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After the Triumph of Your Birth


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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Dunne, Tessa Ferrer, Maria McKee, Rob Zabrecky, Dean Ogle
  • Directors: Jim Akin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Shootist Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 14, 2012
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0096FOQ14
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,382 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Eli Willits' life compressed into a seven day, philosophical/geographic quest, from the barren emotional state of the high desert to the hypothetical promise of the ocean. Using a forgotten Los Angeles as a backdrop, four story lines converge in a film that examines the crossover between desperation and tenderness. Midway through the journey, a six inch tall female asks the questions: Who are we? What are we doing? A five inch tall female with wings provides an answer.

Review

Sorrow Gets Lonely Without a Little Joy - Jim Akin's After the Triumph of Your Birth (2012) One of the most ambitious and audacious debut feature-films in recent memory, After the Triumph of Your Birth is an extremely compelling experience quite unlike anything American cinema has seen in some time. Written and directed by musician and photographer Jim Akin, After the Triumph of Your Birth is a fearless debut that recalls such American mavericks as Hal Hartley and European auteur's like Wim Wenders while maintaining an absolutely original feel throughout. After the Triumph of Your Birth tells the story of Eli Willit, a haunted man who sets out on foot at the beginning of the film on a seven-day journey that will take him from the desert to the ocean. In need of spiritual cleansing, Eli s walkabout leads him not just to the water, but also through his life s memories, as we are presented with four separate-story lines dealing with spiritual fragility and the questioning of what constitutes existence and reality. In his look at the film, Kent Adamson described After the Triumph of Your Birth as a L.A. road movie on foot and that perfectly sums up this challenging exploration of crisis and redemption. Guided by a finely crafted cinematic eye and an undeniable literary touch, After the Triumph of Your Birth is the kind of free-form poetic film that American cinema rarely sees anymore. Akin has crafted a challenging and provocative work that questions the ideas of narrative and style in cinema through every dizzying turn. An existential drama with touches of noir and absurdity, not to mention musical numbers, After the Triumph of Your Birth is a breathtaking experience that is both wonderfully perplexing and completely profound. A truly personal work, After the Triumph of Your Birth finds Akin not only directing and writing but he also shot, photographed, scored, edited and handled the sound. As with any film this uniquely personal, parts of After the Triumph of Your Birth feels almost impenetrable and, at the very least, it is an extremely demanding experience. It s like an elaborate puzzle box with a beating human heart in the middle. Far from being just another artsy indie film made robotic by a lack of passion, After the Triumph of Your Birth is a strikingly human work that manages to be both intellectually stimulating as well as emotionally rewarding. While Akin s presence behind the camera controls After the Triumph of Your Birth his film is blessed with an extraordinary cast, which includes a handful making their debuts in front of the camera. Alongside a powerful Tom Dunne, as the haunted figure Eli, we have the granddaughter of Jose Ferrer and Rosemary Clooney, Tessa Ferrer making her feature-length film debut in a beautifully touching performance that is wonderfully subtle and strikingly musical. Seasoned actor and former Possum Dixon member Rob Zabrecky turns in a chilling performance as the ghostly answer man and young Dean Ogle gives a touching performance as Jack, a boy who has seen things no boy should see. Special mention must also go to burlesque artist Kristina Nekyia, who gives the film its most electrifying jolts in her few scenes. The lovely Nekyia devours the camera in her moments on screen and projects an unforgettable intensity. The most notable person in the cast is legendary singer and songwriter Maria McKee, Akins major collaborator behind the scenes of the film. After the Triumph of Your Birth is a remarkable work...gutsy, unnerving, lyrical and finally unbelievably moving. While Jim Akin s film has brushstroke s reminiscent of such masterful works like Wenders Paris, Texas and Hartley s Henry Fool, After the Triumph of Your Birth is dazzling in just how original it is...it s a beautiful new creation in the rubbles of a dull recycled culture. --Jeremy Richey Mooninthegutter Blogspot

JIM AKIN'S BEAUTIFUL, BRUISED L.A. - After watching AFTER THE TRIUMPH OF YOUR BIRTH this afternoon, I went and sat along the Atlantic Ocean for about an hour. The pounding of the waves was so loud that it was like I was in a world without sound, a cone of whitecap noise where only my internal monologue could be heard. I sort of felt the same way about the characters in Jim Akin's impressive and often mesmerizing debut indie feature. They wander (mostly) alone through a strangely depopulated Southern California, keeping time only to the rhythms in their heads. What are they thinking about? It's the usual stuff of depressives and doubters (i.e., most of us): faith, (screwed)-up families, damaged relationships and hopes for romantic renewal. From the first frame, (Akin) lures you into a unique world of rapturous and inventive widescreen imagery. It's not too far afoot to say that some of his images (he also shot and edited) rival Terrence Malick on a tighter budget, and there is a similar sense of stillness and wonder at the heart of this film. At the same time, he and his producer/co-star and wife, the singer-songwriter Maria McKee, create an eclectic palette of sounds to go with these images, so you find yourself seduced by the ear as well as the eye. Lots of influences flood the mind while watching AFTER THE TRIUMPH OF YOUR BIRTH: the films of Wim Wenders, David Lynch, Robert Altman, Paul Thomas Anderson and Jacques Demy; the L.A. skid-row poetics of Charles Bukowski, the dust of John Fante, the sun-baked noirs of Southern California. And, to me anyway, the photographs of the Southern pictorialist William Eggleston. This film is shot throughout spare, rundown industrial sites in Southern California or on the beat streets of downtown L.A., and the details and compositions of commercial signage, scuffed sidewalks and other-side-of-the-tracks cafes and bodegas remind me of Eggleston's work. The film interconnects several stories: Eli (Tom Dunne) decides to walk seven days and nights from the California desert to the Pacific Ocean to complete a trip he was to take with his father as a child. Eli feels like his own growth requires some sort of reckoning or closure with his past, a key theme in many classic noirs. As such, Eli tells most of the film's literary/lyrical, philosophical/psychological narrative in a gravelly, detective-like voiceover that is pitch-perfect. Meanwhile, a Los Angeles woman named Millicent (McKee) is having a crisis of faith after being abandoned by or losing her lover. For solace, she has long talks with a religious woman (Maria Doyle Kennedy, the smart, reflective Irish actress of THE TUDORS, DOWNTON ABBEY and THE COMMITMENTS). Millicent is also a music teacher who mentors a talented, but troubled, latchkey kid. Back to Eli: As he walks across the ragged end of L.A., he encounters a religious man who urges him to find faith, gets life advice from a disabled beauty standing in some weeds and begins a possible relationship with Eva (the fresh, lively Tessa Ferrer, granddaughter of Jose Ferrer and Rosemary Clooney), a dancehall prostitute and wannabe poet. He is also constantly dogged by a clad-in-black doppelganger (Rob Zabrecky) who may be The Devil or may just be a manifestation in Eli's mind and who may definitely remind you of Robert Blake in Lynch's LOST HIGHWAY. This film is less an Alan Rudolph-esque statement about fragmented urban roundelays and more a fascinating, experimental collage of image and sound that tells its tale in a refreshing, non-narrative fashion. I will remember with pleasure so many of these sights: the framing of weathered buildings (especially a great visual joke involving the word Jesus), a phone on fire in a grocery cart, and Eli and Eva jaunting down a dilapidated street like lovers in a Truffaut movie. This film is a consistent delight. --Larry Thomas Busy Doin' Nothin BLOGSPOT

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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See all 5 customer reviews
This Film is an impressive debut from Director Jim Akin.
omnipop
Very well done small story of a man in search of bigger things, and encountering a world of diverse, interesting people and places.
B. Eicher
Very off-beat and odd, but also sincere, moving and thought provoking.
K. Gordon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mike S. Handley on August 11, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
An existential, archetypal, journey, a spiriutal quest, as a man takes on
his fathers fallen dream, dropped in death, and picked up by a son who
hardly knew him, who walks from the desert to the sea, with Los Angeles
as the limnal land between. Asking all the basic questions, looking for meaning
as much as answers. On the way Jim Akin introduces an ensemble of LA characters
asking their own questions and the dark trickster "Answer Man" who has all
the answers.

A surreal, absurdist, narrative with hardboiled voiceovers, poetry, musical
sections as well as music video type montages. Visually Jim Akin has found
a timelessly mythic retro Americana city, just off and under the freeways,
across the tracks,down the dry cement river,along the flood control culverts,
a sun dust bleached, barbed wire crowned, chain-linked melted black cracked asphalt industrial patina painted limbo of a Lost Angeles that can only be
seen on foot.

Just when you think they don't make films like this any more Jim Akin puts
the Art back in Autuer!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By omnipop on April 8, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This Film is an impressive debut from Director Jim Akin. A surreal meditation on identity, this film has many impressive set pieces set in the dark corners of Los Angeles. The film at times reflects the low budget, but Akin more than makes up with interesting imagery and coaxes fine performances from Tom Dunne , Tessa Ferrer, Rob Zabrecky ( as the answer Man, is he the Devil?) and a young man named Dean Ogle, who is very good.

Akin is the husband of singer Maria McKee , who co-produced, and appears in the film, She gives a fine performance herself, and and co-wrote the score.

Akin and McKee are producing a second film, which promises some new music from Maria, which will be welcome
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alemanita on March 31, 2014
Format: DVD
This is by far one of the best movies I ever watched. It turned me away from Hollywood productions for good and I was happy to discover that we still have such beauty in us to create such movies. Great work, words cannot say why or how, you will need to watch it to understand.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Eicher on March 7, 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Very well done small story of a man in search of bigger things, and encountering a world of diverse, interesting people and places. Great music gives the ride a joyful tone.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Very off-beat and odd, but also sincere, moving and thought provoking. The kind of film you see at a festival not knowing much about, just a that a couple of friends suggest you see it. and walk out feeling you saw something that had real value.

Tom Dunne, in a nuanced and effecting, subtle performance plays a man named Eli walking his way across the California desert to the Pacific ocean in Los Angeles. He's looking for meaning, and finds fragments of it in the various characters he meets along the way.

I liked the way the film created quirky characters while avoiding making fun of them, or turning them into stereotypes we've seen before.

The film manages to raise the big questions about life without seeming like a sophomore term paper. And it's beautifully shot (Akin was a photographer before he was a film-maker).

The two main characters Eli meets are women – terrific work by singer songwriter Maria McKee and Tessa Ferrer – both of whom are as lost as he is in their own way. (McKee also contributes to the films very effective score) The three intersect and touch each others lives. There's also a surreal dream character called "The Answer Man" who shows up occasionally in Eli's mind to torment him with the pointlessness of his quest for answers. This is far less pretentious than it sounds, handled as equally haunting and darkly funny.

A poetic film that I found myself loving, it's possible my lack of expectations lead to my strong positive reaction. But I don't think so. The film haunted me for days, and that's always a good sign.
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