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"Super Heady" (2020) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #44 Gem Mint 10.0

“Super Heady“ (2020)

Director: Jacob King & Micah Van Hove

Starring: Jacob King, Evan Marshall, Ryan Dougherty, Kyle Miller, Martin Diaz-Valdez, Matt Wells, Jacques Eaglehof

Rated: (don't think it has one but if I had to guess it would be R for language and some drug content)

Runtime: 1h 10min

Genre: Drama

Country: USA

Language: English

In this Cinéma vérité exploration of isolation and community, a man transports 14 cases of factory rejected beer from California to Colorado in hopes of selling it at a Phish concert.

You might like this if you like: Cinéma vérité, dramas, dramedies, comedies, experimental filmmaking, low budget, indie, Phish, concerts, music, music festivals, Jacob King, Micah Van Hove, "Shadow of a Gun" (2018), "Menthol" (2016) and upcoming film "Snake Oil Song"

Jacob King in "Super Heady" (2020)

I first heard about this film from friend and collaborator, Micah Van Hove, who shot the film with friend Jacob King in 2015. I was working with Micah on his film "Shadow of a Gun" (2018) as a co-producer/2nd AD and he told he had another film they were trying to get released. I had worked with Micah on a couple things before and I credit him for getting me onto my first ever film set for his short film "Sleepwalking" (2010) starring Calvin Lee Reeder, Cornelia Livingston, Peter Bellwood and Lindsay Pulsipher.

"Super Heady" (2020)

I had only met Jacob when I got to the "Shadow of a Gun" set and loved the idea of a film with him as the lead on a road trip to sell beer at a concert. He was so kind, creative and all around funny with a unique wit that I was excited to see what else he could do/had done. He was also great at just picking up a guitar and improvising an entire song. Knew how to keep a room alive.

I've seen it twice now and got to show my fiance on the second run and she loved it. She was a big fan of his in "Shadow of a Gun" (2018) and was also just excited to see him again in a film.

Going in, I sort of was familiar with the style that Van Hove shoots in. King's sense of humor. I get that not everyone may be. It's not your everyday film but that's what I love about it. It captures such a simple story with fascinating small moments of life's struggles and joy.

Jacob King in "Super Heady" (2020)

King kept the whole story connected for me. A big thing I noticed was the camera almost never left him. It stayed close and almost always kept the background out of focus. My fiance compared it to moments of Sam Mendes' "1917" with its long cuts and forcing the audience to stay with them constantly even for the smallest of moments and especially the hard ones. Not saying this film necessarily follows the long takes like "1917" but gave us a similar feeling of "I can't look away" or just a very specific point of view that sticks throughout the entire film.

I wasn't aware of the band "Phish" until this film but both my fiance and I thought it captured that concert/rave/festival scene perfectly. We've been to a rave or two and a few concerts and the types of people you encounter, the conversations, the atmosphere, the colors, the stress, the excitement, the camaraderie was spot on. It took us right back.

"Super Heady" (2020)

The camera, shot by Micah Van Hove, felt as much a character as the rest of the cast only putting me deeper into the film almost like I was there. I hadn't felt a story has captured the feeling of being on the road and attending a concert/festival until "Super Heady".

Such a beautiful little film. King's determination, passion and commitment whether it's through his character or in making the film as well as Van Hove's is what makes it stand out. It really feels like these two guys just went out and made a movie together.

Evan Marshall (left), Jacob King (middle) & Martin Diaz-Valdez (right) in "Super Heady" (2020)

Also, big ups to Jeffrey Reeser for helping out with editing & Natalie Chang for producing!

Check out this insightful and fun Q&A with Micah Van Hove & Jacob King on their film "Super Heady" (2020):

Written by Sam Gall on 09/07/20

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

"A youthful period of drugs and booze may seem inconsequential and filled with self-inflicted stress but it’s depicted here as a herculean endeavor (see: Jacob lugging cases of beer, exhausted) — it works because it’s real and isn’t afraid to show the boys warts and all." -

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