‘Sundown Trail’ Brings Positive Masculinity Back, and It’s About Time

‘Sundown Trail’ Brings Positive Masculinity Back, and It’s About Time

Usually, once you make a post-apocalyptic movie, you don’t count on a part of it to come back true when you’re within the midst of post-production.

My quick movie “Sunset Path” confirmed me how that may occur.

I wrote and directed “Sunset Path” in 2019, properly earlier than “masking” was a factor, however one of many very first strains within the movie is a child complaining, “I hate sporting these silly masks.”

So despite the fact that I didn’t got down to make a movie commenting on the pandemic–that’s typically the best way audiences have considered it. I don’t know if that connection has helped or damage the movie. It’s not possible to know for positive.

What I do know is why I made the movie and what I hoped to perform.

First, I wished to inform a compelling and intense story combining two of my favourite genres, science fiction and westerns. As a result of whereas the setting and magnificence of “Sunset Path” suits the previous style, thematically it’s a western.

Mainly, I’m taking part in with the “Pa received snakebit, I gotta go for an antidote” trope.

The movie has bandits, a shoot out and redemption. It’s additionally a coming-of-age story that takes a younger, timid boy and places him within the hardest attainable conditions. He’s compelled to both develop up and turn out to be a person or fail his household and himself.

Which leads me to my different aim – I wished to inform a narrative of “Optimistic Masculinity.” It makes me unhappy that you simply even should qualify “masculinity” with a “optimistic.” I’ve grown bored with the discourse about “poisonous masculinity,” and I wished to counter that harmful message.

Younger males and boys must know that there isn’t something flawed with them. They aren’t inherently damaged and so they don’t must have their edges rounded out by society. And I wished to point out a great father on display.

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Fathers are vital. They roughhouse, they tease and so they push their kids past their limits and assist them develop. I’m so bored with how the media portrays them as both bumbling idiots or violent abusers.

So I made a movie a few scared boy who’s guided by a powerful and loving father. He grows into somebody who’s courageous sufficient to steer, sturdy sufficient to face as much as evil and compassionate sufficient to assist a stranger.

Narrative is extremely highly effective, and I consider we’ve got to create work that’s true to our values whereas, on the identical time, not being preachy in order that it reaches as massive an viewers as attainable.

“Sunset Path” is proof of how that is attainable.

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After a profitable pageant run with greater than 35 wins and nominations from around the globe, it was launched on one of many largest on-line quick movie channels, Omeleto.

I used to be tremendous excited as a result of they aren’t a “style” channel, which suggests the movie can be reaching a extra normal viewers. And similar to on the movie festivals, the viewers responded to the message of compassion, hope and the significance of sturdy fathers.

Much more encouraging was how lots of the feedback have been folks wanting extra of the story. Which is nice, as a result of I’ve each characteristic and episodic variations of “Sunset Path.”

Within the characteristic model, I keep true to the themes and story of the quick. It’s a coming-of-age Western a few boy changing into a person. However because it’s a characteristic, and I’ve extra time to play with, I’m in a position to delve deeper into the lives of the characters.

We study extra in regards to the father and son, introducing the mom and the small neighborhood they stay in. We additionally see the day unfold from the bandits’ perspective and watch the chain of occasions that led them to the woods the place they encounter the daddy and son.

In the course of the story we meet two extra teams of individuals, the “Remanents” — former authorities and troopers, and the “Lifeless Males” — a ruthless gang that controls a lot of the wild lands. Every group has their very own targets and each time they work together, battle emerges.

Within the episodic model of “Sunset Path” I take a more in-depth have a look at every of the completely different teams. Their particular person targets and views function the thematic underpinnings for the present. The Household is targeted on creating a greater future for his or her kids, the Remanents are obsessive about restoring the ability they as soon as held and the Bandits are hedonistically within the present–living just for the second.

The “TV present” model will probably be an exploration of perspective and of how point-of-view shapes our interpretation of occasions.

There are such a lot of compelling tales that may be instructed in that world, a chance to discover vital questions of morality–without banging the viewers over the pinnacle with an ideological stick.

And if my expertise with the quick is a sign, I consider there’s want for this kind of storytelling. However regardless if I get to make a characteristic or present, I’m extremely pleased with the quick movie and grateful for the journey it’s taken me on.

Fingers crossed my subsequent science fiction undertaking will keep fully within the realm of “fiction.

Luke Asa Guidici is the director of “Sunset Path.” At age 6 he broke his household’s TV. They didn’t get one other one. As a substitute he explored the woods, learn encyclopedias and performed with LEGOs. On a regular basis he imagined new worlds as he discovered to inform his personal tales. When he’s not writing & directing, you’ll discover him woodworking, snowboarding, or making cocktails for his spouse at their residence in Boise.

Please comply with him on Twitter @lukeguidici.

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Written by Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author.

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