Based on the short story by Raymond Carver, Where I’m Calling From follows a hard drinking 1960’s working man attempting to sober up at Frank Martin’s House, a boarding home for local drunks. Fighting with alcoholism, the men at Frank Martin’s swap stories to cope with the oncoming symptoms of withdrawal as they try to get their lives back on track.
There is a scene in Carver’s original short story that never had a place in the adapted script, but still resonates deeply for me. It’s early morning and sounds from outside the bedroom awake the narrator. He moves to the window, and pulling aside the curtain comes face to face with a weird old man in oversized overalls. For an instant he mistakes the window for a mirror: the old man’s image for his own reflection. “It’s the landlord” the narrator’s wife laughs from under the covers, “Come on back to bed”. The two men share a nod, before the Landlord goes on about his business, and the narrator returns to bed.
These moments of mis-recognition reoccur throughout the story- with Tiny’s seizures, with references to Jack London, with JP’s stories. They hint at a larger world beyond the hero’s own dilemma and possibilities for introspection. Raymond Carver never gave his character a moment of revelation that lead to redemption- but I think that is what Where I’m Calling From provided to readers- and what I hope to imitate for anyone watching the film.
Where I’m Calling From
Online screening rights granted by the Wylie Agency, NY..
Main Genre: Dramas
Budget: £0 – £1000
How long did it take to shoot: 2 Weeks – 3 Weeks
Film location (country): United States
Film location (city): Olympia
Filmed on: Cannon 5D
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