Frankly, I don’t remember many specifics from the dreamy experience of watching Alexandre Rockwell’s small 2002 film 13 Moons however many years ago it was that I saw it. I do retain the impression of a funny, charming meandering through the streets of LA though, with many odd characters and strange coincidences, and that I generally liked it. His latest film, Pete Smalls Is Dead, sounds like a similar experience except with a focus on exploring the lower-rent end of Hollywood.
The film wasn’t on my radar until this morning, when a THR interview with star Peter Dinklage provided a glimpse into the new picture, which was decidedly shot on 16mm since the subject matter of the film itself is a quest to recover some missing film reels and unravel a mystery surrounding the production of a movie. In the story Dinklage plays a failed Hollywood player who returns for the funeral of a collaborator, and to recover his kidnapped dog. The titular corpse is played by Tim Roth, while the rest of the cast is rounded out by Steve Buscemi (in the worst wig ever worn), Mark Boone Junior, Rosie Perez, Todd Barry, Michael Lerner, and Richie Coster.
That trailer has been up for a while and the film has been making its way across the festival circuit, but it really hadn’t caught my eye before now. I’m happy to see it looks as charmingly weird and unpolished as 13 Moons, even if Buscemi’s wig is just beyond awful. In fact this other, longer trailer makes it look astoundingly like a film shot in the mid-90s. I kind of love it.
Rockwell’s films interest you, or is Dinklage alone enough? The film opens tonight in Santa Monica, and will likely have a very limited theatrical run, with a VOD release of some kind hopefully making it available to wider audiences. The timeline is iffy though, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for dates.