Minneapolis is hardly a hub of cinematic activity. Smack in the middle of the “fly over zone” between New York and L.A., it’s attracted the occasional big film (A Serious Man was filmed there, as was Fargo) but “none of them were homegrown or really interested in telling the stories I want to see,” says Brady Kiernan, a Twin Cities native and director of the upcoming film Stuck Between Stations. He and writers Sam Rosen and Nat Bennett are seeking to remedy that problem with this film, which follows its main characters on “an accidental tour of the little-known underbelly of Minneapolis.”
Fans of Minneapolis rockers The Hold Steady will recognize the movie’s title as a nod to the opening track of the band’s Boys and Girls in America LP (Paste’s #11 album of the decade). “The title is mostly a reference to the spirit of the song,” Kiernan tells Paste. “This film is about those nights that we’ve all had where you meet someone, spend the whole night with them and start to maybe fall in love.” Kiernan is currently in negotiations with the band to provide music for the film.
A soundtrack from the critical darlings would be just another coup for the flick, which has attracted on-screen talents Josh Hartnett, Breaking Upwards’ Zoe Lister Jones and Michael Imperioli of The Sopranos. Writers Rosen and Bennett had prior relationships with Hartnett and Lister Jones, but their singular script was the fulcrum of their film’s appeal to both director Kiernan and to the actors.
A coming-of-age story for modern-day middle America, Stuck Between Stations sees Casper, a troubled veteran, and Rebecca, a grad student unsure about her future, haphazardly reunited in their hometown of Minneapolis a decade after their high school graduation. Thrust together by forces greater than themselves, they experience a whirlwind of strange events including a punk-rock circus and a spontaneous burglary, staged against Twin Cities landmarks such as Loring Park and legendary venue 1st Avenue. (Sounds like a song by The Hold Steady, no?) Filming will wrap this fall, after which the creators will shop Stuck Between Stations around at film festivals such as Sundance and Toronto, seeking distribution.
“There has yet to be a breakout indie success that puts our city on the map,” Kiernan says. “Maybe that’s us, maybe it isn’t, but we love this city.” Hometown pride aside, “our story is still about two people and their lives. We just can’t think of a better place to fall in love than Minneapolis.”