Going Nowhere (2022)

One of the things that being a filmmaker does is it grants you the ability to know the true hardships of really making a film. For an indie filmmaker, simply getting your work out there is not just a labor of love, but it is laborious in and of itself. “Going Nowhere” is thankfully one of the many very good indie productions about making movies. Izzy Shill’s feature film debut is a meta-mock documentary about the struggles that come with getting a movie finished. Along the way she also tackles ideas about human relationships, getting the perfect message across with your film, and the impostor syndrome.

Izzy’s making a movie. She casts her best friend, Diana, who enthusiastically prepares for the shoot. A struggling actress, she clings to the hope that this leading role will turn her career around. ‘The Seed’, a feminist slash environmentalist magnum opus about a plant that saves the world starts shooting the next morning. Incompetence, paranoia and sexual frustration drive the crew to the brink of mutiny. Are they going to make it? Or are they all Going Nowhere?

Director and Writer Shill is fantastic playing a somewhat true version of herself, as a filmmaker who is anxious to get her film “The Seed” finished. The movie is something of a science fiction drama that involves a ton of conceptualizing and struggle. This becomes especially true when Izzy begins clashing with the cast and crew, all of whom decides to bring something to the film that she’s not always prepared for. The movie, while scripted, is also improvised in many areas, and it shines through with a lot of moments that feel candid, but also pretty funny. The movie leans more toward the dramatic side, but Shill is also great about finding the more humorous, disastrous aspects of shooting. One scene involves her struggling to get a take done with two of her cast members speaking Spanish.

And a lot of times the camera man filming the shoot tends to linger on moments help spotlight the inherent lunacy behind the creative process. That sense of madness is amplified by the fact that the movie is set in an isolated countryside in an abandoned barn. This set piece becomes the essential epicenter of the events that unfold. Director Shill has a keen insight on filmmaking is able to build some very relatable dynamics where the cast and crew constantly clash in an effort to find something in the project they can connect to. The entire cast is top notch, especially Ms. Shill, and co-star Diana Irvine, both of whom confronts a journey as artists and people in general.

I like how “Going Nowhere” doesn’t have any sensationalizing about the process of filmmaking. In the end it’s a charming, and engaging film about people making movies, who will go on doing what they love, whether or not it goes anywhere. Because that’s what artists do.

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