Jack C. Newell Reflects On ‘Monuments’ Journey And ‘Seven Samurai’ Appreciation

Funny and resonant feature, starring David Sullivan and Marguerite Moreau, is now out on VOD and Digital.

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Director Jack C. Newell’s (42 Grams, Hope Springs Eternal) latest feature Monuments centers on a widower (David Sullivan) who searches for the perfect resting place for his wife’s (Marguerite Moreau) ashes. An engaging comedy with a resonant storyline, Monuments is an indie gem that I hope gets more attention. Newell talked to Deepest Dream about how his own family life inspired the film’s genesis.
David Sullivan in “Monuments”

Ted Daniels (David Sullivan) is a teacher who is going through the motions, and his wife Laura (Marguerite Moreau) wants him to take a more proactive stance in his life. Even during their arguments, Ted lets things roll off his back with his self deprecating sense of humor.

Marguerite Moreau and David Sullivan in “Monuments”

After an unforeseen accident leaves Ted a widower, he takes on an important journey in finding a place where he can put Laura’s ashes to rest. Along his cross country road trip, Ted meets an intriguing cast of characters while escaping the clutches of his wife’s family. Laura’s parents want her ashes buried close to home, but Ted, believing he knows his spouse’s true wishes, has a better idea.

I briefly discuss my love for Monuments on the CinemAddicts podcast (starting at 31:36):

Javier Muñoz is also a value added addition as Howl, a friend of the family who tries to bully Ted into surrendering the ashes.

Director/writer Jack C. Newell’s brother and mother died of cancer during his high school and college years. That sense of loss weaves its way into Monuments amidst the film’s comic misadventures, and it’s a perfect blend. Rebecca Fons, Newell’s mother-in-law, penned the short story. Monuments is definitely a family affair, and that personal touch is one of the feature’s many strong points (Sullivan, Moreau, and Muñoz deliver first rate performances).

As a crypto assets enthusiast, I asked Newell about the prospect of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in the filmmaking space at the end of the interview. We close the talk with his thoughts on one of his favorite films – Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.

Seven Samurai – Streaming on The Criterion Channel or Available as a Criterion Blu-ray

Check out our interview below and for more interviews and movie reviews, please subscribe to my Deepest Dream YouTube Channel. Thank you for your support!

Here is the song I alluded to in the interview that plays in Monuments:

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