Growing up, I spent many days exploring rivers and swimming holes, taking road trips to nowhere, and adventuring through abandoned buildings and spaces. I had a crew of friends who loved B&E, experimenting with drugs, drinking, and making dumb decisions. From that, I have some of the best memories of my life. A few of those initially innocuous fun times resulted in my antics being printed in the paper, friends going to the hospital, and me getting jailed or ticketed. It’s all part of the game—but even with the consequences, we grew closer.
Sevilla, a favorite short film of mine that was released in 2012, tells a story of three inextricably intertwined lives. It beautifully depicts that joyful optimism of aimless adventure that is so close to my heart. A couple and the guy’s best mate set out on a spontaneous road trip to Sevilla, stopping alongside scenic fields to piss into the wind over the blasting sounds of Beirut’s “Nantes,” spray paint their shadows onto an abandoned building, and dance with locals during a festival. The mood is light, fun, and positive, but these sequences are juxtaposed against more somber ones with just the friend and girl as they retrace the steps from before. Director Bram Schouw smartly parallels those conflicting states of adventure and hindsight to draw you deep into their world. The structure is disarming, causing many different outcomes to shoot through your mind, while still leaving the climax a surprise. Schouw captures that complicated mantra championed by mom’s worldwide, “It’s always fun until someone gets hurt,” with surprising realism and honesty. The result is an original and brave take on friendship and the bonds created during adventure and misadventure. Even if we unravel, we can still be put back together—maybe not as perfect as before, but just as strong.
Bram Schouw graduated with honors at the Utrecht School of the Arts. His graduation film, Marriage, was the official opening movie for Curta Cinema Rio de Janeiro in 2005. Impasse, his second short film, has its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2008 and was selected at renowned film festivals in New York, Sarajevo, and Paris. Sevilla won a Golden Calf at the Netherlands Film Festival and screened in over 50 international film festivals, winning multiple awards. Together with the same team, Schouw just finished a new short film called All Those Sunflowers and is developing his first feature film, Broers, which is scheduled to go into production in 2015.
Jeffrey Bowers is a tall mustached guy from Ohio who's seen too many weird movies. He currently lives in Brooklyn, working as an art and film curator. He is a programmer at Tribeca Film Festival, Rooftop Films, and the Hamptons International Film Festival. He also self-publishes a super fancy mixed-media art serial called PRISM index.