Just the other day Trylon volunteer Dave Berglund pointed me toward an article by Alissa Wilkinson in The Atlantic about the small but growing phenomenon of indie faith-based filmmaking. It’s important to note that the article isn’t talking about movies aimed at the “faith-and-family” crowd — movies like Left Behind or God’s Not Dead or Heaven Is For Real. Those works essentially function as religious agitprop — designed only to make devout Christian audiences feel good about themselves and their faith.
More and more, indie filmmakers are telling stories centered on religious faith that deal with the pain and complexities of the real world. Wilkinson’s article talks glowingly of films like Calvary, starring Brendon Gleason, and the Oscar nominated films Ida and Selma. Several other films were mentioned in the article, including Paul Harrill’s Something, Anything, which screens Monday and Tuesday at the Trylon.
In Something, Anything, Peggy (Ashley Shelton) and her husband Mark (Bryce Johnson) are a young couple expecting their first child. When Peggy suffers a miscarriage, she begins to question everything about her life. She leaves her husband and moves into a small apartment. She quits her lucrative job in real estate, choosing instead to work at a public library. She rejects the advice of friends who tell her that, if she just goes back to her husband and tries again for a baby, everything will turn out right. Peggy suspects that the things she’s been brought up to believe are important — money and status and family — may not be for her.
Peggy’s spiritual crisis is baffling to her friends, as she finds herself yearning to devote herself to something more than career and family. Inexorably, she finds herself drawn to the possibility of a monastic life. Where will it lead? Ashley Shelton turns in a brilliant, understated performance as a woman who discovers that the material world might be blinding her to what’s truly important. — Michael Popham
Something, Anything screens Monday and Tuesday, March 23 and 24 at 7:00 and 9:00 at the Trylon. Advance tickets are 8:00, and can be purchased here.