A little known independent film which first appeared back in 2010, Cold Weather is the third feature by American writer/director Aaron Katz, who made his name with seminal ‘mumblecore’ movies Dance Party USA and Quiet City. Whilst those films were content to simply represent ordinary people doing extremely ordinary things in what appeared to be an attempt to capture real life in all its mundane glory, Cold Weather captures ordinary people doing ordinary things, but with a twist: this time there is a mystery at hand. This might just be the most relaxed thriller of all time.
The film follows Doug (Cris Lankenau) who having studied forensic science now works in an ice factory, dividing his free time between sleeping and reading Sherlock Holmes. When his ex-girlfriend goes missing Doug, his sister Gail (Trieste Kelly Dunnand) and his friend Carlos (Raul Castillo) take it upon themselves to find out what has happened. All of the performances are pitched just right, and the characters come across as both realistically flawed and wholly likable.
Whilst other filmmakers of mumblecore heritage have strayed into more mainstream territory, namely Jay and Mark Duplass (who have now worked with a number of big-name stars), Katz has stayed somewhat under the radar. With Cold Weather he has proven himself capable of shifting gear without making a full departure into conventional storytelling, and the result is something quite special. Films like this don’t often come along, so its shame that when they do they rarely receive the attention they deserve. Give this one a go, you might just be surprised.
Cold Weather (2010), directed by Aaron Katz, is released on DVD in the UK by Axiom Films, Certificate 15.