Joshua Tree, 1951 is an intimate portrait of James Dean on the cusp of achieving notoriety. The film starts with Dean driving through the desert together with his roommate -- a struggling actor whom Jimmy has sought out for his friendship -- and Violet, a would-be starlet. Soon, a series of illuminating confrontations changes their lives forever. Part portrait of the artist as a young man, part love story, part exploration of the postwar Hollywood machine, Joshua Tree, 1951 presents a seldom-seen side of James Dean. Aware of his own potential to be legendary, he’s at once childlike and world-weary, an intellectual and an Indiana farm boy. This honest exploration of Dean’s complicated sexuality and formative relationships redefines him for a new generation. James Preston plays Jimmy Dean; Matthew Mishory directs. The glorious 35mm black-and-white cinematography, with its super-8 color accents, channels classic midcentury Hollywood glamour.
USA 2012, 92 min. / Not rated