In addition to announcing their forthcoming release of R. Alverson’s debut film, The Builder, which features music by Bon Iver, Gregor Samsa, Pan American, Robert Donne, and Spokane, Jagjaguwar revealed yesterday that they will also drop the film’s soundtrack of “new, unreleased and demoed songs from artists like Califone, Luke Temple and Sam Amidon.” (Download Amidon’s album take on “Cabin in the Corner” here.) One sentence in their press release, however, particularly jumped out at me: “Alverson’s second feature, New Jerusalem, starring Will Oldham and The Builder’s Colm O’Leary, is now complete and being submitted to festivals.”
The last time we saw Oldham act onscreen (aside from in that insane beer commercial) was in Kelly Reichardt’s Michelle Williams-starring film Wendy and Lucy in which he gives a short, but unforgettable speech as a vagrant man named Icky at a beach bonfire party. Back in 2006, Oldham starred with Daniel London in Reichardt’s Old Joy, a film about the reunion of two former friends, featuring a score by Yo La Tengo. Actually, Alverson’s new film appears to share some thematic similarities to Old Joy. Check out part of the synopsis:
Sean (Colm O’Leary), an Irish immigrant to America, returning from a non-combat tour of duty in Afghanistan, finds his heart and mind in disarray. He befriends Ike (Oldham), a strong willed Evangelical Christian, who endeavors to ensure his salvation.
Interestingly, as any fan of the former Palace Brother could tell you, the closing track off Oldham’s Viva Last Blues, his Steve Albini-produced 1995 album under the Palace Music moniker, is called “Old Jerusalem.” Perhaps that song inspired the film, or at least the title. In any event, we’ll keep an eye out for a trailer, but in the meantime check out some stills here and the trailer to Alverson’s debut, The Builder, below: