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BLAZE, the story of a country legend, as seen by Ethan Hawke

IFC Films and Sundance Selects have released the official trailer for the critically-acclaimed film Blaze, co-written, produced, and directed by Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke (whom you saw as in Boyhood, Training Day, Before Midnight). You can watch the trailer below.
The clip looks heart warming and it might make for an excellent weekend trip down memory lane - as country songs tend to have that effect on your soul. Sybil Rosen co-wrote the film with Hawke based on her memoir "Living in the Woods in a Tree: Remembering Blaze Foley".

Blaze stars newcomer Ben Dickey as Blaze Foley, the songwriting legend of the Texas outlaw music movement that spawned the likes of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. The film weaves together three different periods of time, braiding re-imagined versions of Blaze’s past, present, and future. The different layers explore his love affair with Sybil Rosen (Alia Shawkat), his last night on earth, and the impact of his sons and his death had on his fans, friends, and foes. The storyline terminates in a bittersweet ending that acknowledges Blaze’s profound highs and lows, as well as the impressions he made on the people who shared his journey. (via Collider)


Blaze premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with Dickey’s performance winning him the Special Jury Award for Achievement in Acting. Also starring in the film are Alia Shawkat, Charlie Sexton, Josh Hamilton, Richard Linklater, Alynda Segarra, Sam Rockwell, Steve Zahn, and Kris Kristofferson.

Jake Seal, John Sloss, and Ryan Hawke produced the film alongside Hawke. The movie opens in Austin, Texas in August 2018 and will hit markets in September 2018. If you enjoyed Inside Llewyn Davis, this will be right up your alley.

Check out the clip below.

"Described by its director as a “gonzo indie country-western opera,” “Blaze” is sleepier and more bittersweet than Hawke might have you believe, less of an opera than an acoustic requiem for a ramblin’ man. Flowing backwards and forwards through time like a set list, this languid tribute might frustrate anyone hoping for a conventional portrait in the style of “Walk the Line,” but there’s something ineffably honest to Hawke’s freeform approach. The contours of Foley’s legacy were as soft and imprecise as the contours of his body, and there’d be no way to measure his life in ticket sales, venue sizes, or the handful of unforgettable live recordings he committed to tape before he was killed in 1989." (Indiewire)

"A belated but heartfelt eulogy for a songwriter who didn't live long enough to drink himself to death like his most famous friend, Ethan Hawke's Blaze will be the first introduction most viewers have to Blaze Foley. A contemporary of Willie Nelson and the other "Outlaw" country artists, Foley was troublesome even by their standard — belligerent and (at least according to the film) frequently kicked out of clubs for performing drunk. Hawke goes in search of his tender side and finds it in a big way, thanks in large part to a charismatic lead performance by musician Ben Dickey, a first-timer who doesn't look it.

Merle Haggard, John Prine, Lyle Lovett and others have recorded Foley's songs, and Lucinda Williams wrote a great one about him. But when he died of a gunshot wound in 1989, you wouldn't have been able to find any of his music in stores. Misfortune followed his recording projects, and it's only thanks to die-hard supporters that his old LPs and tapes ever became posthumous reissues." (The Hollywood Reporter)

"hat aura of obscurity is an essential aspect of the film’s mystique. There really was a Blaze Foley (née Michael David Fuller), and in the years following his death (he was killed by a gunshot in 1989, at the age of 39), a handful of his songs found their way into the repertoire of country superstars like Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, and Lucinda Williams. During all that time, his aura has only grown. “BLAZE,” however, is about a sweetly passive and self-destructive anti-star, with a buried bad temper, who is mostly a monosyllabic layabout. He’s the hero as lug — but the thing is, this lug has heart. And the daring of Ethan Hawke as a filmmaker is that he shapes his scenes not in a conventional way but as randomly observed slivers of life that amble and glide along to Blaze’s dawdling spirit." (Variety)

Tags:   news, trailer, country, music, film news, Blaze

Related:   Training Day, Before Sunset, Before Sunrise, Boyhood, Inside Llewyn Davis



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