Passenger Side: written and directed by Matthew Bissonnette
As a species, our attention spans are supposedly shrinking, and most mainstream films pander to this assumption. Images, action, strands of story and scene changes are ceaselessly thrown at us in an effort to keep our attention, and distract from the lack of meaningful plot and characters worth caring about.
Passable movies keep you awake but are instantly forgettable, and good movies are identical to any good art. They aren’t immediately accessible, and draw you in like a conversation, which is exactly what happens with Passenger Side.
Michael and his brother Tobey drive around Los Angeles helping Tobey look for something. Doesn’t sound immediately gripping? Because it’s not. Instead it’s thoughtful, mesmerizing, meandering and memorable.
The characters are in there late thirties, haven’t done much spectacular with their lives and aren’t immediately striking. Through their observations, conversations and surroundings, there quickly develops many deeper reasons to stick with their story.
Movies shouldn’t always be an assault, and often the most beautiful things we see are those that, at first, we barely notice.