Festivals - Fantasia 2020 : Fugitive dreams World premiere

By Mulder, 09 august 2020

A field of red poppies rippling in the wind sums up the first minutes of Jason Neulander's Fugitive Dreams. With a touch of bright colour, we are transported to Dorothy's long lethargy in The Wizard of Oz. Suddenly, however, we return to the dark grey of a parched farm field. In the distance, the trees sway under a sky that doesn't bode well as John (Robbie Tann) and Mary (April Matthis) begin their journey.

Co-scripted by director/producer Neulander from a play by Caridad Svich, Fugitive Dreams delves into the soul of America. In this grim and comic adventure, two travelers cross the central United States on a strange and confusing journey, encountering on their way a range of bizarre characters in search of compassion and appeasement.

Inspired, in part, by the audacity of the fugitive films of the Pre-Code years, this singular and attractive wandering leads us to contemplate, from one train hop to the next, the endless horizons of America. Shot brilliantly and essentially in black and white, the film, whose visual language is of incomparable richness, transports us to another universe. The feature film is based on the incredible performances of April Matthis and Robbid Tann. They serve as anchors for the increasingly unusual individuals they meet in the middle of a disconcerting landscape. The supporting roles, played by Scott Shepherd (True Detective), O-Lan Jones (Edward Scissorhands) and David Patrick Kelly (The Warriors The Crow) contribute to the unforgettable atmosphere of the film, evoking the greatest cast of Hollywood's golden age. A work about resilience, Fugitive Dreams is a bittersweet, but oh so right, portrait of the America of country roads and the remarkable forgotten. - Translation: Sébastien Robidoux

In this allegorical road movie touching on issues of homelessness, mental health, and addiction, two lost souls embark across a dreamscape America. Their darkly strange journey confronts them with their traumatic pasts, and bonds them in compassion and love.

Fugitive dreams
Directed by Jason Neulander
Produced by Michelle Randolph Faires, Jennifer Kuczaj, Jason Neulander, Peter Simonite
Written by Jason Neulander, Caridad Svich
Starring O-Lan Jones, David Patrick Kelly, April Matthis, Scott Shepherd, Robbie Tann
Music by Nathan Hamilton
Cinematography : Peter Simonite
Edited by: Mike Saenz
Running time: 97mns

(Source : official website Fantasia 2020)