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By Mark Bell | June 15, 2012

This review was originally published on November 25, 2011…

Filmmaker Jared Varava accomplishes a lot in the seven minute duration of Tumbleweed!, not the least of which is making someone like me care about a tumbleweed. Part narrative, part nature mockumentary about the history and lifespan of tumbleweeds, specifically those found in Alacrity, Texas, Tumbleweed! is a unique beast that hits the ball pretty far out of the park.

For one, the film is absolutely stunning to look at; the cinematography is top notch, and the mix of old-timey style camera footage works without feeling like another case of a filmmaker playing with their latest After Effects plugin set. Beyond that, it’s cleverly written and entertaining; I didn’t know where tumbleweeds come from any more than the average person, and I’m now more than willing to accept their life experience, as portrayed in this film, as genuine. Finally, in the midst of the humor and absurdity, the film contains a message about examining one’s perspective, as it focuses in on the tale of the one tumbleweed that just won’t tumble, seemingly in defiance of its very existence.

Tumbleweed! is everything that is wonderful about the short filmmaking format; it contains a clever, unique vision best portrayed in a tight, short snippet. Sometimes all you need is originality, but thankfully Tumbleweed! steps beyond such a pedestrian foundation and delivers it all in a polished, professional manner too.

This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.

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