With a pathetically minuscule budget of seventeen thousand dollars, Glodell and his production company Coatwolf have made one of the most idiosyncratic American indies of the last year.
A ‘love story with fast cars and flamethrowers’ doesn’t sound like the most promising premise for a film but, when it’s so lovingly crafted as this, Bellflower is a surprising, often brilliant piece of pure cinema. With an organic mix of offbeat comedy, action, romance and horror, Bellflower has been considered as a bastard child amalgamation of Tarantino movies. However, the film never becomes pastiche or homage, and you can imagine Quentin himself sitting in his home cinema watching the hundred minute spectacle, noisily chomping away on popped maize snacks, much to the dismay of his disgruntled friends. Well, that’s assuming that QT has friends. The jury’s still out on that one.
So, where was I? The most impressive element of Bellflower is that it’s the creation of one man, Evan Glodell, who, as the film’s protagonist, editor, writer, director and part-producer, embodies a nuts and bolts DIY attitude to filmmaking. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s all beautifully shot on hand-made cameras from Glodell too, giving the film an authentically gritty, Super 8mm feel.
Sure, the story dwindles in the last thirty minutes or so, but regardless Bellflower is a rewarding film and reveals Glodell to be a very promising instalment to a new wave of American filmmakers. And, if not, I’m sure there’s a warfare engineering position he could fall back on. Oh, didn’t I mention that Glodell created the working flamethrowers too? Silly me.