Hide Your Smiling Faces is an atmospheric, visually abstract portrait of disturbed youth in rural America. When the death of a local boy brings yong brothers Eric and Tommy into an awareness of their own mortality they can’t quite understand, the security of the world they once knew gradually starts to slip away and each must deal with that loss in his own way.
Confusedley coming of age in a bulcolic playground that suddenly takes on an air of threat and menance, this sensory, mysterious, poetically naturalistic film signals the emergence of a true indie talent in Daniel Patrick Carbone who gets lighting rod performances of poised perceptiveness, from his two young leads, Nathan Varnson and Ryan Jones.
Reviewing it as part of the line-up of 2013’sTribeca Film Festival for Grolsch Film Works, I praised its “moments of quiet contemplation that cumulatively build with forceful, poetic intensity.” Later that year I met up with Carbone for an in-depth conversation at the London Film Festival to discuss ideas of childhood, home, how to direct kids and film as a moment-to-moment experience rather than a straight narrative.
First published by Vérité Film Magazine on August 1, 2014