It’s the subject of many Hollywood films – “The Big Chill” being the most famous of them – old friends gathering together to reminisce and try to recapture their past. It rarely works, of course, in the movies or in real life, but it doesn’t stop people from trying. If it did, we wouldn’t keep going back to our high school class reunions.
In director Gabriel Fleming’s low key but provocative drama “The Lost Coast,” Jasper, Mark and Lily, three former high school friends take a long walk through a Halloween night on their way to a Halloween party. It’s a literal as well as a metaphysical voyage, as the three not only recall an eventful trip they took while still in high school, they’re still processing such events as the never-spoken-of-again physical encounter which occurred between the two young men on that trip.
Fleming gets away with such storytelling tactics as showing close-ups of a computer screen; an ongoing email which sets up the subsequent scene, simply because it just seems to fit this film. (It also helps keep the viewer grounded, given the potential for confusion in the film’s nonlinear storyline.)
While Ian Scott McGregor, Lucas Alifano and Lindsay Benner turn in solid performances, the real stars here are Nils Kenaston’s Nature Channel-worthy photography and Nathan Matthew David’s moody score, both of which help make this trio’s long night’s journey into daytime a trip to remember.
With all of the attention being paid these days to the so-called “mumblecore” movement, “The Lost Coast” is sort of a mumblecore entry in slo-mo. Which is fine, because it gives its protagonists – and the audience – enough time to process the voyage along the way.