The Indian Runner

I’m trying hard to avoid writing about the obvious films you must see, and I’m hoping to pick some films that you may not have heard of, or haven’t seen for a long time. Some of these films I’m hoping are ripe for rediscovery.

The Indian Runner is the directorial debut of Mr Sean Penn. It has its problems, it also soars in certain scenes. It’s dripping with atmosphere, good performances, great music and a retro 60s/70s feel.

Apparently the film was inspired by the (very good) Bruce Springsteen song Highway Patrolman and it’s a story of brothers, one good, one bad in the US south west around the time of the Vietnam war.

The film has very interesting casting. David Morse for once gets a lead role, and this is the star making performance from Viggo Mortensen. Valerie Golino is well used and Patricia Arquette is lovely and sweet as the girl.

Watching this now, it seems clear the Frank (Mortensen) is possibly suffering from post-traumatic stress induced from his time in Vietnam. The story is obvious, but the photography and atmosphere are to die for.

Look out for one of the last performances of Charles Bronson as the boys’ dad.

The trailer is below, but beware it tells the entire story of the film…

So, 49 films to go…

Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.