of eating the world's greatest pie at a family-style diner, and sitting on a wraparound porch watching the globe go by as an unruly rose of Sharon tickles our hair is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Golden arches are replacing hand-painted restaurant signs and you will likely be met with a blank stare if you test to say a twelve year old child about sitting in the rumble seat at the drive in. Kevin's storyline is based on the real storyline of director Kathy Lindboe's brother, but it is also the storyline of losing yourself while trying to keep on to something that is no longer there. I myself was born in a tiny Wisconsin town, home to an opera house turned film theater where I attended a screening of "Nonames." As I write this in the local ice cream shop, I watch the townsfolk troop by in a parade of camouflage baseball caps and, of course, plaid flannel. I look at them and wonder just how many "Kevins" there are out there; waiting for something more, wanting to receive at it, and wondering just what "it" is. The telling "grow where you are planted" comes to mind, but deprived of nourishment, even the toughest plant will wither and die. Mary Ellen had a point, why could the "young folk" stay where they cannot grow, when all the doors in the globe are launch for them? It takes a nice deal of bravery to tell goodbye to the things we keep most dear, but it takes even more to make a better globe right where you are planted, and even if we don't survive, we can at least tell we tried.


I see a lot of indie films. I go to many movie festivals. I happened to catch a screening of NoNAMES at the Newport Beach Movie Fest and didn't expect much, I have to admit. I didn't recognize anyone in the cast and there wasn't a long line waiting to receive in the screening. I had a several hours before my next movie and thought what the heck.It's moments like these that remind me why I love going to see indie films. NoNAMES fully took me off guard by its authenticity, professionalism and relevance to our globe right now. Not the most uplifting movies but its honest, a rare bird these days.I'm used to weak production values and mediocre to terrible acting in indie movies and feel programmed to wince in watching or tolerating amateur production companies place together barely watchable work. But even though my expectations were low, create no mistake that this impressive work by a first time writer/director and producers is on the same lvl than more of the movies I caught at Sundance and Toronto combined this year and many Hollywood movies made each year. I don't know why NoNAMES was not on the bigger festival rosters but it looks like a quite a several nice regional festivals were smart enough to tool it. It deservedly won Greatest Ensemble Acting, Greatest Actor for Gillian Jacobs (CJ) and Greatest Director Kathy Lindboe at the Phoenix Movie Festival as well as being nominated in these genres at this year's Way Fest along with James Badge Dale who plays Kevin.The another reviews are apt in that it may be a several mins too long but not because the material isn't nice enough or that the moments assembled as the final slash are not valid - it just would have made a more excellent film. I really wanted more development in some of the interesting ensemble roles too but appreciated that they were the background to this tiny city story. It lends itself to a mini-series that HBO or the likes might be smart enough to look at.Regardless, Gillian Jacobs and James Badge Dale are shining stars and I hope to see them nominated for at the very least, the Independent Spirit Awards this year along with the entire extremely talented fresh ensemble cast and Kathy Lindboe, a nice fresh writer/director talent that is definitely one to watch.This movie resonated with me long after the credits rolled. I wanted to stay and talk to the cast and filmmakers that attended the screening but was honestly a bit choked up to manage any clever thoughts at the time.I want I had the power to support distribute this indie gem. I see on their site they have opened in theaters in WI and I bet that tactic will be a sleeper success for them. It could really hit home with Midwest audiences but I think there's a much bigger appeal too.To the NoNAMES squad - congratulations and thank you for making a very moving and unforgettable film. So far this year, it's top on my list of all movies to see besides Blue Valentine. Studios, Distributors and Movie Festival Programmers, if you are reading this, do not pass this distribution occasion by. NoNAMES has all of the heart that audiences desire and deserve to see.



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