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Tim Sutton’s debut feature, likened to films by Gus Van Sant and Pedro Costa, follows a laconic teenager (Max) who moves from an idyllic lakeside town to his father’s home in arid suburban Arizona. With mesmerizing imagery of hot summer bike rides and cool lake-bound dives, Pavilion captures the ephemerality and reverie of youth and the fragility of adolescent friendships. A haunting score by the Sea and Cake’s Sam Prekop shadows the storyline, echoing its secrets and shouldering its mysteries.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 11
- Fresh: 11
- Rotten: 0
- Average Rating: 7.4/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Mr. Sutton tends toward quiet. And while his characters don't say a lot in these 70 ephemeral minutes, he says enough to make you wonder what's next.
Fresh: The beauty of the footage is undeniable, and the aimlessness never overstays its welcome as the film documents that strange stretch in our lives when nothing seems to matter more than the present moment, suspended in a sort of idle immortality.
Fresh: Observant but not revealing, free-form but not quite experimental, the obliquely titled "Pavilion" is a mood piece in search of a construct.
Fresh: A cynical advisor told Sutton he should market his film as a documentary. That label would prepare potential viewers for Pavilion's lack of story, but it would make a lie of the movie's patient, finely drawn loveliness.
Perfectly captures the essence of the early teenage years
May be the film that best captures the existential feeling of being a young teenage boy in summer. Brilliant. Deep drink of nostalgia from a remarkable time of life
Atmosphere and Tone Alone
There are fleeting moments of beauty in Pavilion, and why wouldn't there be, it doesn't concern itself with pesky considerations of character, story, or plot. This is fine, but such experimentation ultimately has little to say and no real end, even at 70 minutes one is desperate for the film to simply conclude as its structureless assemblage could simply last forever. It may feel avant grade, but for my money smacks of fear, avoiding risk by avoiding dialogue or story as a kind of blank protection. Seek out and watch Pilgrim Song if you want to see a lyrical indie that can be quiet, beautiful and deal with real people within a real story and real life.