Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bridgewater Film Fest-Little Erin Merryweather

James mentioned in his recent post about A Small Circle of Friends that lists several feature length movies that have Bridgewater (Massachusetts) as their location. One of these is Little Erin Merryweather, which was filmed almost entirely on location in Bridgewater. Most of the scenes take place at the fictitious Willow Ridge State College and were actually filmed at Bridgewater State University. There are also scenes at the local hangout  My Sister and I restaurant, as well as scenes filmed in Raynham and Middleboro.

The film is surprisingly well made compared to other independent films we have seen in this genre. Pam discusses the film itself on her "Library" Books blog. In addition to a lot of landmarks very close to home, the film actually makes humorous reference to one of our retired colleagues, who is apparently a family friend of the filmmakers. The film appears to have been made during spring break, judging from the relatively uncrowded campus, the greenness of the grass, and the occasional presence of the snow. Careful observers will notice that the snow is heavier in wooded areas than on campus, where it seems to ebb and flow!

We are now Bridgewater completists in terms of feature-length films, but the growing participation of our students in film festivals has resulted in a growing number of shorts that we should seek out, including Little Red Riding Hood, available on YouTube. We watched it in the midst of writing this post, because of the obvious parallels to Little Erin Merryweather, but it is not nearly as well executed, nor does the short make any kind reference to the location in which it was filmed. We could not find any Bridgewater landmarks in the latter film, nor could we understand why it was made, other than to give actors a chance to scream a lot and the director a chance to use the same prop to represent the severed limb of two different characters.

Not much better as a film but definitely making better connections to its Bridgewater setting is Scrabble: The Motion Picture, also available on YouTube. As with Little Red Riding Hood, it substitutes loud swearing for actual writing and acting, and it relies too heavily on Cold War tropes. It does, however, feature a lot of Bridgewater landmarks, a number of maps, and one of my favorite games.
We have a number of other festival films to view and/or endure while waiting for the DVD release of yet another feature-length Bridgewater movie. In this case, the name of our town actually appears in the title, but as a surname rather than as a location. And as with all other Bridgewater films, this seems to accentuate the dark side: The Bridgewater Murders is a thriller that was filmed this year in New Orleans.