Sparrows Dance, a Tribeca film is written and directed by Noah Buschel. Simply made but profoundly touching, capturing vulnerability unlike anything I’ve seen in film. It stars Marin Ireland, who was nominated for the 2009 Tony Award for Best Performance for a Featured Actress in a play for Reasons to Be Pretty, and Paul Sparks who is a series regular on HBO’s hit, Boardwalk Empire.
This film is about a former actress who is stricken with stage fright which cripples her to the point of isolation. She lives alone in New York City. No cat, no dog, no fish...alone. She also has no name. Perhaps, Marin’s character is without a name because her social inflictions are so loud that they define her.
She creates a world that she controls in seclusion while living on her residuals. She engages in daily rituals that include ordering take-out, working out on an antiquated stationary bike suited up in a hoodie and oversized sweatpants.
She may have left the stage but the stage never left her. She's on que performing when ordering take out to compensate for her embarrassment when calling for a daily take-out by covering the phone in another voice as if she has company. She avoids human contact at all cost. She never opens the door for the delivery people because she asks for the exact amount so she can leave the money outside her door.
She has a moment where she tries to escape her solitary confinement to help a young woman being mugged across the street from her apartment only to retreat.
Her emotional terror in her eyes is conspicuous when a neighbor pounds on the door as she dashes for the covers as fast as lightning. Her neighbor informs her through her closed front door that there’s a massive leak from her apartment. She calls a plumber asking to be walked through to fix the toilet herself to avoid any face-to-face interaction out of fear of judgment.
Plumber arrives but, he’s not your ordinary plumber.
Arthur Bugs Baer, a New York journalist and humorist said, “A plumber is an adventurer who traces leaky pipes to their source.”
The pipes are from the 1940 circa, which requires extra work. He has to come back for a second day. He does more than fix her toilet.
Wes, played by Sparks is transparent and quite the chatty one. He share his passion for jazz immediately. He’s a working artist who plays the saxophone. Ms. No Name loves music as well. Their common respect for music is the beginning of their relationship. Her wall begins to gradually crumble.
They way they move when dancing is as if they were familiar with each other’s body before making love for the first time. It's magical and liberating. Wes falls in love with her not lust which is a huge difference. It’s the kind of love that’s healing, more than a sexual healing. He loves her through her frailty. He awakens her need to be free.
“If someone would poke out the eyes of the hawks, we sparrows could dance wherever we please!”
Sparrows Dance opened Friday, August 23 in select theaters and is available on VOD. See this hidden jem.
Photo Credits: Marin Ireland, Paul Sparks, Noah Buschel, Sparrows Dance