Winner Of Best Short Drama In New York Film Festival 2006
Based on the poem of the same name by Eli Siegel, “Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana” was adapted to film by Ken Kimmelman and was the winner of best short drama at the New York Film Festival 2006. “Hot Afternoons” was based on Siegel’s concept of aesthetic realism, the concept that beauty is created by the uniting of opposite qualities.
Siegel gave a reading of his poem in 1969 that was used to narrate the film. In it, Montana is treated as a montage of experiences that run the gamut of multimedia platforms. Combining photographs, digital art, and live-action video, the sum total of these vignettes portrays a blisteringly hot afternoon in Montana and dives into its essence as a state. It also does not fail to cover the beauty of its people and the diverse history that the land has seen.
“Hot Afternoons” was one of the best short dramas in New York Film Festival 2006 as well as the 2006 film festival circuit overall, having garnered a slew of awards in U.S. and international festivals alike. Kimmelman’s short drama was so well-liked that it continued winning awards for years after 2006, even after taking home best short drama in New York Film Festival.
Howard Zinn, one of the 20th century’s preeminent historians, praised “Hot Afternoons” as one of the best short dramas of the year. Said Zinn, “Ken Kimmelman's reproduction, on film, of Eli Siegel's magisterial poem, is an extraordinary achievement. It matches, in its visual beauty, the elegance of Siegel's words, and adds the dimension of stunning imagery to an already profound work of art.”
“Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana” won the Nation prize for poetry in 1925, and now has been adapted into an artful, moving short drama that upholds the legacy of Eli Siegel and his principles of aesthetic realism. It is a beautiful portrait not only of a state and its heritage, but of the United States and its people.