Award-winning director presents follow-up project, ‘Burkholder’
August 5, 2014
By David Hayes
He wanted to work with his cast of cantankerous old timers again, not really caring if a follow-on project didn’t win as many accolades as the audience favorite on the film festival circuit.
A former University of Washington student now living in Issaquah, Guterson debuted his latest effort, “Burkholder,” at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival. The movie returns Aug. 8-9 for another showing at the SIFF Cinema Uptown.
Named after a character from the first movie, “Burkholder” follows the further exploits of crotchety tenant Bob Burkholder and his long-time landlord and friend Bitton Crosley, as they seek assistance from a couples therapy counselor.
Guterson said he fast tracked the project because the star of the project, Burkholder, was in his 90s. Working with another shoestring budget, Guterson said he spent a half year developing the story and script and then shooting and editing it together.
He again encouraged his actors to act naturally, capturing — in essence — themselves on the silver screen.
“Burkholder has since passed,” Guterson said.
The actor, 90, did get to see a nearly finished product before he died last September.
“He genuinely enjoyed it. He felt it was a worthwhile project,” Guterson said. “He has a large, extended family and they really liked it a lot in their input to me. The fact they liked it means a lot to me.”
That explains why he’s ambivalent about audience reactions being lukewarm the second time around the festival film circuit.
“They just didn’t seem as much into it, for whatever reason,” he said.
Where the Guterson’s first film “Old Goats” explored a trio of seniors not ready to give up on life, “Burkholder” explores the lengths friends will go to not give up on each other.
“I’ve been able to make two fabulous films,” he said. “I would be happy if it’s seen and appreciated by people who get something out of it.”
Guterson, 33, said he has played out the crotchety seniors movie, and if he produced another, it would be something completely different.
If you go
2:30, 4:30 and 7 p.m. Aug. 8 and noon Aug. 9
SIFF Cinema Uptown
511 Queen Ann Ave. N.
Buy tickets www.siff.net/cinema/burkholder