Lindsay Pulsipher is "The Oregonian". Photo by Scott Honea
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Calvin Lee Reeder
"The Oregonian" might be the creepiest film I have ever seen. This is probably because Reeder doesn’t employ any of the usual techniques director’s use when attempting to create a disturbing film. Reeder actually throws most film conventions out the window with "The Oregonian" to create an engrossing film that resembles a nightmarish acid trip. There is little discernible plot line or dialogue, the film seems more sonically drive than anything else, utilizing scratchy feedback, high frequency noises and rib vibrating bass that convey a very eerie feeling. The main character is a girl with no name who viewers meet as she steals a man’s wallet and takes a swig of his vodka. A few scenes later she has crashed a car alongside a deserted high way. She is bleeding from a head wound and as she leaves the scene of the crash to find help a steady stream of blood drips down her arm from beneath her flannel shirt. As she walks along the road she encounters a number of characters, each odder than the next and with little description of who they are or why they matter. Many of the shots feel voyeuristic—as if someone is peering at the girl as they hide in the dense woods that line the road. The images in the film are odd and seem disconnected, but are edited in a way that makes them jarring and disconcerting. "The Oregonian" is one of those films that it’s better not to try and understand, simply absorb it and embrace the oddity of it. Portions of the film are utterly indescribable. The eerie feeling of "The Oregonian" still lingers with me. "The Oregonian" is incredibly odd, but absolutely amazing.