Even having received such a diverse variety of films, Kasey Rae’s “All That You Love Will Be Carried Away” stood out as being utterly unique. Based on a Stephen King short story, it’s an exercise in dark, almost Lynchian surrealism with its odd dreamscapes, ambient soundtrack, and cryptic messages.
Alfie Zimmer is a traveling salesman who carries a notebook full of bizarre drawings and sayings he collects along with him (including the titular “All that you love will be carried away.”) His plan while he is in the cold and forbidding Lincoln, Nebraska, is to shoot himself in a motel room.
However, after he has what he believes is a final conversation with his family, he has what appears to be a fictional conversation with a farmer and his wife, set against a completely white, vacant backdrop. The couple question his book and his motivation, imagining what his daughter would say about him and how people would think he was crazy because of the book left behind.
The soundtrack here should really get second billing as a part of the cast. From the radio fuzz and crackle in the beginning to the buzzing in the motel room to the sound of rushing wind, it beautifully portrays a near-constant sense of doom.
I think my favorite part of the film, however, and what set it apart for me, was the haunting ending. The way it is filmed, cutting in and out and using close-ups, heightens its palpable tension and ennui. And that’s probably all I should say about it (unless you’ve read the short story or Google a plot description of it, then you already know).
“All That You Love Will Be Carried Away” screened in the second shorts block on Sunday 10/13/19, from 4:50 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.