All Over Again is a short indie film giving a glimpse into an older musician’s foray back into his passion. The film is not fraught with dialogue. But the film gets its point across with imagery, an engaging soundtrack, and a tale many can relate to. Written and directed by indie film veteran Joseph McGovern, All Over Again stars Joesph Fuoco as the main character of “Gregory,” as well as Constance Reshey, David Andro, and Mahdi Shaji.
Summary Of All Over Again
The film begins with a direct shot of an older man noodling on his guitar in what looks like an office. The music is upbeat but a little melancholy and piques one’s interest in the film. Though the white balance is a touch cool, the shots fade to a warmly lit cafe on a dark street.
The “Bus Stop Music Cafe” is a Pitman, New Jersey cafe that holds open mics for aspiring poets, musicians, and other artists to present their works. Greg seems to spend many evenings there listening to poetry readings and trumpet solos. These poignant snapshots of culture are met with snaps and nods of approval. After doing a poetry reading of his own, Greg’s friend Luis asks why he doesn’t play anymore. Shaking his head, Greg admits his time is over but an idea starts forming in his mind.
Background: Where the Music Began
Back at home, we meet Greg’s wife before he heads into the study we first saw him in. This begins with the first of a few flashback scenes that show Greg’s journey. The first we see is Greg and presumably his wife having a picnic while Greg plays a soft melody on the guitar. We observe that Greg has a few songs he has started but left unfinished. The journey of Greg and his wife becoming parents follows through these flashbacks.
Though these events are presented in a positive light, it is clear that this is why Greg left his music playing by the wayside. As he remembers his past, Greg seems unsure how to resolve his full life with the sadness he feels for abandoning his music. As he contemplates and watches others perform at the club, he begins to realize that there is nothing stopping him from continueing what he started.
Turning Point: Back At It
Armed with this new determination, Gregory returns home to work on his songs. Though he displays initial frustration with his rusty skills, he finds his groove and emerges playing a fully written work. For his performance, Greg starts with the tune he was noodling in the beginning and adds vocals with an excellent singing voice.
His voice is somewhat of a surprise given the minimal dialogue Greg has throughout the film. However, his rendition of what seems to be the original song “All Over Again” is sweet and endearing. Having his family and friends show up coupled with a solid round of applause also adds to the warm ending.
All Over Technical Points
The film is shot with attention to framing and effective imagery. The editing is tight enough that viewers have a good understanding of where and when they are. However, the frequent flashbacks coupled with slower paced b-roll shots sometimes detract from the flow of the film. The beginning scenes have a cooler white balance while the scenes on the club are warmer. This does a good job of representing the artsy ambiance of the setting.
There is a shift from the cooler tones in the study to warmer when Gregory begins playing with more confidence. However, it’s unclear whether this also signifies Gregory’s shift from regret to his “happy place” at the club and in music. As we get into the flashback scenes to Greg’s earlier life, the shots are brighter with a softer focus. This gives viewers an understanding of what scenes are flashbacks and what is the present. There is a brief collage of scenes that seem to show Gregory dreaming.
But without a soft heartbeat effect in the background, it’s hard to tell when Gregory’s dream begins or if all his flashbacks are dreams. Fuoco and Reshey perform solid acting and display good chemistry as husband and wife. Some of the scenes with the family feel a bit rushed but they effectively represent everyday life. Andro delivers an excellent performance as Luis friend who accompanies him to the cafe. For a production of this caliber, the audio is well solid and well mixed. Though sometimes slightly hollow, the nat sounds never overpower dialogue or music.
Gregory’s final song “All Over Again” was composed by Fuoco and the lyrics were written by McGovern. It is simple enough to be believable as an amateur song writer’s work but complex enough to carry the film.
The lyrics sum up the film’s message and make Greg’s initial struggle worth it. Sound designer and composer Matthew Amadio wrote a cheerful, yet reminiscent score that beautifully fits the film and its tone. Another note of interest is that McGovern wrote all the poetry he read at the cafe. The poems are meaningful and fit the tone of both the readers and the setting.
Returning To Our Own Passions All Over Again
The film’s story is simple but draws on a truth we to often forget. All Over Again encourages the audience to look at the talents they have set aside. Whether abandoned for time, interest, money or other priorities, passions can get lost in the hustle of life. Even if our lives are filled with good circumstances, this doesn’t mean we have to forget about our former loves. Our friends and families might not be as supportive as Greg’s or our lives not as placid. But wherever we’re at, we can all determine to follow our hearts and rediscover what we love to do.