Beyond books and writing, my number one passion (of the arts) is film. Movies, flicks, shows, the moving pictures. I love sitting in a movie theater, sensing the lights dim and seeing that projector light shoot through the air and produce a picture on an enormous silver screen. That experience and the sound of an ocean wave as you turn the page of a book (preferably on an actual beach with real ocean waves) just send chills through me. Every time.
Of course, that experience is amplified by a really good movie or a really good book.
I just saw Wind River. It's really good.
It was written and directed by a guy named Taylor Sheridan. I knew this going in and was one of the main reasons I sought out this particular movie. Wind River is Sheridan's first directorial effort, but he's written two of the best (I mean, THE BEST) thrillers in recent memory: Sicario and Hell or High Water. The man's got a gift of writing tense stories that actually move to a proper conclusion while developing really well-rounded characters where there aren't any real winners.
And each of his movies feel like modern westerns that center on a marginalized section of our society. Sicario was Mexicans and women. Hell or High Water was the poor folk. And Wind River takes place on an Indian reservation.
It specifically tells the story of wildlife hunter and a freshman FBI agent searching for the murderer(s) of a young Indian girl found frozen to death in the middle of nowhere. The interesting part is that even though its something of a whodunit, the identity of the killer isn't all that important. Sheridan is more interested in exploring the daily lives of Native Americans, how they cope with being forced onto stretches of land without end, and how the twisted jurisdictions of various law enforcement does nobody any good--especially for the very people they're sworn to protect.
Without giving anything away, I'll just say that there's a particular (very tense and very surprising) scene where no one seems to know who has authority over who. Guns are raised, tempers flare and no one is ready to back down. It takes place in the middle of nowhere and you get the sense that even in this modern age of facebook and iphones, there are still untamed corners where someone could still get away with murder.
Wind River is film worth seeking out. Taylor Sheridan is a writer and director worth paying attention to.