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Posts Tagged ‘jumping off bridges’

The movie begins with some teenagers jumping off bridges. They apparently take pictures of bridges during the day, and at night, around 2 am, they jump off those bridges. The exercise proves to be dangerous and there is a level-headed teenager among them who tries to put some sense into them.


As the movie progresses, we learn that something is wrong with Zack Nelson. He is more aggressive at jumping off the bridges; he no longer gets along with his best friend, and is not getting along with his family either.


His father, Frank Nelson, is the high school math teacher. We notice and they talk about that there are pictures of certain members of the family missing. Frank tries to connect with Zack and tells him he as well is very moved by what happened in the family.


There is some conflict with Zack and his older brother. Apparently Zack fells that his older brother is not at all upset about the death of their mother.


We learn that the mother was suffering from depression and no matter how much therapy she underwent, the sorrow could not be erased and she went into the garage, locked the doors, and killed herself by letting the car run in the locked up garage.


We are shown some tender moments between Frank and his wife, but you get to see that it is strenuous. Whatever was bothering her was so deep that no matter how Frank tried to reach her, he couldn’t.


As the movie progresses, we learn that the tragedy that was causing Mrs. Nelson’s depression (I don’t remember her name) was the death of her daughter. Apparently, Zack (I am a bit murky in the details here) was to watch her, but he was too busy playing basketball, and she ran into the street and was run over by a car.


Zack feels guilty over his sister’s death and his mother’s death. Frank offers to send him to a psychiatrist, which Zack refuses. (We saw that scene in the promo.)


In another scene as Frank is teaching, he is overwhelmed with sorrow and breaks down in the bathroom. (A very heart-wrenching scene.) We also get to witness Frank’s loneliness. He is invited to an adult Halloween party, wherein everyone has a partner, but him. At that party, he gets a phone call, Zack jumped off a bridge and may have drowned.

Now, here’s where the movie is ambiguous. We see Frank and his older son in the hospital, and we don’t know whether Zack makes it or not.  The next scene shows him playing with his friends, but it is done in such a way that you can interpret it as if it is Zack’s ghost and his friends are remembering him or he did make it and is happily playing with friends.

This is the story to the best of my memory. I loved the movie, but I was confused by the way it ended. I am hoping that once I watch the DVD, I’ll get a better sense of what was going on.


Jumping Off Bridges

(written and directed by Kat Candler)


Here’s a bit of history of Kat Candler and how she met Michael Emeron:


After the original actress cast in the role of Grove dropped out due to a family emergency, a second round of auditions was held. It was fate that Savannah Welch stepped in that day. “The character of Grove hit eerily close to home for me”, says Welch. “My boyfriend of 3 years had a suicide in his immediate family. I witnessed the grief it caused him and each family member separately, and how it affected me in turn. The character, I knew would be intense for me because of these personal reasons, but those are the kinds of roles that are most rewarding”. Welch has received rave reviews for her portrayal of Grove, Zak’s tough as nails girlfriend. Michael Emerson (Saw, The Legend of Zorro, LOST) plays the role of Frank Nelson, Zak’s kindhearted father. At the age of 15, Kat Candler and Michael Emerson both lived in Jacksonville, FL. Kat was a budding actress in high school and Michael was praised as the best actor to step foot onto a Jacksonville stage. She admired him from afar and eventually took his acting workshop. She fell in love with his intensity and his love for the stage. She got involved on his summer production of Twelfth Night working in the props department. She lent the production her parent’s expensive rug, which after production wrapped, she was too shy to ask for it back. At the tender age of 15, she didn’t want to upset one of her idols. After high school, Kat went off to college and Michael moved to New York City to try it on Broadway. Kat kept tabs on his career as it climbed from a Broadway role opposite Kevin Spacey in The Iceman Cometh to an Emmy winning turn on The Practice. In the spring of 2005 (about 15 years later) she sent him a letter about what an impression he’d made on her life and asked him to star in her independent film. He read the script and two days later, signed on to star. Since filming Jumping Off Bridges Michael took a guest starring role on ABC’s series LOST and has become a huge hit in the role of Henry Gale (head of “The Others”)

Here’s Michael’s bio that I found in the Jumping Off Bridges Web site:

Michael Emerson
(Frank Nelson) made his New York stage debut playing Oscar Wilde in Moises Kaufman’s Gross Indecency. He has appeared on Broadway in The Iceman Cometh with Kevin Spacey and [in] Hedda Gabler, opposite Kate Burton. Off-Broadway and regional work include plays by Shakespeare, Moliere, Friel and LaGarce at The Roundabout, Arena Stage, McCarter, Huntington, and many other theaters. Film credits include The Imposters, Playing by Heart, Straight Jacket, Saw, and The Legend of Zorro. On television, he has played a number of off-beat and dangerous characters on programs like The X-Files, the Law and Order, Without a Trace, The Inside, and many others, including a turn as the might-be serial-killer William Hinks on The Practice, for which he received a 2001 Emmy Award. Michael can currently be seen in the role of Henry Gale on the ABC series LOST.


Jumping Off Bridges is a story ripped from the heart of Kat Candler’s adolescence. “I tend to gravitate towards the romanticism of youth. Everything’s so heightened and new.” Candler’s first feature film, Cicadas (2000) a teenage love story, won festival awards across the US and was hailed as “possibly the best teen misfit romance drama since the mid-80s” by Ain’t It Cool News. It’s “a heartwrenching coming of age teen flick somewhere between Degrassi Jr. High and The Virgin Suicides," said Michael Chamey from The Austin Chronicle. She was instantly branded as the girl in Austin who makes movies about teenagers.


Inspired by invincible friendships, junior high journal entries, heart breaking crushes and the complexities of losing loved ones, Kat Candler spent 2001 penning Jumping Off Bridges. The story follows an adventurous group of four best friends in the trenches of adolescence. It centers on Zak Nelson and his struggle to come to terms with a family tragedy.


Candler has been called the John Hughes of her generation, tapping into the authenticity and honesty of teenagers. The Austin Chronicle “described her as “one of the most astute observers of teenage behavior working behind a camera today, and Jumping Off Bridges, her powerful, resonant examination into the impact of suicide on those left behind is as realistic a narrative portrait of love, death, and human debris as anything you’re ever likely to see onscreen." Candler’s ability to take some of the darkest and most jagged truths about fear, regret, sadness, loss, suffering and pain and break them


Michael Emerson (Henry Gale, Benjamin Linus of LOST) plays the father in the movie Jumping Off Bridges. This movie is touring throughout the United States before it will be shown in theatres. I am attempting to attend the November 15 showing. (Wish me luck, because I really, really, really want to see it.)

Here’s a picture of Michael (which depicts the depth that he had to undergo for this role):

If you want to see an example of his acting in the movie, take this link:


press the

"Press Clip Four" 


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