SXSW 2023 review: Dillon Tucker’s ‘PURE O’ makes the invisible visible.


Cooper is a screenwriter/musician who also works as a rehab counselor. Recently diagnosed with a form of OCD, he must navigate his new engagement, an ailing loved one, his clients, and his unpredictable compulsions. Writer-director Dillon Tucker‘s semi-autobiographical SXSW 2023 film PURE O makes the invisible disability visible.

PURE O focuses on the importance of support. We watch Copper surround himself with others in the same position. But the film also delivers unfiltered conversations between lovers. They are messy and real. Anyone in a grownup relationship has said or heard those words. It’s not sugar-coated, and I appreciate that.

Hope Lauren, as Emily, is a fun, down-to-earth, supportive partner. Her vulnerability with Dorr makes for a sweet pair. She handles Emily’s loaded circumstances like a pro. Her singing voice is also delicious. Daniel Dorr is charming as Cooper. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He is unafraid to leave it all onscreen. That is what this role demands. His chemistry with Lauren is perfect. They are genuinely cute together.

I’m on the cusp of Gen X and millennials, but I’ll be damned if you label me the latter. I am fully aware that I grew up with an undiagnosed anxiety disorder. For as long as I can remember, my irrational fears and body-shaking anxiety has hindered parts of my life. Motherhood exacerbated everything, which I hear is “normal.” Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed I do nothing. I am frozen. I have to say I am the only one in my family not in therapy or on meds. Someday I think they might help. On other days I’m weirdly proud I’m “managing” without either. That is a symptom of my upbringing. PURE O resonated with me on a level I never expected. Certain scenes, particularly the immersion therapy session, elevated my heart rate and made me squirm immediately.

Dillon Tucker’s original songs are fantastic. Tight handheld closeups place the viewer in the manic mindset of Cooper. The intersection of rehab counseling and Cooper’s therapy sessions proves intriguing and complicated. This device is necessary to see the work in action and appreciate the nuance of addiction and mental health. It also calls attention to others’ perceptions of us. The intense scene between Cooper and aggressive patient Brandon illustrates the importance of making invisible disabilities visible. Sure, with an almost two-hour runtime, PURE O may benefit from a few cuts. But Tucker’s storytelling curveballs create an undeniably compelling narrative. PURE O gives those of us living in quiet anguish a loud voice.

Film Screenings

Mar 13, 2023
Mar 15, 2023
Mar 16, 2023



Dillon Tucker

Executive Producer:

Jay Burnley, Stephan Paternot, Jeremy Walton & David Lyons


Ricky Fosheim, Dillon Tucker, Ray Lee


Dillon Tucker


Ricky Fosheim


Dillon Tucker

Sound Designer:

Nick Jimenez


Dillon Tucker

Principal Cast:

Daniel Dorr, Hope Lauren, Landry Bender, Jeffery A. Baker, Candice Renee, Breon Gorman, Tim Landfield, Isaac Nippert, Devon Martinez, Clint James

Additional Credits:

Additional Music: Caleb Veazy, Sound Mixer: Harry Goldstein, Sound Mixer: Steve William Gonzalez, Sound Mixer: Andres Guerra, Sound Mixer: Donavyn Suffel, B Camera Operator: Bryon Morse, B Camera Operator: David Rivera, Production Assistant: Andrew Fosheim, Production Assistant: Andres Tovar, Production Assistant: Vera Weber

Liz’s Review: ‘And Uneasy Lies The Mind’ … the first feature shot entirely on an iPhone.


Making a film is expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. The new film And Uneasy Lies The Mind is the very first of its kind; shot entirely on an iPhone. The story revolves around a young movie star named Peter. For his birthday and he aims to celebrate in his new ski resort mansion with expectant wife, Julie, and their best couple friends, Jack and Lauren. The day starts off all good and well until drugs and alcohol are introduced and the night begins to go haywire. Jealousy and secrets lead to misguided confessions and confusion. We’re not quite sure what is reality and what is insanity in this brand new psychological thriller. Read More →