When I was doing standup comedy, I did several shows in Arkansas. In this time, I’ve formed a layered, complex opinion of the state, which is this: Arkansas is a pile of retarded turd. Do you like interstates that have never undergone maintenance? Do you like a place that, for some reason, seems to be gray and lousy 90 percent of the time? Do you like flat nothing? Well if’n ya do, have I got a state for you!
My memories of Arkansas came flooding back as I watched Shotgun Stories, a 2007 film directed by A Guy I Can’t Remember And I Don’t Want To Look His Name Up. It stars Michael Shannon, who got a Supporting Actor nomination for his work in Revolutionary Road (which was well-deserved; he almost made me want to finish the movie). Shannon plays the oldest of three brothers named Son, Kid and Boy. As you may have guessed, their dad sucked. At the dad’s funeral, Shannon shows up and confronts the family his dad raised after bailing out on Family #1. Soon, a blood feud ensues between all of the half-brothers, AND NO ONE IS EVER THE SAAAAAME!
I liked Shotgun Stories a lot. For starters, the people in the movie feel authentically Southern. Nothing irritates me more than a phony Southern accent, but in Shotgun Stories, you really believe that these are poor assholes living in Arkansas. I also liked how Shotgun Stories affirmed what we all know to be true: Never, ever go to Arkansas.
Another aspect that drew me to Shotgun Stories was its microscopic budget, which appears to be around 4 bucks. It proves you can make compelling movies on the cheap, provided you have a good script and the slightest amount of competence. Speaking of which, my quest for competence continues. I hope to post more videos of my painful learning process later this week.
OHOHOH, I almost forgot: Fuck Arkansas.
P.S. Shotgun Stories was written and directed by Jeff Nichols.