The Fixer is director Ian Olds’ first fiction feature. This intriguing drama unfolds through the eyes of Osman, (Dominic Rains) a former fixer. A fixer is a man or woman who guides journalists through a warzone, translating for them as they interview militant groups. However, despite his profession, Osman always dreamt of leaving his war-torn region of Afghanistan. So, with the help of the journalist he was guiding, Gabe, he sets out to Northern California. After residing with Gabe’s mother for a short time, and finding that his new job at the local newspaper is not what was promised, Osman starts to meet the locals, such as Lindsay (James Franco). Lindsay seems a little strange, but as Osman soon discovers through the assistance of his new acquaintance, the town’s residents get a lot more eccentric. Soon thereafter Lindsay disappears, leading Osman on a strange journey to discover his friend’s whereabouts.
From this point onwards, Osman descends through a curious rabbit hole occupied with a deepening mystery and an outlandish cast of characters. The Fixer does a great job of showing Osman as a fish out of water. Differing cultures, such as what might be found in other countries, like the aforementioned Afghanistan, could appear strange to many of us, but we don’t often think about how our culture may seem to those unfamiliar with it. In my opinion, displaying The Fixer’s protagonist as a kind hearted, yet (other than his work as a fixer) a rather unexceptional man, says that he could be anyone of us. It only takes a single step outside of our comfort zone—to be in unfamiliar surroundings—we could all, at any time, find ourselves in his shoes.
In addition to the strange new land Osman now inhabits, and Lindsay’s disappearance, watching the young fixer struggle to understand his increasingly surreal situation, and attempt to do the right thing as he progresses, is engaging and gripped me until the final scene. Another notable aspect of the film is the interactions. The half socially backward, half-bohemian laced community receive him in a variety of ways: some don’t like him due to his place of birth, others distrust him simply because he is a journalist, while some take an instant liking to him.
The Spring Creek Sun’s Dean Moses had an opportunity to speak to The Fixer’s, James Franco as he walked down the red carpet.
Spring Creek Sun: The Tribeca Film Festival has a rich history. What does it mean to you to be showcased here?
James Franco: I love the Tribeca Film Festival. I have been here many, many times—probably more than any other festival, and I find that they are incredibly supportive of newer directors. I’m here with a first time director, Ian Olds, and a second time director, Justin Kelly. I think that this is the perfect festival for those films, this festival really carved out a space for—to me—very interesting movies made by young film makers.
Spring Creek Sun: What drew you to the role?
James Franco: The main thing that drew me to the project was Ian Olds. He is a longtime collaborator of mine, he edited a bunch of my movies and he directed documentaries before, but this was his first feature. Because he is a friend and a collaborator I just said I will do whatever I can to help support your movies. Photo: Dean Moses