Sun Don’t Shine: Mumblecore With a Gun

09/12/2012 4:00 AM |

Sun Don’t Shine (2012)
Directed by Amy Seimetz
September 15 at 92YTribeca, part of the La Di Da festival.

As an actress, Seimetz has explored the genre side of mumblecore: in A Horrible Way to Die, she was stalked by AJ Bowen and Joe Swanberg. For her feature debut, she has blended the talky relationship drama with a road-movie crime-thriller: here’s ubiquitous indie darling Kate Lyn Sheil as one of a couple of crazy kids just trying to make it work (the other is Kentucker Audley), but here’s also a gun in the glove compartment—and a body in the trunk.

The two fight a lot, about their relationship and about how to dump that corpse in the back and establish alibis. (It’s sort of like Double Indemnity, if the first two-thirds had been cut.) She wants to know if he still finds her attractive; he wants to make sure she’s sticking to the plan. The sticky Florida heat is palpable. “Clearly,” Mark Asch wrote, “they’re both about to snap.” Snap again, that is: the movie opens with a startlingly visceral fight, a muddy and hysterical wrestling match atop swampy terrain.

Seimetz tarts up Sheil—the new Greta Gerwig since Greta Gerwig went mainstream—as Sunshine State trash, and the actress is more amazing than usual, crafting an astoundingly insufferable Bonnie to Audley’s Clyde: whiney, dopey, lovey, spacey, ditzy, bratty, needy. The camera often just lingers on her, as though—like us—it’s gaping in wonder.