Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Triangle: Documentary filmmakers end up at a strange Montana commune

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 5:16 PM

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The Triangle
is a drama/thriller, but in the style of The Blair Witch Project it eases into the story with a casual air. A documentary filmmaker, “Stilly,” receives a postcard from Nathaniel, a friend he hasn’t seen in three years. Nathaniel has been living on a commune near Winnett, Montana—a kind of desert-like place in the middle of nowhere. Does Stilly and their other documentary filmmaker friends want to come make a documentary about the commune?” Nathaniel wants to know.

Stilly’s friends are one part excited, one part skeptical. The commune is out of the way. Also, what if it’s a cult? There’s something weird about the situation—so of course they go. The first few moments of the film show them in a striking, split-screen road trip montage: Images of pow wows, guns and God billboards, big blue skies, tractors in fields and grain silos.

When they get to the commune, which is in the shape of a triangle, they meet the small group of members, some of whom are none too happy the filmmakers are there. Nathaniel is cagey. He explains that stuff is happening at the commune, but he can’t disclose what it is. “It’ll level out,” he tells the filmmakers.

Still, the filmmakers have been invited there—so what’s the big deal? The film offers little obvious tension at first, which in itself is disconcerting. The commune has certain rules, but nothing outside the bounds of what one would expect from a back-to-the-land type of group. Part of the thrill for the filmmakers is that they get to put themselves outside of their comfort zone.

Then, of course, little weird things begin to happen and the uneasiness for the filmmakers—and viewer—turns up a notch. The Triangle has some stellar acting—it feels like a documentary—with entertaining performances by the directors, including Adam Stilwell and Andrew Rizzo, as well as some people who seem to be Winnett locals.

The Triangle screens Thu., Oct. 1, at the Roxy at 9 PM and again Fri., Oct. 2, at 2:30 PM.
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