Cincinnati native Brandon Harris returned to his hometown in 2010 to shoot his directorial debut, a micro-budgeted drama about three grief-stricken guys (played by Andrew Katz, Evan Louison and Nathan Ramos) dealing with the mysterious death of a good friend. Two years later, Harris is back with the finished film, Redlegs
, which opens a weeklong run at the Esquire Theatre on Friday. For those who get excited about such things, Redlegs
does feature a plethora of local touchstones that add flavor and texture — vanilla shakes from UDF; the Ohio River; an argument in Northside Tavern’s restroom; fisticuffs with a West Side redneck; a trip to Great American Ball Park; the WEBN fireworks — but it’s Harris’ deft, understated touch as a filmmaker and his game trio of actors that should get just as much attention.
The co-writer/director has said that Redlegs was inspired by John Cassavetes’ Husbands and Abel Ferrera’s Bad Lieutenant, and the influence of each is readily apparent — from the former’s ability to turn limited resources into a compelling personal vision to the latter’s ability to employ self-lacerating guilt as an effective dramatic device. Harris — a contributing editor at Filmmaker Magazine who studied film at SUNY Purchase in New York — will likely discuss his aforementioned indie filmmaking inspirations and more via post-screening Q&As at the Esquire Friday Nov. 16-Sunday Nov. 18. Esquire Theatre, 320 Ludlow Ave., Clifton.