When a younger director named Tom Gilroy debuted the film Spring Forward in the year 2000, the film world reacted with applause. EW‘s Lisa Schwartzbaum said the film was “delicately framed by the filmmaker’s taste for visual compositions that reflect the changing seasons.” The New York Times‘ A.O. Scott proclaimed the movie was “made with the modesty and care that should be the hallmarks of American independent cinema.”
So why is that it took until Thursday night for Gilroy to once again screen a movie for an American audience. As he walked the red carpet to the North American premier of The Cold Lands, Gilroy said he isn’t the right person to ask.
“You should ask the movie industry,” he said, “and not me.”
In fact, Gilroy said he and filmmaking partner Paul Mezey have tried to pull several projects together in the decade since Spring Forward premiered, but a variety of studio and timing issues caused the demise of every effort, until now.
“You have to wait for the planets to align at the right time,” he said.
That happened for The Cold Lands. Gilroy tapped a new talent, Silas Yelich, to play the lead role of Atticus, a teenage boy fending for himself in the Hudson River Valley after the death of his mother. He also snagged Lili Taylor, who he has a long-standing relationship with through theater work, to play the role of the mother and bring some star power to the project.
Now that he has another film on the silver screen, he just hopes for a positive reception.
“I don’t expect to garner anything,” he said. “I just hope people see it. I hope Americans and people in countries see that here are voices from America that don’t come from Hollywood.”