Soho Film Festival: Checking in on ‘Boyz of Summer’
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Chilly temperatures (for April in NYC, anyway) and a freakish, rainy down pour could not keep crowds from checking out The Soho International Film Festival at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema Wednesday night, where inside, talent dazzled on the red carpet and the temperature held steady at hot. We spoke to Neal Bledsoe (Smash, Revolutionary Road) of the thriller Junction, Devin Harjes (Boardwalk Empire) who stars in the NJ coming of age pic Boyz of Summer, and Whitney Moore of the cult favorite, Birdemic, in from LA for the film’s sequel, Birdemic 2: The Resurrection. Also seen was the charming Brandon Alexander of Less Lost, a feature about an Iraqi veteran dealing with PTSD.
Boyz of Summer, the first release from writer/director Antonio Di Fonzo, tells the story of 6 college aged friends from Elizabeth, NJ, who get tangled up in love, hatred and redemption during a summer on the Jersey Shore. The time is never designated, though we’re in a fun, bygone era of camcorders, payphones and the original banana clip. The characters are distinctly drawn and endearing, becoming more complex as the film progresses.
But Boyz of Summer does reflect the shoestring budget on which it was shot. The camera work is particularly shoddy and distracting. This is helped by the acting, which, for the most part, is solid (Keith Manolo Embler does a fine job as the central character around who all the drama unfolds, Harjes is raw and memorable, and Sarah Golden’s beautiful performance jumps off the screen and eventually becomes the film’s anchor). And the narrative serves up a powerful last act punch.
Here’s a quick interview clip with Boyz of Summer writer/director Antonio Di Fonzo:
And another with Boyz of Summer lead actor Devin Harjes (he’s on Boardwalk Empire):
And the obligatory photo gallery of red carpetude:
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–Writeup, interviews, and photos by Lindsay Davis