A strange singer with God-given talent drifts through his adopted city of Memphis with its canopy of ancient oak trees, streets of shattered windows, and aura of burning spirituality. Surrounded by beautiful women, legendary musicians, a stone-cold hustler, a righteous preacher, and a wolf pack of kids, the sweet, yet unstable, performer avoids the recording studio, driven by his own form of self-discovery. His journey quickly drags him from love and happiness right to the edge of another dimension.
Writer/director Tim Sutton crafts an impressionistic folktale framed around the enigmatic musician/poet Willis Earl Beal and the city of Memphis. Adding a new legend to the city’s rich history, Memphis is an elusive document of myth-making and the sources that feed those myths. Similar to his first feature, Pavilion, Sutton blurs the lines between fiction and reality, taking the audience to a wholly contemporary dreamlike world, bolstered by Chris Dapkins’s sublime camera and a driving blues soundtrack by Beal. - C.R.
About the Director
Tim Sutton's first feature, Pavilion (Factory 25), premiered at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival and won prizes at the 2013 Torino Film Festival and Fresh Film Fest in Prague, among other awards on the festival circuit. Memphis, his second feature film, is the winner of the inaugural Venice Biennale College—Cinema funding grant and premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2013. Sutton lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two young sons.
Cast and Credits
Director: Tim Sutton
Screenwriter: Tim Sutton
Producer: John Baker
Music: Willis Earl Beal
Cinematographer: Chris Dapkins
Editor: Seth Bomse
Co, Producer: Alexandra Byer
Production Designer: Bart Mangrum
Principal Cast: Willis Earl Beal, Lopaka Thomas, Constance Brantley, Devonte Hull, John Gary Williams, Larry Dodson
THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL IS ONE PROGRAM OF SUNDANCE INSTITUTE, A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT
DISCOVERS AND SUPPORTS INDEPENDENT FILM AND THEATRE ARTISTS FROM THE U.S. AND AROUND THE WORLD
AND INTRODUCES AUDIENCES TO THEIR NEW WORK.