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Seraphim Falls

Promotional poster for Seraphim Falls
Directed by David Von Ancken
Produced by Bruce Davey
David Flynn
John Limotte
Stan Wlodkowski
Written by David Von Ancken
Abby Everett Jaques
Starring Pierce Brosnan
Liam Neeson
Xander Berkeley
Tom Noonan
Kevin J. O'Connor
and Anjelica Huston
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams
Cinematography John Toll
Editing by Conrad Buff
Distributed by Icon Productions
Release date(s) January 26, 2007
Running time 115 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Seraphim Falls is a 2007 American western film starring Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan. It was written by David Von Ancken and Abby Everett Jaques and directed by Von Ancken himself, in his first feature film. The film was released for limited screenings on January 26, 2007.

Contents

Plot

The film is set after the end of the American Civil War. Gideon (Pierce Brosnan) is hiding in the American Rockies. He is shot but escapes from his pursuers. Colonel Morsman Carver (Liam Neeson), a Confederate officer, has hired several mountain men to trap Gideon so that Carver can avenge a terrible wrong committed against him.

From the snowy peaks the story descends into the savannas—full of rapacious traders, vicious railway foremen and overly-welcoming missionaries. Finally the film moves into the desert where the two men challenge each other in the face of Mother Nature at her harshest with surreal visitations (from Louise C. Fair) to guide them to their final confrontation.

Interpretation

Seraphim Falls tells the story of the paralyzing effects that revenge can inflict upon an individual as the perceived villain, Carver, relentlessly hunts down the seemingly innocent Gideon. Throughout the course of the film heroic definitions are turned on their heads as the viewer discovers that Gideon is responsible for the death of Carver’s wife and kids. Carver’s wife and kids were accidental casualties of the Civil War; but had they not been killed, Carver would have continued living in the paradisiacal southern farm as he would have never had any reason to begin his quest for revenge. While the film highlights Carver’s unremitting anger for what Gideon had done, and accentuates Gideon’s clever deception and continuous escape from Carver, the narrative ultimately reiterates the important, calming influence a good wife and family can have over a man. [1]

Cast

Production

David Von Ancken first researched the script for six months before joining Abby Everett Jaques to create the screenplay.[7] The film was originally announced at the Cannes Film Festival with Liam Neeson and Richard Gere in the lead roles. Gere dropped out in August 2005 and was soon replaced by Pierce Brosnan.[3] Shooting on Seraphim Falls started on October 17, 2005[8] and actress Anjelica Huston later joined the cast the following November.[5] The film was filmed on location for 48 days, primarily in New Mexico;[9] some of the opening scenes were filmed along the McKenzie River in Oregon.[10]

The soundtrack, composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, was produced at Bastyr University's chapel in Kenmore, Washington.[11] Gregson-Williams wrote the music in three or four weeks, describing it as "very atmospheric".[12] Oscar-winning cinematographer John Toll was responsible for cinematography work on the film. Toll later noted it was a "great opportunity to work with a director who was interested in visual storytelling."[13]

Reception

The film gained average reviews with several praising both Brosnan and Neeson's acting. Kevin Crust of the Los Angeles Times noted that the two "make fine adversaries";[14] however, Michael Rechtshaffen of the New York Times thought that they were "hard-pressed to inject some much-needed vitality into their sparse lines."[15]

On film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Seraphim Falls has a 54 percent rating from 80 reviews,[16] - indicating a 'rotten' status - while it has a Metacritic score of 62 percent based on 21 reviews[17] - indicating 'generally favorable reviews'.

References

  1. ^ Foster,Brad D., Constructing a Heroic Identity: Masculinity and the Western Film, Oregon State University, July 2007, p.82 [1]
  2. ^ a b Snart, Stephen (2007-01-26). "Liam Neeson interview". The Cinema Source. http://www.thecinemasource.com/v3/spotlight.php?id=438. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  3. ^ a b Sampson, Mike (2005-08-29). "Brosnan in for Gere". MyJoBlo.com. http://www.joblo.com/index.php?id=8455. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  4. ^ Snart, Stephen (2007-01-26). "Pierce Brosnan interview". The Cinema Source. http://www.thecinemasource.com/v3/spotlight.php?id=439&wordcount=500. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  5. ^ a b Gardner, Chris (2005-10-09). "Huston heads over to 'Falls'". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117932712.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&s=h&p=0. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  6. ^ Snyder, Eric D.. "Seraphim Falls". http://www.ericdsnider.com/movies/seraphim-falls/. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  7. ^ Roberts, Sheila. "David Von Ancken Interview, Seraphim Falls". Movies Online. http://www.moviesonline.ca/movienews_11073.html. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  8. ^ Umbach, Mark (2005-09-14). "Brosnan Falls for Falls". FilmStew.com. http://www.filmstew.com/ShowArticle.aspx?ContentID=12335. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  9. ^ "State approves two loans for Hollywood films". New Mexico Business Weekly. 2005-09-26. http://albuquerque.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/stories/2005/10/24/daily18.html. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  10. ^ Palmer, Susan (2006-01-13). "It's 'Sa-halie-wood' Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson are filming near McKenzie Bridge". The Register-Guard. http://www.registerguard.com/news/2006/01/13/a1.movie.0113.p1.php?section=cityregion. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  11. ^ Wilson, Bronwyn (2006-05-08). "The pews are alive with the sound of music". http://www.nwnews.com/editions/2006/060508/features3.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  12. ^ "Harry Gregson-Williams Interview". Cinezak. 2006-07. http://pbfiles.t35.com/seraphim/articles-1.html#Cinezak. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  13. ^ Hart, Hugh (2007-01-28). "INDUSTRY BUZZ". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/28/PKG7VLMKOG1.DTL&feed=rss.entertainment. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  14. ^ Crust, Kevin (2007-01-26). "Seraphim Falls". http://www.calendarlive.com/movies/reviews/cl-et-seraphim26jan26,0,3731132.story. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  15. ^ Rechtshaffen, Michael (2006-09-18). "Seraphim Falls". http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003123121. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  16. ^ "Seraphim Falls (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/m/seraphim_falls/. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  17. ^ "Seraphim Falls (2007)". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/seraphimfalls?q=seraphim%20falls. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 

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