Directed by #DanielKremer
Adapted from #CharlesBrockdenBrown’s 1799 novel Edgar Huntly, or Memoirs of a Sleepwalker, which is considered to be one of the first American novels, Overwhelm the Sky is an ambitious epic spanning a run time of almost three hours. The film premiered at the #SanFranciscoIndependentFilmFestival and it is a real testament to what filmmakers can achieve with only a micro budget.
Overwhelm the Sky is director Daniel Kremer’s seventh feature length film and it follows Eddie Huntly, played by Alexander Hero, after the death of his best friend Neil, which the police described as a mugging gone awry. Eddie is a radio personality who steps in to host a late-night radio show when he moves to San Francisco to marry Neil’s sister Thea. As the film unfolds, Eddie takes regular trips to visit the space in Golden Gate Park where Neil was found murdered. One night he meets mysterious sleepwalking drifter at the spot, which leads the film on a more surreal path.
One of the many intriguing aspects of the film is the choice to film entirely in black and white. Aaron Hollander’s striking cinematography is particularly effective during scenes shot in the vast and epic landscape, for example during one of the final scenes in the Arizona desert. It is difficult to summarise this film of vast scope, which starts off feeling natural and realistic and then builds to becoming a more mysterious and gritty thriller. In a sequence reminiscent of the tone of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, Eddie bumps into a drifter whose past is shrouded in mystery. The black and white cinematography in this scene creates an eerie atmosphere, as Eddie’s pale figure is shrouded in darkness. An orchestral score is also used in this scene, creating a striking series of images which pays homage to classic black and white cinema.
Throughout the film’s extensive run time, surprising things continue to occur which are not easily explained, resulting in an end product which is full of twists and turns. Overwhelm the Sky is a character study with depth and a narrative which feels epic in scope. It’s underlying exploration of grief and loss through Eddie’s revisiting the space where Neil was found murdered adds another thought provoking layer to the film’s narrative. Overall, the film earns its lengthy run time and is worthy of praise for its ambitious retelling of a classic American text.
Watch the official movie trailer for Overwhelm the Sky below.