Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Alternate title: Goat On Fire And Smiling Fish
USA, 1999. One Sock Productions, Parabellum Productions, Red Horse Films, Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire LLC. Story by Kevin Jordan, Derick Martini, Steven Martini, Screenplay by Derick Martini, Steven Martini. Cinematography by Frederick Iannone. Produced by Kevin Jordan, Derick Martini,Steven Martini. Music by Chris Horvath. Production Design by Natalie English. Costume Design by Marylou Lim. Film Editing by Kevin Anderson, Ryan Rothmaier.
Two brothers (real-life siblings Steve and Derick Martini) living in California are as opposite as brothers can be: Chris is an intensely uptight and concerned accountant, while his younger brother Tony is a free-spirited, struggling actor. Their differing personalities inspired their half-Native grandmother to give them the nicknames of the title when they were children, and since their parents died in a car accident in their younger years they have pretty much been on their own. Now their lives are at a standstill while they deal with dysfunctional love lives and their possibly estranged relationship with each other. That is, until two new women come into their lives: Chris meets a sexy Italian animal wrangler, and Tony finds romance with his mail delivery woman. All the usual elements of low-budget independent films are here, from low-key production values to naturalistic photography and sound recording, all of them serving the simple and insightful, charming story with strength. The screenplay, co-written by the Martini brothers and director Kevin Jordan, is excellent, as is all the acting involved.
Toronto International Film Festival: 1999