Biker395 | Torrance, CA USA | 10/21/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Trona" is a microcosm of it's namesake ... a world of contradictions.
It is hilarious ... and depressing. Beautiful ... and squalid. Boring ... and fascinating. All at the same time.
It's a movie about a lonely man frustrated with his life ... a man who wants to escape. And escape he does, inexplicably finding himself transported to the middle of the blind desert in his business suit.
Hilarious circumstances strip him of almost all of his clothes, leaving him in his tidy whities, dark socks and dress shoes, a visual reminder that he is leaving it all behind.
Along the way, the viewer is given insight to a world few get to see. A world where the drink of choice is Robitussin on the rocks. And one where peeing in the corner of a hotel room makes more sense than using the toilet.
The dialog is spare. The music ethereal. The symbolism rampant.
If you're curious and patient, it's worth a look."
Karen | 11/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can't claim to understand Fenster's message in this movie; however, as a native of Trona, I enjoyed catching glimpses of familiar places. Here are the scenes you can expect to recognize in this film:
Nice daytime shot of the Pinnacles, and a night shot of the Trona plant from the Pinnacles. If you've never been to the Pinnacles at night, you're missing something special, and the twinkling lights of the pump houses on the lake are almost mystical.
Moving from the Pinnacles, Fenster has a decent perspective of the Trona plant as he walks along the fence/wall from the Train House towards the Main Entrance Security Gate. He also enters one of the only remaining (albeit trashed) homes next to the Train House behind the old Mobil Gas Station.
Fenster catches several views of the Catholic Church on Trona Rd near the school, but I'm not sure how this fits into the film. It just kind of shows up, I suppose to let the viewer know that some people in Trona attend church. This large, white, triangular shaped church sets on the edge of the dry lake and does offer a sharp contrast between nature at its roughest and man's search for meaning and faith--perhaps that was what Fenster was after.
He then moves out to Pioneer Point where you will see an outside and inside shot of Trails Drive In. Although he is kicked out for not wearing a shirt, Karen (owner) is a wonderful person and will do whatever she can to help her customers. If you're ever in Trona, stop and try one of her hamburgers.
Two other brief scenes include a shot outside the Post Office, and a shot of the bench on the bike trail between Trona and Pioneer Point.
Much of the movie takes place inside a junkyard. I'm not convinced this was shot in Trona, as the mountains in the background look like those just west of Inyokern. I believe the junkyard scenes were filmed in Ridgecrest, at the intersection of County Line Rd and Hwy 178. Most of the town scenes were also most likely filmed in Ridgecrest, as Trona does not have a "downtown."
If you're looking for an action film, romance, or comedy, you may want to look elsewhere. But, if you want to catch glimpses of Trona and the high desert, and perhaps ponder Fenster's "minimalist" style, then I highly recommend this film. It runs 64 minutes and has several bonus features.