Sublime: (adj) impressing the mind with a sense of grandeur or power; inspiring awe
Beautiful: (adj) possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about; delighting the senses
Not knowing what to say. Not knowing what to do. No one knows how to manage the grief in the room. To feed it. To succumb to it. To have to witness it. To share it or to sit with it alone. It festers into dirt and blood, crazed and numb.
“The Sublime and Beautiful,” presented by Vitamin A Films and Through A Glass Productions, stars its writer and director Blake Robbins. Stopping at Kansas City Film Fest during a whirlwind of festival fanfare, which began at Slamdance 2014, “The Sublime and Beautiful” obliges Kansas City audiences with a story of ultimate loss, remorse and the darkness of soul suffering.
David Conrad (Robbins) is a professor, father and normal husband married to Kelly (Laura Kirk). They share a home with their three young children. This is a report on what happens to that home, their core, the very center of each of them when tragedy strikes in the breath of one disastrous moment.
No one knows the turmoil until they’ve lived it. Friends and colleagues reach for words, but find none. Relationships crumble. Men wrestle with anger, self-loathing and a raging libido that will neither function nor be put down. Wives carry about, oh, filling the temporalness of the day with groceries, online friends and trying to hang on.
With tight, honest performances from both Robbins and Kirk, “Sublime” communicates the truth surrounding the effects of complete loss and the cost of being consumed by it. The portrayal is so sincere that it might be difficult to find the beauty and awe. But that appears to be the driving mystery.
In total annihilation, how do we hold strong to some spark of grandeur; how do we preserve pleasure in our lives when all that seems to remain is grief?
Viewers will hope these characters can maintain some semblance of love, of faith, of foundation to take them through the anguish. You will watch, knowing at some point they will surrender. But to what.
Also featuring some of Kansas City's most recognizable faces, “The Sublime and Beautiful” plays the Kansas City Film Festival Friday, April 11, at 12:30 p.m. But to experience the movie with Blake Robbins and enjoy the opportunity to ask about themes, the inspiration for the film, technical inquiries or any other questions you might have come tonight, Wednesday, April 09, at 6:45 p.m. to Cinemark on the Plaza for a screening and Q&A.
This film is for anyone who understands tragedy and grief, those who appreciate fine storytelling and those who love Kansas City film.