a narrative feature written and directed by NICOLAS CITTON
WE ARE NATIONAL PRODUCTS AND SONS
DECORATION tells the story of two siblings - Joni and Wes Carver - who, upon hearing about their estranged father's death, must travel to Arkansas to deal with their joint inheritance: a rundown house on the far edge of a rural town.
WHO WE ARE AND WHY WE ARE DOING THIS
Necessity is the mother of invention.
We are a group of artists living in Los Angeles whose creative desires outweigh the opportunities available. Fortunately, the advent of accessible, quality digital media allows us not only to broaden the scope of our ideas, but make them a reality.
NATIONAL PRODUCTS AND SONS was formed in order to create the work that will outline our careers; in the spirit of experimentation, the pursuit of honesty and the search for a unique voice.
DECORATION began with a conversation.
How can we tell an honest story, on a small budget, reaching beyond the limitations of our familiar environment?
It is necessary that we disconnect ourselves from what we know, and return to the forgotten places that nag us from within. Our roots. In deliberately displacing ourselves, we will challenge the external characteristics that separate us as people of different cultures, backgrounds and principles, focusing on the universal aspects of the human experience.
Embracing the true independent spirit means writing your own way. What began as a conversation has become a journey to our first destination.
STORY, Arkansas population 89.
D E C O R A T I O N You
think you know the story but
you dont know the story but
the story knows you. A film
by Cheryl Nichols and Deanna
Mustard and Rick Dacey and
Robert Baker and Julia Pledl
and Nicolas Citton and the
People of Story, Arkansas
THE COMPLETE SYNOPSIS
DECORATION tells the story of two siblings - Joni and Wes Carver - who, upon hearing about their estranged father's death, must travel to Arkansas to deal with their joint inheritance: a rundown house on the far edge of a rural town. Joni, a successful Los Angeles paralegal, and the defacto parent of the two, is eager to take a state buyback settlement, for a percentage of the property value. Wes, a former mechanic living on disability, makes an uncharacteristic stand, by refusing to sign away his half of the house, before seeing it in the flesh.
3 days later, they arrive in Story, Arkansas, pop. 89.
These are the facts: Lloyd Carver was a retired truck driver who landed in Story, a few years earlier. Lloyd Carver was a quiet man who built a life in the modest one-level at the end of a 3-mile road of foreclosed homes. And one night, Lloyd Carver stepped into the bathtub, and shot himself.
Wes makes arrangements for a private appraiser to come in from Little Rock, giving him a few days to do home repairs, and possibly up the quote of the inheritance. Joni's willful aims to swoop in and out, are officially waylaid. Wes and Joni's week in Arkansas is set against Story's DECORATION Festival, when the town's sons and daughters return to celebrate the lives of ancestors buried in the cemetery. Story reveals itself to be a town of rich, flawed, humane characters, who knew Lloyd in a different way than his own family.
Wes befriends a young waitress named Twyla, who had become Lloyd's closest friend. She found Lloyd's body, after checking on him, when he didn't come into the diner, for 3 nights straight. Joni becomes suspicious of Lloyd's relationship with Twyla, and her 2 year-old son, Miles, while Wes embraces them, as a living connection to his father's last days. And then there is the reserved, contemplative deputy sheriff, Sully, who takes a shine to Jonni, despite her best attempts to push him away. Sully is the only person in town who knows the secret to the Carvers' wounds: Before Lloyd was scraping by as a trucker, he was a school-teacher who was convicted for having sexual relations with an adolescent student. His marriage ended, and he began a 21-year stretch on the national registry that requires sex offenders to check in. The last time he did so, was his first month in Story, and Sully was the assigned officer. For whatever reason, Sully kept his secret.
As Wes - and, eventually, Joni - improve upon the house, they unravel the world of their father - a half- understood man - and the degree to which he landed on the other side of grace, after committing the spectacular, appalling mistake that had defined his life. But when the property appraiser recognizes a fundamental problem with the bones of the house, Joni and Wes find themselves on opposing sides, again.
DECORATION is a movie that understands, profoundly and with love and sadness, the world of small towns - what they mean to the individual, and what the individual means to them. When Joni discovers that Lloyd had rejected the buyback offer in an act of civil disobedience, to keep Story alive, her attitude begins to shift. In the end, Joni and Wes decide not to sell the house, believing that they want to hold onto the best parts of their father, for as long as possible.
WHAT WE NEED
Our total budget for Decoration is $40,000. This includes everything from travel, housing, and food to equipment and compensation for hired professionals. We are not asking for your assistance in funding the entire project, but about a quarter of the money we are hoping to raise is from the village. In the beginning, as we try to create a body of work from the ground up, we are dependent upon the belief of people like you. Please help us make this project a reality.