“Donald Cried” is an eighty-five minute film that blends the genres of both comedy and drama. This film was screened at SXSW, a yearly multimedia festival that takes place in Austin, Texas.
The film is set and shot in the Warwick area of Rhode Island. The film focuses on two men: one returning from New York to settle the logistics of his grandmother’s passing, and the other his old High School best friend who lives across the street from his grandmother’s house.
A film that greatly influenced it is “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” and you can see bits of that film sprinkled throughout.
Kris Avedisian, who is not just the director, but also the writer and the one playing the eponymous character Donald, is a thirty-eight year old Rhode Island native who actually filmed this in some of the areas he grew up in.
One influence he spoke about was Paul Thomas Anderson, an auteur in the world of filmmaking whom he greatly admires. One film that really stood out for him and gave him the realization that films centered around dialogue and real anthropological themes is “Boogie Nights.”
This influence shows in his film, as well as the dialogue and the way scenes are structured in a naturalistic fashion – a staple of PTA’s filmography. You can also see similar characterization that harkened back to a lot of his films. Another influence that stood out for him was the opening scene of “Saving Private Ryan.”
Both of these films served as a turning point in his life; growing up, he was very interested in comic books and illustrating, but after seeing these films and realizing he wasn’t getting what he wanted out of drawing, he focused his attention on film.
This makes sense because they are both very imaginative mediums that try to take a fantastical idea and translate it into something visual. While storytelling is the main thing he focused on in this film, he really hopes the exposure this film gives him will lead to an opportunity that can give him more freedom in terms of production value, locations and maybe even special effects.
Aidan Caughran, a sophomore film major was there for one of his film classes, but was also genuinely intrigued by the film. He saw a trailer of the film in his class and that made him actively want to go see this.
A Keene resident said he comes to the Putnam Theatre quite often to indulge in the smaller art-house fare that is usually showing. He expressed how great it is to have two theatres in Keene that show real films, as opposed to the “shoe-box,” sensationalized type movies that make up a large chunk of what appears in multiplexes weekly.
Avedisian wasn’t specific, but he did mention that he is writing currently. He mentioned a few ideas about a thriller and something that involved puppets, but his next project isn’t concrete.
Maybe Avedisian will return to Keene with whatever project he ends up doing next.
Josh Biase can be contacted at email@example.com