The photography of Hunter Zimny and the cut of Ismael of Diego and producer Olmo Schnabel leave a lot of unexplained, leaving our imaginations to fill in the gaps. This is underscored by North Carolina’s lush, naturalistic setting and the near absence of technology, which gives the story a timeless quality and enables the kinds of missed connections that cellphones and emails have nearly wiped out from stories. contemporary.
The title is inspired by the last line of a film by Carl Sandburg on “old men sitting near the exits of life” who talk about the giants of old but understand that all the giants are alone. The film’s epigraph, however, is more existential, telling us that life is miserable and we don’t know when death will come, so we might as well play ball.
Patterson is an artist and photographer who brings a gift for visual images to storytelling. The baseball team uniforms, costume designers Bruno DiCorcia and Lex Imgrüth, are a bright yellow, and some striking images show a player gone against a dark background, both surrounded by his team and alone. More importantly, the two main characters, both pitchers on the team, are not related but they are played by brothers with a strong physical resemblance so that we have to remember who is who and consider how their characters are reflected.
These characters are A and B, Adam (Ben Irving) and Bobby (Jack Irving). We first see them with their team in a canoe, the coach barking at them to “find something in you that will propel you to play better”. He tells them that they are narcissistic and privileged. Boys may not understand that her comments about how girls won’t be interested in them unless they have the money come from her own bitterness over the way her life has gone, but we do. It is only later, however, that we learn that he is not only the trainer, but the father of Adam, and that he is physically abusive.