If I Had Wings to Fly

Movie Information

In Brief: Locally made film that showcases folk music as it follows its young hero's path through the region as he searches to find his place in the world. An agreeable little movie with a pace and a vibe distinctly its own. It may not be perfect, but it's a worthy effort -- and one that has a definite identity.
Genre: Musical Drama
Director: Bruno Seraphin, Harrison Topp
Starring: Forrest Oliphant, Sadie Adams, Dom Flemous
Rated: NR

Bruno Seraphin and Harrison Topp’s self-proclaimed “community-supported motion picture,” If I Had Wings to Fly is one of the more interesting local productions I’ve seen in a while—and one of the few to realize the value of brevity. They describe the movie as “a narrative feature film exploring and celebrating traditional music, dance and storytelling in Western North Carolina, as well as the joys and sorrows of being young and directionless anywhere.” That’s perhaps as good a description as any, but don’t take the term “narrative” too seriously—or at least take it in conjunction with the word “directionless.” That isn’t a complaint, but it does define the fact that while the film’s main character (Forrest Oliphant)  moves around a good bit during the course of the proceedings, he doesn’t exactly go anywhere and neither does the story—in any traditional sense. It moves where it wants as it wants—and at its own pace. In the process it showcases Appalachian folk music—especially that collected by Bascom Lamarr Bascomb, and lives up to its own tagline, “A New Movie About Old-Time.” Indeed the film is about halfway through before we even realize what era it’s set in. I’m not telling because that’s part of the film’s peculiar appeal. Oh, sure, it’s not perfect—and it depends a good deal on your taste for folk music—but it’s certainly worth seeing and supporting as local filmmaking.

Shows for one screening only on Thursday, June 7, at 7 p.m. at Fine Arts Theatre


About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.