August lives with her troublemaker sister and a father stuck in mourning. Navigating the world with a newfound physical disability, she discovers a mysterious traveler needing her help. Filmmaker Kirby McClure brings BUFF23 audiences an otherworldly story of belonging with SPAGHETTI JUNCTION.
With music by HEALTH and the constant din of cicadas, an overarching ominous feeling follows August from start to finish. The lighting plays a beautiful role, from sunsets to firelight, natural light to pink hues surrounding Shiny. DP Kristian Zuniga creates a dizzying and awe-inspiring perspective with a mix of drone and handheld camerawork.
Eleanore Miechkowski plays Shiny with manic energy. She is perfectly loathsome, and that is a compliment. Jesse Gallegos is Antonio. His entire aura is punchable but perfect.
Cameron McHarg plays August’s father with equal parts empathy and fury. His performance brings the story back down to Earth (pun intended). Tyler Rainey is The Traveller. I could not keep my eyes off him. His theater training serves this role perfectly.
Cate Hughes plays August with a grounded curiosity and natural delivery. From beat to beat, her ability to adapt is breathtaking. She’s a star. Her chemistry with Rainey creates an undeniably captivating emotional journey.
The script is complex. I have so many questions. Breaking it down to its most basic concept, two wounded souls seek a tranquil existence. The further into the story, the more intriguing. So much so that I exclaimed, “Oh, shit!” at one unexpected revelation. SPAGHETTI JUNCTION might fair better as a limited series, but there is much to explore in McClure’s creation, and surely enough to grab viewers’ attention.