In Take Me to the River a Nebraskan family reunion couldn’t seem more backwards to a gay Californian teenager. If Ryder had his way, he’d choose a moment just like this to come out, the bigger the scene the better. For his mother’s sake however, Ryder agrees to keep quiet, save parading around the picnic in his most audacious pair of short-shorts. Ryder’s antics raise dubious eyebrows from his hardened cowboy relatives, but 9-year-old Molly can’t get enough. She follows her cool California cousin everywhere. After lunch, they walk to the barn to look for a bird’s nest in the rafters. Their strange encounter, and whatever happened while the two escaped their family’s watchful eyes, makes Ryder the sudden target of suspicion, and places him at the center of a long buried family secret. Robin Weigert (Concussion, Synecdoche, New York, Deadwood) anchors a superb ensemble cast that includes Richard Schiff (West Wing, The Automatic Hate), Josh Hamilton (Kicking and Screaming, Frances Ha and Gracepoint) and a breakout performance by Logan Miller (The Stanford Prison Experiment, Night Moves). Director / producer / writer Matt Sobel stops by to talk about his stunning, controversial and brilliant feature debut.
“Writer-director Matt Sobel’s quietly engaging debut is one of the great discoveries of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival: His fish-out-of-water observations have a personal edge — the film is shot partly on his own extended family’s Nebraskan property — but it soon builds to a place of nightmarish psychosexual revelations.” – Ibad Shah, Indiewire
“Superlatively acted culture-clash indie chillingly evokes primal dread and sexual transgression….” –Ronnie Scheib, Variety
“TAKE ME TO THE RIVER provides a fresh and haunting perspective on the ‘family secrets’ subgenre… the film is narratively claustrophobic, beautiful, disturbing and ripe.” – John Fink, The Film Stage
“….Sobel is worthy of the title of best new American independent filmmaker.” – Eric Lavalle, Ioncinema