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Kent Hatch, Burtis Cutler, A. Lee Wilson, Ann-Marie Dunning, Patrick Doyle, Jimmy May, Mariela Seibert, Fonzie Migliore
The Nuevo Brothers
Michael Borgen, Darren Doyle
31 Mins.

 "Canners" Gets Set for Indie Festival Journey 
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Absurdity with a healthy dose of demented glee is at the core of Canners, a Nuevo Brothers creation set amidst the world of greed, jealousy, and aluminum cans. 

Centered around two men, Joe Brazil (Kent Hatch) and Cowboy (Burtis Cutler), for whom living on the streets equals a fight for those precious aluminum cans that can mean the difference between a prized bottle of whiskey, a night off the streets, and sleeping under the bridge. The flaunting and taunting Cowboy has long been known as the king of the Canners, but when a mysterious trashcan presents itself suddenly the balance of power is shifted. 

Canners is a unique, inspired film described by the filmmakers themselves as somewhere lost in the cinematic worlds between Twilight Zone and Coen Brothers and, well, they're absolutely right. It's the first film from the Nuevo Brothers, a California-based writing directing duo comprised of creative siblings Michael Borgen and Darren Doyle. It's a dark comedy/fantasy short sets itself in the very real world of homelessness, complete with a couple stereotypes that made me shake my head, but it has a lot of fun and gets even darker by film's end. 

Recently completed, Canners has been submitted to several shorts film fests with expected answers in the coming weeks assuming the current world of quarantines subsides and things start to get back to normal. Hopefully that happens, because Canners deserves to be seen.

Hatch and Cutler are a dastardly duo, trading the roles of being sympathetic as the story evolves over its 31-minute running time. Hatch convincingly captures Joe's fierce envy on Cowboy's continued success, while everything about Cutler's Cowboy makes us realize that this current success on the streets likely resembles some level of success he experienced in his previous life. 

John Theodore's original score is inspired, a sort of industrial western vibe that lights up the film's action. Brent Drubin also contributes additional music to the film. 

Unusual and effective, Canners is a dark mystery to behold with an ending that remains faithful to those ever ambiguous Coen Brothers. There are no easy answers to be found here, but the questions will leave you thinking about them long after the closing credits have rolled. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic  

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