Set primarily in the early 1950s and focusing on James Dean's experiences as an up-and-coming actor in Los Angeles, Writer/Director Matthew Mishory's debut feature film is a series of revealing and sometimes dreamlike vignettes that blend biographical and fictionalized elements to present pivotal moments in a remarkable life. Shot in gorgeous 35mm black and white punctuated by bursts of color, the film stars James Preston (TV's "The Gates") in the title role, with Dan Glenn (TV's "Pushing Daisies"), debutante Dalilah Rain, Edward Singletary, Jr. (Palo Alto), Robert Gant (TV's "Queer as Folk") and Erin Daniels ("The L Word," A Single Man) rounding out the cast in an intimate portrait of James Dean as he is on the cusp of achieving notoriety as both a great actor and an American icon. The film's "present tense" is 1951, as Dean is driving to the desert of Joshua Tree, California, a few hours journey from his Santa Monica apartment. Along for the ride is The Roommate, a struggling actor Dean has sought out as much for his cultural refinement (which Dean intends to siphon for his own career) as for his friendship and the intimacy it provides. Joining them is "chaperone" Violet, a past-her-prime would-be starlet in the employ of the charming and oily producer/manager Roger. Isolating moments both in Joshua Tree and in the recent past, the story cuts back and forth in time to show us the Dean they know: a man singularly focused on refashioning himself as the great American actor. The culmination of their trip is a series of illuminating confrontations that changes each of their lives forever. Part portrait of a great artist as a young man, part love story, part exploration of the postwar Hollywood machine, JOSHUA TREE, 1951 presents a side of James Dean seldom glimpsed. Aware of his own potential to be legendary, he is at once childlike and world-weary; a brute and a romantic; an intellectual and an Indiana shit-kicker; a playboy and a man of great sensitivity. An unflinching and honest exploration of Dean's complicated sexuality and formative relationships, JOSHUA TREE, 1951 redefines him for a new generation.
James Preston,Dan Glenn,Dalilah Rain
Anchored by a knockout performance from the stunningly handsome James Preston, A Portrait of James Dean: Joshua Tree, 1951 is a fearless, intimate portrait of James Dean on the cusp of becoming both a great actor and an outsider icon. Set in the early 1950s and focusing on Dean’s experiences as a rising star in Los Angeles, the film’s surreal and dreamlike vignettes blend biographical and fictionalized elements to present pivotal moments in his short yet remarkable life.