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Donald Cried | Jesse Wakeman

[…] Kris Avedisian is pitiless in showing the crudeness, kitsch, and desolation of a world trapped in the poetry and vulgarity of youth; something that can speak for the American spirit in general.

[…] Avedisian’s movie is a mature work, in which the acting is absolutely central, and it is particularly convincing from Jesse Wakeman and Avedisian himself.

Filmexplorer had the great chance to meet Jesse Wakeman, main actor and co-producer of «Donald Cried», who speaks, among other aspects of the film, about the collective process of filmmaking and the experience of shooting in Rhode Island.

There are at least two decisive aspects to be stressed in Donald Cried. The first is the complex and vivid description of the relationship between two old friends, which is brilliantly intertwined with the relationship they each have with their own past. This amounts to focusing on adolescence as an age that doesn’t want to end. Its awkwardness, its violence, and its stupidity still have the capacity to trouble the life of an adult, giving one an existential dizziness. Peter’s encounter with Donald becomes the unexpected meeting with a frozen past.

Under the sign of freezing snow, we discover the second important aspect of this film: its extraordinary effectiveness in depicting the American province, that is Rhode Island. This is achieved through an incredible attention devoted to details which have a strong and realist efficacy. Kris Avedisian is pitiless in showing the crudeness, kitsch, and desolation of a world trapped in the poetry and vulgarity of youth; something that can speak for the American spirit in general. But this photography of the American province is animated by a good dose of humour, which is almost necessary to survive the desperate side of the boring daily life.

Donald Cried is a perfect example of what seems to mark the current American independent cinema: a revival of naturalism. But at the same time we have to notice that the force of this film is also in its theatrical conception, where the accuracy of the setting plays a fundamental role. Avedisian’s movie is a mature work, in which the acting is absolutely central, and it is particularly convincing from Jesse Wakeman and Avedisian himself. A series of coups de scènes and a masterful use of suspense gives the decisive drive to the development of the story. In the snowy cold of Rhode Island, the film grows hotter and spicer while the friendship of Peter and Donald evolves through a climax of complexity and a love-hate relationship.

Text: Giuseppe Di Salvatore | Audio/Video: Ruth Baettig
First published: August 11, 2016

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