The purpose of film is to capture the ineffable, to allow us to see and feel that which cannot be described with words but is felt immensely when presented with the amalgamation of sight and sound. And that is exactly what Tim Sutton’s film, Pavilion, achieves. It puts a finger on the pulse of a feeling that is almost impossible to describe, and it makes us at once nostalgic for our days of hazy, adolescent ennui. In the style of Gus van Sant’s Elephant or Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, the film plays out almost silently as it tells the story of Max, who leaves his lakeside town to live with his father in suburban Arizona. The power of Pavilion is so subtle that you may not even be cognizant to the hypnotic state you’re falling into as it washes over you. The dialogue and world the characters live in may be raw and natural, but there’s something magical about looking from afar at the most mundane daily things in which one normally wouldn’t find beauty. Earlier this year the film premiered at South by Southwest, and this week it makes its New York debut at BAM CinemaFest, featuring a Q&A with Sutton as well as a live performance by Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt of The Sea and Cake (who scored the film). We chatted with Sutton to see what inspired this story, capturing the essence of youth, and weaving his way through the festival circuit.
Tim Sutton Talks About His Dreamy Debut, Pavilion