RBIFF - Anna Marie

Carolina Monte Rosa in "Anna Marie"
Most of the movies playing at the 15th Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival that come from local filmmakers in its Regional Showcase are documentaries. Only three are fictional narratives and they're all bundled together as Shorts From Around Here: Take 2. Hunter Nesbitt is one of the directors of those three. His is the only film of the three that's set on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. His is also in many ways the only one of the three that is strongly about the place in which it's set. Nesbitt's film is also the most adult of the three, or at least the only one of the three that would be considered R rated. That's because the 22-minute film features nudity and an intense sexual love scene. It's not graphic or gratuitous. It's handled with care, sensitivity and in fact beauty.

The movie not only has a visual beauty. It also has a beauty of a different kind. This is not just a reference to the beauty of Carolina Monte Rosa, the Brazilian actress and former model who stars as the titular character whose skin comes to full display. It's also not just a reference to Nesbitt's cinematography, which is luscious at times and features a final image of the water and sky with clouds that looks as if they might have been applied to the frame by a Renaissance painter.

The beauty of the film lies in the sound and music as well. Yes, a lot of it is quiet, embracing the natural rhythms of the wind and waves of the Chesapeake Bay town of Rumbley, but there is some music. In the production notes on Nesbitt's web site for this film, he says he decided not to use the actual song that inspired this movie. That song is "Spring Lightning and Thunder" by Mark Wisner. He opted to go with a friend's recommendation of a recording by the Yankee Celtic Consort, which emphasizes the ballad-like quality of the story.

One could argue that there isn't much of a story here. A ballad suggests more of a tale but unless you know the origin of Wisner's song, the text of this film won't give any of that tale to you, at least not in a direct or overt way. The movie instead allows you to ponder that origin on your own. Without any verbal distraction, you're forced to focus on the minutia of the actresses' movements and emotions, hopefully as a way of absorbing you into her small, cut-off world.

In that regard, Anna Marie is a meditation. Its music either visual or aural would be more appropriate for a yoga studio and not as a ballad between lovers, at least not for the first half. It's less a pop ballad and more soulful R&B. The inherent lyricism is more tragic, more of loss and heartache.

But to learn more about this film and its creator, Hunter Nesbitt, please visit his web site here. rumbleyfilms.wix.com/annamarie

Anna Marie
[Shorts From Around Here: Take 2]
November 9, 2012 at 2:05PM.
Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival.


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