The Indie Film Corner: ‘Take Shelter’

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By Dennis Tavernetti
“Take Shelter” from The Indie Series presented by Emerging Pictures in HD at USCB Center for the Arts on Friday, March 2, at 7 p.m.
Synopsis: Curtis and Samantha are very much in love and though money is tight, their family is a happy one. Then Curtis begins having terrifying dreams about an encroaching, apocalyptic storm. He chooses to keep the dreams to himself, channeling his anxiety into the obsessive building of a storm shelter in their backyard. But the resulting strain on his marriage, finances and tension within the community doesn’t compare to Curtis’ private fear of what his dreams may truly signify, should they become a reality or not be reality.
Ratings & Reviews: The two leading film web sites praise this film with IMDB rating it a 7.7 and Rotten Tomatoes critics rating of 92 and audience of 83. Very good marks indeed. RT calls it “a powerhouse performance and purposefully subtle filmmaking which creates a perfect blend of drama, terror, and dread.”  The New York Times wrote: “Mr. Shannon’s taciturn, haunted performance manages to be both heartbreaking and terrifying. It is a perfect allegory for a panicky time.” Roger Ebert said, “This is masterful filmmaking.”
Previewer’s Comment: This Indie film is an excellent example how a director can take a relatively unknown actor he has worked with once before, and understand how his ability to portray a very troubled person will effectively resonate on the screen. The very fact that the audience has no perceived notions attached to the actor works very effectively in giving them both a clean slate. Then too, there is the fact that an unknown actor’s pay isn’t so much, which helps the Indie film get made. More than one critic felt that the lead should have been nominated for an Oscar for his riveting performance and ability to pour himself in to the role to such an extent that the audience is thoroughly convinced that he is real, it is real. This film was first screened at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Rated:  Rated R for some adult language, and the queasy feeling of dread of what is before us, yet unknown to be real or not.
Tickets for adults are $8, seniors $7, students $6. Call USCB Center for the Arts box office at 843-521-4145 or purchase day of performance. Box office opens one hour prior to show time.

Dennis Tavernetti is a resident of St. Helena Island who retired to the Lowcountry having a lifelong interest in the arts. He encouraged USCB‘s Center for the Arts to investigate the possibility of bringing Indie, World and Documentary HD films to Beaufort.