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