The Micro-Wave Cinema Series begins its farewell semester in Madison with a special in-person visit from Emmy award-winning producer/editor David Franklin, who will introduce his debut feature As Far As The Eye Can See (2016). While Franklin may be best known for his work in television (48 Hours), he's been steadily experimenting with the narrative short format for the last 15 years. During that period, he honed his talents for tender rural realism, which he fully embraces in this modest tale penned by Paden Fallis.
On a farm in Central Texas, Jack Ridge (Jason London, most famous for portraying Randall "Pink" Floyd in Linklater's Dazed And Confused) feels the encroachment of mid-life crisis, enduring a divorce and reticently retreating from his local status as a prodigal pianist in the region where Van Cliburn's international achievements loom large. The haunting qualities of an open, painterly landscape manifest in Jack's feelings of isolation but also elicit his innate perseverance, as he both mentally prepares to perform at the annual Tarbert County Piano Competition and legally defend his land against corporate industry takeover.
With comparisons to former Micro-Wave favorite Some Beasts, the recent cinema of David Lowery, and maybe a bit of Gus Van Sant's Promised Land (2012), As Far As The Eye Can See emerges as a stirring story of personal redemption that's forged through cross-generational friendships in a close-knit community fighting for self-sufficiency. Franklin will also be on hand after the screening for a Q&A. —Grant Phipps