By Alexa Olmos
This year our EyeCandy team wants to push the limits by connecting our university environment with that of the film community in Santa Cruz and our local film theaters, The Del Mar and The Nickelodeon. We would like to invite UCSC students to join us in our first off-campus fundraiser screening of Blue Ruin (2013), directed by Jeremy Saulnier and winner at the Cannes Film Festival, at The Del Mar Theatre on May 1 at 8pm. The production and distribution of our annual film journal is currently underway and each of our articles addresses the critical and cultural voices of the UCSC students. If you’re interested in being a part of this experience next year, our current team is happy to inform students about EyeCandy and how our fundraiser can be a growing element of our publication in the coming years.
Blue Ruin is a thriller filled with revenge, and while many critics have hailed it as a classic, I would call it a classic with a number of twists. Tales of revenge in most cinematic plots always lead to a predictable downfall. Often, the protagonist will lose sight of themselves in the hopes of redeeming a grudge from long ago, only to pay for it in the end. If one were to read a short summary on Blue Ruin, it would seem to fall in this trope. However, twenty minutes into the film it becomes clear that vengeance is not so much premeditated planning — it’s as emotionally raw and unpredictable as the plot itself. With a budget of $425,000 raised by Kickstarter, the film made an unprecedented impact at the Cannes Film Festival, proving that not only is the future of filmmaking in the hands of the people, but also that a budget can have little to do with the true quality of filmmaking.
Blue Ruin begins by following a haggard looking man named Dwight as he roams aimlessly with little to no dialogue and seemingly no purpose. Not fitting much into the category of the revenge filled killer genre with protagonists like The Bride (Kill Bill), Dwight seems too unfamiliar for the audience to relate to. However, this unpredictability is the trump card that leads into the slow churning mystery behind not only Dwight’s revenge, but the chain effect it creates. To have a truly cinematic experience watching this film, join our EyeCandy team on May 1 at 8pm downtown at the Del Mar Theatre for this exciting occasion. We would like to bridge the UCSC community with the city of Santa Cruz through our love of film and digital media, and are hopeful that this fundraiser will be the first of many.