Trailer Watch: Wild Tigers I Have Known (15th Anniversary Edition)
When I recently interviewed Cam Archer about his latest short, His Image, the director told me that he has been revisiting old projects, creating new high-definition scans and working on new edits. The first of those projects to see the light of day is out October 26, and a trailer has just dropped. Via video label Altered Innocence comes a 15th anniversary edition of Archer’s debut feature, Wild Tigers I Have Known, in what’s billed as a “2021 Edit and Mix.” Bonus features on the disk include:
-Pull-out Poster by Michael Gillette
-A 2021 Interview with Lou Stumpf (who played Logan)
-Audition Tapes: Logan + Joey
-Unused Title Credits Animation by Martha Colburn
-A 2004 Interview with Cam Archer and Aaron Platt
-2 Unfinished Projects in HD: Lonely Boy Hart + Animal Boy
-Short Film: Bobbycrush (New HD Restoration)
-13 Music Videos by Cam Archer (New HD Restorations)
In the intro to his 2006 Filmmaker interview with Archer, Mike Plante wrote:’
With a kind but unabridged eye, Cam Archer portrays the lives of teenagers in awkward gay love. His first feature, Wild Tigers I Have Known, opened a lot of eyes when it premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. It follows the shy but dare-taking Logan (Malcolm Stumpf) and his naïve pursuit of a cool, older teen, Rodeo (Patrick White). Logan attempts to transform himself into what he thinks Rodeo will desire, a move Archer handles stylishly but not with movie sappiness. Meanwhile, a mountain lion is on the loose in town.
Tigers is a logical extension of Archer’s earlier shorts, including bobbycrush and the American Fame series. Dreamy visuals of teenhood — cool hair, telephones, starkly lit bedrooms, troubled outsiders — are laid over structured soundtracks that blend distinctive background ambiences with catchy songs. On the surface of Tigers is a coming-of-age story, with a quirky kid trying to overcome the odds. But Archer takes the characters past an easy smartass-wins-all scenario. Instead of sabotaging the school principal, they stay inside a fantasy world where your room is a forest, you can float, and impossible love is within reach.
Archer is a fresh voice in American independent film, and he emerged from Sundance not as a mainstream wonder but as an artistic underdog. Lots of filmmakers are making nostalgia about teen love for other adults, but Archer is making art films for teens.
Check out the new trailer above.