FILM REVIEW: Boyd Tinsley’s Faces in the Mirror

Around lunchtime a few Sunday’s ago, I was privy to the fact that Boyd Tinsley would be doing a screening of some sort at Toad’s Place in New Haven CT followed by a meet and greet. By mid afternoon, my brothers grabbed some tickets to whatever it was and set the plan in motion. Just after dinnertime, I was picked up and off we went. What this screening was? We still had no idea. We were just excited at the idea that we would get to shake Boyd’s hand. Anyone that grew up loving the classic 90s/early 2000s Dave Matthews Band can most certainly understand the feeling. He shreds the fiddle. He is an amazing musician. It would be a honor…

While on the ride down from Hartford, I put my smartphone to use and found that Boyd had produced an independent movie called “Faces in the Mirror” and he was currently on tour promoting and screening it throughout the country. Same smartphone also helped me view this here trailer:

Once I realized what was actually happening, I grew more excited. The music sounded phenomenal and the film looked completely up my alley: dark and full of intense thought.

We walked into the venue and there were about one hundred chairs set theater-style facing a rather large screen. While trying to find a seat, I overheard a lot of memories. People reminiscing about their first live DMB experience and talking about all the “disgusting” (as in good) things that Boyd brought to the band with the “magic he makes on his fiddle.” Not soon after a trip down my own memory lane did Boyd breeze right by me, grabbed a mic and started speaking on some of his memories of making this film. I will have to paraphrase:

He explained what the movie was about, how it came to be and what it means to him. It was created by and with a very intimate cast and crew. It was in the making for three years and in editing for two years before the final product could come to the surface.

“We wrote the music first and then the movie came.”

He explained that the music was the very thing that the movie was built around. Those that he worked with “were just as crazy” as he was. The “way he does things is the direct way” and that is why he brought this movie directly to us. He encouraged us to “get the word out” to our friends in any way we felt we could just as people did in the early years of DMB; “you all traded tapes of our live shows and talked us up” and boom, the band made it (of course also in part to their insane talent).

“From my heart to your heart. Please enjoy.”

The film is a beautiful tragedy. It is about a young man who loses his estranged father and who was visited by an angel bearing a rare gift of home movies; a filmstrip depicting his memories. He appears to be an only child and that he lost his mother at an early age. The audience is led to follow this young man through the film as he lives through the loss and goes on a surreal journey through his past, reliving moments one might rather forget about.

The score/soundtrack was written and performed primarily by Boyd but with the help of some his band-mates as well as several other talented musicians. It was beautifully performed and as he suggested it would be, the movie fit right around each sound. It gave the film somewhat of a similar vibe to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” wherein what we were seeing melted into the music we were hearing.

After the film had concluded, there was a standing ovation, many whistles and lots of cheers as Boyd made his way back into the light. There were no further words spoken from what I recall, only he and all of his adoring fans in line to hug him. And hug them he did. It felt like everyone in the room formed a huddle around him and whomever he was hugging. I made my way through the huddle and once he and I embraced, I think an entire minute went by before one of us spoke. Before I could get anything out, he thanked me so much for coming to see the film. And just before I could reply, my goof-ass brother from the crowd yells, “Yo Boyd! That’s my baby-sista, man!” After a good laugh between everyone, I looked Boyd Tinsley in his eyes and thanked him for bringing such great pieces of art and music into my life. And that it was an enormous pleasure to share in this moment with him. It certainly is a moment that I will never forget.

After the hug-session concluded, Connecticut’s own The Mushroom Cloud took stage for a quick and amazing set. Boyd joined them about halfway through and it was just at about that moment when everything became right with the world. I would encourage any movie/music loving nerd like myself to get on seeing this movie. While the live screenings have come to an end, you can rent or download it directly from Amazon today! [CLICK HERE] If you like it as much as I did, do as he suggests: PASS IT ON TO YOUR FRIENDS! Boyd did a successful job of promoting this movie while DMB was on tour over the summer and also largely via Twitter. He has a group named “Narnia” that is made of of the people that he follows. He cherishes his followers as much as they cherish him. #narniaLOVE