First Images, Details on Simon Rumley’s ‘Red White & Blue’

Red White & Blue, the intense new film by acclaimed director Simon Rumley (The Living and the Dead), has begun production in Austin, Texas. The movie is a collaboration between the multi‐award‐winning Rumley and Austin’s Tim League (founder of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas and co‐director of Fantastic Fest with aintitcool.com’s Harry Knowles), who is executive producer.
Red White & Blue is a “slacker revenge movie” set in contemporary Austin, starring Noah Taylor (Shine, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Vanilla Sky, The Year My Voice Broke, four‐time winner of the Film Critic’s Circle of Australia Best Actor Award.), Amanda Fuller (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bones, Women’s Murder Club) and Marc Senter (The Lost, Cabin Fever 2).

Red White & Blue is very much a production born out of the Austin movie scene. Simon Rumley met Executive Producer Tim League at Austin’s Fantastic Fest, where the director’s last feature, The Living and the Dead, won 5 awards ‐ Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Make‐Up. At the Festival, League discussed the possibility of Rumley shooting a movie in Austin, and Rumley made an extended research trip in early 2009 to soak up more of the atmosphere of the “Live Music Capital of the World”, before honing the script that would become Red White and Blue.

An email shout out to the Alamo’s loyal fanbase resulted in a hoard of extras and possible shooting locations being submitted by Austin residents. Using well‐known local landmarks such as Emo’s, Cucarachas, The Broken Spoke and The Austin Diner, Simon has fashioned a realistic, dark revenge movie set in the heart of Linklater‐land.

In Rumley’s tightly woven, darkly emotional tale, the lives of three young people – Erica, Franki and Nate – intertwine in a fateful, tragic way and head down a rocky and violent road to heart‐rending oblivion.

Erica (Amanda Fuller) lives rent‐free in the local co‐op, but spends her nights trawling the bars and beds of Austin. Damaged, emotionally withdrawn, never really connecting with anyone, and sleeping with multiple men is just what she does… until she meets the older and mysterious Nate (Noah Taylor), working in a hardware store, but with an “honorable discharge” from Iraq.

Despite his quiet air of danger, Nate’s the only guy who doesn’t seem to want to get her into bed at the first opportunity, and the two form a hesitant bond. But one of Erica’s casual sexual encounters is about to bite back.

Franki (Marc Senter) is a young, hot‐headed wannabe rock star trying to make it big. Looking after a sick mother and estranged from his longterm girlfriend, he “shared” Erica with his buddies one drunken evening. Discovering that he is HIV Positive throws his already crazy world into a spin, and in Franki’s eyes there is only one person to blame…

An unashamedly tough and uncompromising movie, Red White & Blue is a fearlessly frank, gut‐wrenching romance and a merciless exploration of the futility of violence. Like Rumley’s The Living and the Dead before it, the movie ‐ with its casual nudity and scenes of extreme violence ‐ is no doubt destined for controversy.

One the UK’s most acclaimed independent film‐makers, Simon Rumley started his movie career in London with the naturalistic youth‐culture feature trilogy Strong Language, The Truth Game and Club Le Monde. Variously described as “essential viewing” (The Times), “engrossing, ambitious and funny” (London Evening Standard), “brilliantly conceived” (Total Film), “a treat…fascinating and original” (Flicks Magazine), “spirited, clever, observant & witty” (Empire), “a definitive work” (Penthouse), “vivid, revealing, fascinating” (The Observer), and “one of the decade’s most important documents of British youth culture” (Film Review), Rumley’s follow up, the short thriller The Handyman, starring Greta Scacchi and Bill Sage, was his first American film, shot in a snowy Vermont. It won Best Short at the prestigious Sitges Film Festival in Spain. His acclaimed, psychological horror movie, The Living and the Dead, won more than 15 international awards and Critics called it “a minor masterpiece” (Channel Four), “excellent” (Aintitcool.com), “near‐brilliant” (Variety), “intensely rewarding” (Time Out), and “one of the best films I’ve ever seen” (Film Threat). It is currently nominated for two Fangoria Chainsaw Awards (Best Film and Best Actor) 2009 and has received numerous festival prizes, (including the Special Jury Commendation for the New Visions Award at Sitges, as well as the Fantastic Fest prizes).

Rumley’s new film, Red White & Blue, is in many ways a synthesis of all his previous work. Shooting on the RED camera with minimal lighting, a small crew and a verité look in real Austin locations, it combines the naturalism of his early films with the intensity and darkness
of his later highly distinctive genre works.

The director’s influences range from the observational realism of Eric Rohmer (Pauline at the Beach, Love In The Afternoon), Larry Clark (Kids, Bully) and Austinite Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise) to the stylised genre bending of Park Chan Wook (Oldboy) and Michael Hanneke (Funny Games) by way of tough 1970s “social issue” horror films such as Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left.

Rumley describes Red White & Blue as being “about characters who somehow seem to be to blame for their own downfall but, in spite of the evil they perpetrate, are not actually evil characters”. Exploring a part of our psyche that we often find hard to acknowledge, the movie shines a light on the multi‐colored dark side of American life. Red for lust, white for fear, blue for death.

The three young protagonists are very human and very flawed, but empathetic, as Rumley is keen that the audience retains sympathy towards them despite their sometimes extreme actions. Ultimately, Rumley says, Red White & Blue is at its core an emotional story, packing a real punch, about the “futility of violence and why man continues to be so aggressive and spiteful to his fellow man”.

Executive Producers of the film are Tim League, Adam Goldworm (Masters of Horror, Fear Itself) and Doug Abbot (Rumleys Club Le Monde and The Truth Game) and Judy Lipsey (Rumley’s Strong Language). It is produced by Bob Portal (Mr InBetween, In A Dark Place, The River King) and Simon Markham (Blood). Cinematogapher is usual Rumley collaborator Milton Kam (nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for the movie Vanaja) and the editor is Rob Hall (who cut the upcoming Weinstein release The Tournament). Red White & Blue is a ScreenProjex presentation of a Rumleyvision production in association with Fidelity Films.