Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tonight, The Miller Brothers Return Home

Tonight Logan and Noah Miller have the world premiere of their film "Touching Home" in San Rafael, California.  The film opens tomorrow exclusively in San Francisco and Sacramento.  Here are the brothers in the summer of 2008 at the actual baseball field where some of the film's scenes were filmed.   
Omar P.L. Moore/

By Omar P.L. Moore/        Follow popcornreel on Twitter FOLLOW 
Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Once Ed said he was going to do it, we never wanted to cross the line and go back to him and say, 'hey, your people are being assholes.'"

The Miller Brothers -- make that twins -- are talking about Ed Harris and the push-and-pull between them and Mr. Harris' representatives after the actor agreed to do their film "Touching Home".

The contretemps are laid out for all to see in Logan and Noah Miller's national best-selling book Either You're In Or You're In The Way, which covers the remarkable behind-the-scenes travails about the making of the film, which came to fruition after major obstacles.  Hilarious, revealing and heartfelt, the book is as riveting as the film is warm, rugged and beautiful.

Despite their burgeoning success and popularity, some may still be unfamiliar with The Millers' story.  In 2007 at the San Francisco International Film Festival, the twins accosted Mr. Harris in an alley near the Castro Theatre and handed him their screenplay, showing him a rough trailer for their yet-to-be-filmed movie on a laptop.

It was a bold move.  A wild card.  But nine days later when the voice on the other end of the line said, "It's Ed Harris", the audacious move by the Millers turned up aces.  The whole episode is breathlessly recounted in 30 pages (starting on page 115) of the chapter entitled "The Ambush" in the Millers' book.

In the film Mr. Harris plays the twins' father, who battled with alcoholism and died in jail in January 2006. 

Daniel Miller inspired his two kids to live out their dreams.  His sons repay their late father in full with "Touching Home", which has its world premiere tonight in San Rafael in Northern California, a very short drive from their home town of Fairfax, barely an hour north of San Francisco.  Mr. Harris and the filmmakers will be in attendance at the premiere, which will be held at the Christopher Smith Rafael Film Center.

The film opens theatrically tomorrow in San Francisco, a city hardly unfamiliar to its leading man, who performed on the theater stage there.  "Touching Home" also opens in Sacramento tomorrow, and on May 7 in Berkeley.  The film features Mr. Harris at his very best.  The actor's performance has many talking about possible award recognition in 2011.  "Touching Home" also stars Brad Dourif, Robert Forster and Lee Meriwether.

Of the title of their book, Logan and Noah, who spoke by telephone last month, said that they had not verbalized it to anyone, and certainly never intended it as some kind of bold statement.

"It was something to keep us going, you know?"

Of their father, the identical twin brothers recalled: "We deeply loved our father even though he had a lot of problems.  You know, he was a beautiful man when he was sober.  When he was drunk he wasn't fun to be around.  But when he wasn't drinking he was very charismatic and charming, a really wonderful person."

They said that they still have conversations with their father every day.

Logan and Noah Miller used to live in Fairfax, but as of January they make their home down in Southern California in Santa Monica, a few minutes' drive away from and northwest of Los Angeles on the Interstate 10 highway.  They are here for work, and lots of it.  Story ideas they have, plans to execute.  Every morning they awake early and write for several hours, when they are at their sharpest creatively.

"We argue like a married couple: all the time", said Noah. 

Since visiting with the Miller Brothers in June 2008, there are two things about them that have changed: they are now more well-known, and they both have girlfriends.

Are the girlfriends twins as well?

"No", they say, laughing.

Logan and Noah proceed to argue like a married couple when asked about how long they've been dating the ladies in their lives.

Noah: "I've been dating my girlfriend for almost a year and a half."

Logan: "And my girlfriend and I, we've been dating -- it's actually kind of new -- four months."

Noah: "Four months?"

Logan: "Four months."

Noah:  "No!"

Logan: "January was -- "

Noah:  "No".

Logan: "April".

Noah:  "Three months."

Logan:  "No, no, no.  Three months."

Noah:  "Two months."

Logan:  "No, three months."

Noah:  "Three months."

Logan:  "Don't worry, I should know the date.  I'll figure it out one of these days.  Whenever we have our anniversary."

In advising them, the twins recalled a moment when Mr. Harris said to them on the set of the film, "'actors, you know, we're our own worst enemy.  You have to get out of your own way and just do it, just perform.'" 

When asked about putting "Touching Home" on stage, both brothers were enthusiastic. 

"We'd love to do that!"

Mr. Harris was recently in Los Angeles on stage doing Neil LaBute's play "Rex", which boasts a commanding performance from the Oscar-nominated actor, whose films range from "The Right Stuff" to "The Abyss" to "The Truman Show" to "Pollock" to "Gone Baby Gone".

One thing that hasn't changed about the Miller Brothers: they have remained exactly the same in the wake of the critical acclaim and fame that surrounds them.

"We just love the art of creating stories and going into the movies and watching them and reading books.  And we really like people.  You meet people from all over the country who are passionate about the arts, and it's great, you know?  I guess we really like people."

"Touching Home" opens in San Francisco, San Rafael and Sacramento tomorrow.  A review of the film appears here then.

COPYRIGHT 2010.  POPCORNREEL.COM.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.                   Follow popcornreel on Twitter

Read more movie reviews and stories from Omar here.

Read Omar's "Far-Flung Correspondent" reports for America's pre-eminent Film Critic Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times - here

"movie reviews" via popcornreel in Google Reader