Monday, January 17, 2011
Craig Schlattman - At Ground Zero (1994)
"At Ground Zero" is a 1993 Independent feature film (released in 1994) directed and written by Craig Schlattman from an original story. It stars Thomas Jane (credited as Tom Elliott), and his then wife, Aysha Hauer (Rutger Hauer's daughter), as a couple on the run across America to find ‘home’. Also featured in the film are Brian Brophy as Carman, and Schlattman as Bubba. After receiving critical praise in the European and American press, At Ground Zero was given no advertising and a small release by a minor distributor, Filmopolis Pictures. It has since gone on to be an Indie favorite.
Tom and Aysha (character names) are at the economic bottom of the LA scene; no money, on drugs, and selling themselves to exist. Tom brains his drug dealer, steals his drugs and the two split town by bus and thumb, heading ‘home’. Hitching a ride from a quixotic, dangerous character, Bubba, they put up with his advances until he too is ejected from his own car as the two free themselves from all restraint. Aysha starts a real spiral into heroin, as Tom joins in, but spirits are high. They run into a hilarious character, Carman, who they enlist in their fun, as the trip escalates into the threesomes’ investigation of freedom, drugs, and abandonment. Carman leaves the duo, and Aysha falls into a drug appetite Tom can’t understand and in frustration he hurts her. Together, but separate, they endure the car ride as they head for Minneapolis and home. In the end, the couples explore the detritus of their family, and lives, and even in betrayal have passion for each other. On a final, bittersweet note, Carman continues his self-destructive ways, as some hope endures.