Directed by: A.J. Edwards
Distributed by: Gravitas Ventures
Written by Jeff Sparks
“Age Out” is an impressive visual experience that uses unorthodox cinematography and non-continual editing to examine the act of finding peace in oneself at a time in life when hopes and dreams don’t seem possible. If that sounds a little like the work of Terrence Malick, that’s because Edwards is a long-time sidekick of Malick who has worked on most of his projects for the past twenty years as either an art consultant or an editor. The first thing I’ll say about Edwards’ work as a director with his first two films is that he is very similar to Malick. The sweeping camera, the floaty feel, the ethereal score, the focus on tone, it’s all there. Some will say Edwards is a ripoff but I would say he’s just heavily inspired by Malick and sees his style as the ultimate form of filmmaking. Malick himself even helped on the set of his first film “The Better Angels.”
In “Age Out” two former Malick actors, Tye Sheridan and Imogen Poots star with Caleb Landry Jones and Jeffrey Wright in a story of young love that follows Sheridan as a young man being released from the foster care system. Unsure of how to find his place in the world he turns to a life of petty crime that changes the life of a woman that he falls for when he realizes the impact his crimes have on the people around him.The constant moving and improvisational style of the cinematography make you feel immersed in the film’s world amongst the characters rather than simply feeling like you’re looking through a camera lens. The quick, unfocused editing and kaleidoscope-like score make the characters feel more real than any lengthy dialogue could. Instead of using extended dialogue to explain who these characters are, Edwards doesn’t allow any long scenes to slow the film down, he focuses on what is important and lets the film flow freely by only showing us fragments of most scenes and covering up the rest with music that bends to the context of each scene. It isn’t the best story out there but that doesn’t matter because the excellent filmmaking by Edwards and the believable performances of the cast make “Age Out” one of the more underrated films in recent memory.
“Age Out” Trailer