Jake Johnson stars as Leif, an aimless 40ish California bongo-drum player, with a strong case of arrested development in the film Ride the Eagle, playing twice at the Salmar Classic on Saturday, Sept. 18. (Contributed)

Shuswap Film Society returns with Ride the Eagle

Movie to play twice Saturday at the Salmar Classic

By Joanne Sargent


The Shuswap Film Society is pleased to announce that our fall season starts Saturday night with our first movie, Ride the Eagle.

We will, of course, be following all provincial COVID-19 protocols including the requirement of a vaccine passport, a piece of photo ID and a mask.

Ride the Eagle was made in the early days of the pandemic and the producers managed to create a sweet, insightful movie about relationships, despite featuring only one person in most scenes.

Jake Johnson stars as Leif, an aimless 40-ish California bongo-drum player, with a strong case of arrested development, playing in a band of mates half his age. He receives word that his long-estranged hippie mother, Honey, who abandoned him when he was 12, has died, and he declares to his dog that he feels nothing. He is, however, excited at the possibility of acquiring her Yosemite cabin, albeit annoyed at the to-do list that’s a condition of his inheritance.

At the cabin, via VHS tape, Honey (Susan Sarandon) details the tasks Leif must complete (because “she didn’t teach him enough stuff”) and, through the process, he starts to get a better picture of the woman she was. JK Simmons is impressive as Honey’s jealous on-again, off-again boyfriend who sheds more light (maybe a little more than Leif needed) on his mother. The task called Love is Important leads Leif to contact “the one who got away,” an ex-girlfriend who co-incidentally is just out of a relationship, and they re-acquaint via amusing texts, calls and video chats.

It’s a joy to watch as Leif ticks off the prescribed tasks, learning his mother’s much-delayed life lessons and discovering death doesn’t mean it’s too late to reconcile a broken relationship. As Alex Saveliev of filmthreat.com noted, Ride the Eagle is “…a full-fledged portrait of a man’s re-discovery of himself, of the lingering trails our parents leave behind, of aging and longing, of connection and alienation.”

Ride the Eagle plays twice on Saturday, Sept. 18: 5 and 7:30 p.m. at the Salmar Classic.

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