Dig Baton Rouge

LIFF Sneak Peek

Forever Waves screening

Louisiana International Film Festival

Cinemark Perkins Rowe

May 9 @ 10 a.m.

By Bill Arceneaux

“It always looks better on the box.”

In the short film Forever Waves, there is a moment of both quiet discomfort and sad contemplation: When wandering an open farm area, a female musician notices some cattle. They notice her, and stare back. Together, with the music playing and the voice over being spoken, this makes for quite the soul piercing sequence.

At this point, the woman is at a crossroads in her career and life. She previously left her southern Louisiana small town existence for a big city (namely, Los Angeles) break, and achieved some level of stardom. Now, however, things have soured a bit, both from her contract holders and from herself. What does she want? Where does she go from here?

Through some wonderful framing and editing, as well as natural acting, Forever Waves perfectly captures the process of rumination and thoughtful thinking without getting sappy and overly sentimental. Remove yourself from all the clutter and noise, find some calm and listen to your breathing. The answers will come in time.

With writing and direction by BR filmmaker Jeff Roedel, the film’s cast and crew reflect the best of Hollywood South in an organic setting. Our leading lady, New Orleans musician Kristin Diable, is supported by local talent like David Jensen (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Schizopolis), Luke Ash, and Brendan Blouin.

Not so much a musical but more of a soulful drama, the movie stands out from others by taking its own time, moving at a consistent pace, allowing us—the audience—to take in the finer points of near Zen-like inner peace seeking. Thankfully, the woman we follow is no shallow pool, skimming the top layer for leaves (an act that can be very Zen, by the way), but instead a familiar face, perhaps our own, who needs a rest and a reset.

This is not Terrence Malick lite, at least not on the surface. Forever Waves has a calming and mindful attitude that fits the bill for when one needs answers. Watching someone else find answers to life’s problems sounds boring, but Waves handles its visuals in poetic and progressive ways. Even singing around a campfire and sauntering in the grass for minutes on end holds our attention.

And cattle. Rarely have animals staring directly at you been so unnerving and garnered so many questions. When every shot has a purpose, you have on your hands an excellent film.

Forever Waves plays at the Louisiana International Film Festival on May 9 at 10 a.m. as part of a block of other short films. The festival runs from May 7 to May 10.

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