The Island Of St. Matthews (2014)

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This new feature film from the remarkably prolific Kevin Jerome Everson, one of the most interesting and original voices in contemporary experimental cinema, is a richly evocative and open-ended work, and a beautiful example of Everson's unique approach to the experimental documentary form. Years ago Everson asked his aunt about old family photographs. Her reply - that 'we lost them in the flood' - was the catalyst for this film, a poem and paean to the citizens of Westport, a community just west of Columbus, Mississippi, the hometown of the filmmaker's parents. Residents, young and old, are seen and heard reminiscing about the 1973 flood of the Tombigbee River. The sound of a church bell - an original bronze sculpture made by the filmmaker and similar to the bell used to warn residents of an impending natural disaster - intones throughout, interspersed with a spare, elegiac score. (C) Film Forum

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Critic Reviews for The Island Of St. Matthews

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

It's a stretch to call Mr. Everson's film a documentary.

Mar 6, 2014 | Full Review…

At its best, the film does the job of the albums lost to the floods: It captures a town's history.

Mar 4, 2014 | Full Review…

Is vivid portrayal of a small Mississippi town once ravaged by flood is swallowed up by an Art sandwich.

Aug 31, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

The workers' lovingly filmed activity registers as both ravishing and profound, yielding a mostly spellbinding linkage between the ostensibly mundane and the metaphysical.

Apr 28, 2014 | Full Review…

Granted, this is not an exciting or even informative film, and Everson's style is an acquired taste, but The Island of St. Matthews leaves us with sounds and images that resonate.

Mar 5, 2014 | Full Review…

William Jerome Everson's films tend to place an acute focus on the tension between memory and forgetting, as well as the way an event's significance can transform depending on perspective.

Mar 3, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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