Lee Trgesen as Gerry in "Silver Tongues"
Slamdance Film Festival
Dir: Simon Arthur
Built from Simon Arthur’s short film of the same name, "Silver Tongues" follows two lovers on the method-acting road trip from hell. At each town along their vignette-style journey, Gerry and Joan perform a carefully structured deception. The ruses never have a stated purpose, and the couple’s depravity is simultaneously petty and intriguing. It begins with a bang, but I can’t say I was sold on the concept by the end of the first big deception. I was wrestling with plausibility issues, and I felt a general ‘what’s the point?’ response to the material. But "Silver Tongues" picked up, and by the end I had been fooled once, bought the twist hook line and sinker, and followed the fade out on the film’s final montage with a sincere round of applause and a big smile. Over the course of this screening I ran a short circuit between humor and disgust many times, but the film’s saving grace and most intriguing source of entertainment lies in the nature of the lovers’ relationship. Gerry and Joan (Lee Tergesen and Enid Graham) have a relationship dynamic that follows its own cycle of humor and disgust. Its nature is an intelligent and complex puzzle that seems most unknowable just before all the pieces fall into place. Without identity, is a man free or hollow? – the film begins by inviting you to consider this question for yourself, but the final act comes like a slap on the wrist for having the audacity to assume you understood these people enough to judge them. I enjoyed the overall experience of "Silver Tongues", and especially appreciated the smart second half and the pitch perfect ending. Best of luck to this little gem in the future.