Synopsis by Mark Deming
Photographer and experimental filmmaker Sharon Lockhart offers a visual meditation on the relationship between humans and nature in this non-narrative feature. Shot in the Pine Flat region of the Sierra Nevada foothills, Pine Flat consists of ten uninterrupted ten-minute takes of young people in a natural environment, behaving as if they had no idea they were being filmed. Lockhart's "actors" play in the fields, go swimming, chat, sing, push a swing or make out depending on what mood strikes them, and the camera focuses on their unselfconscious behavior as well as the simple, pastoral beauty that surround them. The film also includes an "intermission" reel and opening and closing sequences that show Pine Flat under the cover of snow. Pine Flat was screened in competition as part of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.