Jeff Nichols has a new movie out today. It’s a short film inspired by Lucero’s “Long Way Back Home,” from the band’s recently released ninth album, “Among the Ghosts.” Jeff is, of course, brother to Ben Nichols, Lucero’s lead singer.
Ben will be in Little Rock on Sunday for a special screening of the short as part of Filmland, the annual event put on by the Arkansas Cinema Society, which Jeff co-founded and will be hosting. The short will film just before “Operation Finale” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, and the Nichols brothers will talk a little about the making of it.
Like all of Nichols’ movies, this one stars Mike Shannon, who here plays a shady slick-haired man who returns to Memphis looking for his two brothers (played by Scoot McNairy and Garrett
Vulture had the preview of the film today and interviewed Jeff.
“I’m very fortunate that Mike Shannon returns 99 percent of my phone calls, but I still get nervous asking him!” admitted Nichols. “I hate asking for favors. It’s one thing when you’re making a movie, but this was a unique request.” Fortunately, he said, Shannon was an easy sell: “I asked, ‘Do you want to be in it?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, can I get some free Lucero tickets?’”
Nichols originally planned to make “Long Way Back Home” as a nonlinear montage of Shannon walking around Memphis, but his plans grew gradually more ambitious: After writing a short screenplay for the video, Nichols corralled actors like Garrett Hedlund, Scoot McNairy, and Paul Sparks to take part, too. “It became less of a cool, random project I was gonna do with my brother and Mike Shannon,” said the director, “and it turned into, ‘Oh no, we’re actually producing a short Jeff Nichols film.’”
Nichols said he’d love to expand the short into a full length. It could sort of be the inverse to “Shotgun Stories.”