The big question for survivalists who choose to build themselves a cocoon is : do we fight them or feed them?
Filmmakers have become intrigued with this issue recently, with World War Z, It’s A Disaster, This is the End, After Earth, Oblivion, The Fifth Season, and Cloud Atlas all tackling the subject. Now add Denis Hennelly’s Goodbye World to that list.
In this heart-warming indie movie releasing in USA Friday 4th April, James and Lily live off the grid, raise their young daughter in a cocoon of comfort and sustainability.
When a mysterious mass text ripples across the country, triggering a crippling, cyber attack, their home transitions from sheltered modern oasis to a fortress for the estranged old friends that show up at their door for protection and community. The unexpected reunion, enhanced by organic wine and weed – is undermined by slights of the past, a spark of lingering flirtation and the threat of a locally grown new world order.
With equal parts comedy and pathos, Goodbye World is the kind of indie that has real potential to break out and find an audience. If the world doesn’t come to an end first, that is.
Set almost entirely on a remote Northern California hilltop, Goodbye World stars Adrian Grenier and Kerry Bishé as James and Lily, a married couple who only hear about the global meltdown when old college pals Laura (Gabby Hoffmann), Lev (Kid Cudi), and Benji, who brings along his college-aged fling Ariel, (Mark Webber and Remy Nozik) show up separately; perhaps acting out some long ago devised emergency plan. The situation seems serious but not quite so dire they can’t take the time to revel in their reunited company. But as the days go by and the severity of the situation becomes more apparent, the stress of the scenario takes its toll on the gang as tempers flare, formerly healed wounds are ripped open anew, and old romances are rekindled.
Co-written with producer Sarah Adina Smith, Denis Hennelly’s script is a smart, densely packed examination of interpersonal relationships under increasing intensities of internal and external pressures. The apocalyptic backdrop is explored in particularly compelling fashions. For instance, what happens to commerce when roving bands of bikers show up in town and impose their own pricing structure? The larger turns the story takes in regards to the broader picture of what is happening to society always prove interesting and, for the most part, rather believable.
The film is also very funny. A staple of indie filmmaking, Goodbye World features one of the best executed young-white-people-drinking-wine-around-dinner-table scenes in recent memory with witty banter bouncing around like an Ariel Hsing table tennis match. Much of the film’s tightness can be attributed to the chops of editor Greg O’Bryant, who demonstrated similar skills in Joshua Leonard’s very funny indie The Lie.
The laughs come in rapid bursts but when the melodrama kicks in, it feels earned by the rich groundwork of character development already laid. Plenty of credit is due the excellent cast with each member pulling their weight, helping to make this a true ensemble success. Indie filmmakers take note, this is the kind of interesting indie cast that features plenty of recognizable faces (Grenier the most obvious), yet doesn’t rely on all-out star power to sell the film. Catching a number of actors on the rise, t
Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site
Leave a Reply