Full disclosure here, I contributed to the Kickstarter for Little Feet. Also, the Shut Up Kids had Alex Rockwell on as a guest back in September and he’s a really cool guy. So feel free to consider this review to be completely biased. I won’t be upset with you. I’d probably think the same thing myself.
Anyway, I went to the premier of Little Feet in NYC on Friday December 12th at the IFC Center and had a cool time. Got to speak with Alex in person for a few minutes before the film started and then enjoy an awesome Q&A he did after the movie moderated by director Jim Jarmusch (Permanent Vacation, Stranger than Paradise, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Coffee and Cigarettes, Broken Flowers, etc.).
That was a terrific bonus because I was not too familiar with the relationship that Alex and Jim have and how Jim’s work was an inspiration for Alex (and vice versa). Also, I learned about some of the inspirations for Little Feet including stories from Alex’s two children (Lana and Nico, who star in the film), The Three Stooges, and The Little Rascals.
The quote from Alex that really got me was that he “doesn’t trust his intellect” but instead “trusts his emotions.” And he showed he was a really emotional guy as he choked up several times before introducing the film to the audience. When we had him on the show, I asked him about how Little Feet came about. Feel free to listen to that whole interview here, but the two main things that jumped out to me was when he noted that he “didn’t enjoy” making movies within the confines of “the system” and that making this film was his chance to bring the joy of making a film back to him. The other thing he said was that he “wanted to make a first film again.” That really stuck with me.
So the film itself – and feel free to take this with a grain of salt based on what I said in the intro to this piece – accomplishes what Alex set out to do. I felt the happiness and excitement that Alex must have had while making this film. It not only translated well to the screen but it permeated every single shot. It truly was a beautiful movie and struck a personal chord with me as a father.
The Shut Up Kids also recently did a Top 3 list of Road Movies, and Little Feet is another great one. The journey Lana and Nico make (and the people they meet along the way) is heartfelt and at times very humorous. Whether Lana wants to make a career in acting or not, I don’t know (and no one asked her during the Q&A!). But she did a tremendous job. And Alex got the most out of everyone in the film (mostly kids) which I give him a lot of credit for (working with child actors is no picnic and telling your own kids what to do is an even crazier ordeal).
I highly recommend people to check this movie out. If you are in the NYC area, it is playing at the IFC Center until December 18th. It is also available as a video on demand from Fandor and Vimeo now as well as iTunes and Amazon early 2015.