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GYPSY HEART brings a fresh spin to an old legend

Posted on January 24th, 2012
Posted on January 24th, 2012

by Coop Cooper

While watching “Gypsy Heart” one might wonder where the story is going, until the payoff when they realize the story is oddly familiar to those who appreciate a good legend. A good samaritan (Glenn Payne) picks up an alluring hitchhiker (Courtney Cheek) on a rural Mississippi road. The more questions the guy asks, the more uncomfortable the girl becomes. Soon it becomes apparent that the girl is hiding something. As they approach their destination, both parties soon discover the reason for their chance meeting.

Don’t mistake this for a horror film. There are spooky elements but the story itself is a sad reflection of a lost soul and a encounter that one of them will surly never forget. The film has a haunting quality that sticks with the viewer after the credits roll. A catchy and soulful folk song, which shares the namesake of the film, completes the atmosphere to deliver a satisfying and somber short film.

This is an uncharacteristically quiet and mature film by the usually outrageous filmmaker Daniel Lee Perea (“River City Dead”) from Tupelo, Mississippi. Shot compositions and a meticulous attention to cinematography indicates Perea is progressing as a filmmaker. One shot, involving two cars riding alongside each other on an interstate – then breaking away in perfect unison – must have been difficult to capture.

Payne and Cheek, aided by April Perea’s canny script, portray their roles in such a way that it’s hard to read their intentions. Since the plot hinged on its twist, this was a critical element in making the story work and both actors succeeded. Also contributing to the cast is the prolific Johnny McPhail who plays a kindly coroner.

“Gypsy Heart” debuts at the 2012 Oxford Film Festival (Saturday Feb. 11 @4pm) after a special screening at the 2nd annual Clarksdale Film Festival (Saturday Jan. 28 @1pm). It will then make a competition appearance at the Magnolia Film Fest in Starkville, MS then continue on its festival circuit run.

For more information, go to Gypsyheartmovie.com

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