Ragtag Cinema: Homebrewed/Hunter Gatherer

Hunter Gatherer is the type of film that sucks the air out of the room and replaces it with a heavy & warm contemplative humanity- like the most intimate hug- which, it turns out, is a description of the film's director as well. Following the screening of the film at Ragtag Cinema on June 7th, director Josh Locy Skyped in with our Missouri audience from his sun drenched Westcoast room to discuss this gem of a film. He beamed from the screen to a shell shocked crowd still trying to process the simultaneously languid & intense film that they just experienced.

Locy's film stands out for many reasons; it is full of tenderness (Locy noting that films like Love Story were a source of inspiration), it's set in an urban truth flirting with magical realism, there is a complete lack of curse words throughout, the soundtrack a haunting, breathy smooth saxophone (which Locy likened to a 90s Cinemax movie- in the most unexpected/beautiful way possible!), surreal symbolic sequences lap at the edges of scenes. But, for me, the thing that stood out the most in Locy's filmic universe were the things missing.

Large chunks of the action went unsaid; the main character had been in prison, the reason never divulged, a chance romantic encounter skips the courtship and resumes in the bedroom. The film skirts around a place and time but smoothly floats above the need for precision. I asked Locy about this decision to withhold so much of the film's details and his answer speaks to an auteur in the making.

His response was that he wanted the audience to be forced to engage. He wanted us to have to fill in the blanks, pushing us a little closer into the story, to piece it together and remain active as we course through the lives of these rich, complicated characters. So often filmmakers tend to spell out every detail to their audiences; creating awkward backstory, or a radio blasting exposition, or a one sided phone call of answers to unheard questions: many filmmakers- fiction and documentary- seem to be stuck in this narrative rut. I feel like true auteurs are able to use all of the tools they have to imply. Writing and art direction (the latter Locy's entry point into the film industry acting as art director on such films as Cold Weather) can convey so much, an interested audience can glean from everything they are given. Locy's distinct and exacting hand makes ever decision in this film a perfect experience.

We ended the Q&A with a question from the audience about Locy's next projects which might include a "Bass fishing noir" (!) and a biblical based tale of deceit. Though these themes should sound absolutely terrifying, especially next to each other, I have complete faith that at the hands & mind of Locy no one should be afraid. Hunter Gatherer is now available on Netflix.



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.