Review: Dear Zachary, by Kurt Kuenne (and a Minor Update)

I love love love it when I have the chance to watch an incredible movie. One of the best aspects of it is that incredible movies are like snow days: you never know when one of them is going to happen to you. One of the reasons I watch movie after movie is in a never ending quest to have those experiences–to see films that totally blow me away. Recent ones include The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and Redbelt. Last night I had the chance to add another to the list: Dear Zachary. I knew practically nothing about the film going into it–just that it was a documentary about one of the film maker’s best friends, who had been murdered. And frankly, I don’t think anyone watching the film for the first time should know much more than that. I think it would take away from the experience. Still, I think I’d be doing a disservice to you readers if I didn’t warn you to pack some tissues (if you tend to cry. I don’t, and survived the movie tissue free, but I could see some tissue-prone people having serious issues if they were found tissueless during the film). And while I don’t think the film is rated, know that there’s some potentially offensive words in it. Well–definitely offensive words. But still, the movie was so well done–with pretty common equipment, too. It looks like something anyone could have filmed. None of the typical Hollywood gloss, because it’s not a typical Hollywood film. Kurt Kuenne, the director, also produced it, edited it and even composed the music. He did a fantastic job. This is a great film. Watch it.

And as for the minor update, for those of you playing at home, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award has progressed to the quarterfinals. This year they accepted 10,000 entries, whittled that down to 2,000 based on the pitch, and then whittled that down to 500 based on the excerpt. The good news? I made the 2,000 cut, so maybe my pitch on Ichabod has improved. The bad? Didn’t make the 500 cut, so I’m done. It’s okay, really–I didn’t have much hopes for Ichabod in that contest, although a Publisher’s Weekly review of the whole book would have been interesting. Such is life.

And why haven’t any of you signed up for my blog tourney challenge? 🙂

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