The story in the new film ‘The Rider’ unfolds on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. There, horse trainer and one-time rodeo star Brady Blackburn is trying to make his way after a potentially career-ending riding accident. Brady Blackburn is played by real Lakota cowboy Brady Jandreau, who suffered the same horrible head injury seen in the film while competing in a rodeo in 2016. Jandreau was discovered by Chinese director Chloé Zhao--this is her second film shot at Pine Ridge. Zhao also cast Jandreau's father, autistic sister and a handful of friends and in the film. Jandreau and Zhao tell us about making ‘The Rider’ with a tiny amount of money, and the schedule they worked out that allowed Jandreau to train horses in the morning and film in the afternoons.
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- Jeff Bezos finally released Amazon Prime subscription numbers--the service has more than 100 million members. The impulse may be to compare that to Netflix, which just recently announced 125 million subscribers, but those numbers are apples and oranges. Everyone subscribing to Netflix is there for the video content, but likely only a small fraction of Amazon Prime subscribers ar watching Amazon shows. Most are in it for the free shipping.
- Producer Bill Mechanic resigned from the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences via a fiery send-off. His complaints with the Academy--everything from the cost of the Academy Museum to the Oscars telecast being too bloated to its handling of diversity--highlight the difference between the old guard and the new.
The new film ‘The Rider’ follows horse trainer and one-time rising rodeo star Brady Blackburn, as he grapples with the aftermath of a harrowing riding accident.
Brady Blackburn is played by 22-year-old Brady Jandreau, who like his character, lives on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and grew up training horses and competing in rodeos. Two years ago, he suffered the same devastating head injury seen in the film.
Kim Masters recently spoke to Jandreau and to the film’s writer and director, Chloé Zhao. ‘The Rider’ is Zhao’s second movie. She’s made both of her films on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, but her personal story begins far away from the American plains. Zhao grew up in China, went to boarding school in England, and then New York for college. She was drawn west after seeing several stories about Pine Ridge in the news. The rest, is indie film history.
Zhao and Jandreau talk about first meeting--Zhao knew right away she wanted to put him in her next project, but she wasn’t sure what that would be. Then, a bronco shattered Jandreau’s skull, putting his competitive rodeo days behind him. At that point, Zhao knew she had her story. Zhao also cast Jandreau’s his real father and autistic sister to play his family in the film.
Jandreau and Zhao tell us about making the film with a tiny amount of money, and the schedule they worked out that allowed Jandreau to train horses in the morning and film in the afternoons. Plus, Zhao tells us why many cowboys make good actors.
'The Rider' is in theaters now.
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