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The Best Thing I Saw at BendFilm: Blue Bus 

Blue Bus was one of the best films of the BendFilm festival.

It’s been four days since BendFilm wrapped up, but there’s been one film that’s been sticking with me since. The film is called Blue Bus, and well, I can’t stop thinking about it. I figured maybe writing about it would shake it free.

The story is that of two men traveling from Los Angeles to New Orleans in a 1968 Volkswagen bus, as mandated by a recently deceased friend, who in addition to gifting the bus, has also provided the men with a box they’re instructed not to open until reaching the Crescent City. What ensues is a cross-country romp that relies almost solely on the back-and-forth between the two men. Ron Recasner, who plays Auggie, dishes out one incredible story (many of them actual tales of the actor’s own experiences) after another and laughing along through the film is director Phil Scarpaci, who proves delightfully hilarious in the role of Joseph, a seemingly successful businessman.

We see this story through a largely grainy, documentary-style view that provides a strangely unique cinematic perspective. You know this isn’t a documentary, because, well, the festival schedule said so, but the interaction between Auggie and Joseph is so authentic and their emotions so real that the line between narrative and reality melts away about halfway through.

Walking out of the film, there was a lot going through my head, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how incredible friendships can be. Sappy? Slightly…or incredibly so, but the film really gets you in the heart and in the gut. And you laugh, too. That’s always important. When I met Recasner and Scarpaci outside the bar on Saturday night, they weren’t the men from the film – but still pretty damn nice guys who didn’t mind talking about their film for a few minutes.

I’m not sure where you can see the film, but check out the Blue Bus website for the trailer.

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