“The Discoverers” Head for Uncharted Territory

At the heart of this indie-comedy-drama, a journey within a journey with lead “discoverer” played by an outstanding Griffin Dunne. Beautifully underplayed and alive in the small detours life never fails to offer.

It’s an ages-old story: family in disarray, falling apart at the seams. Sullen teens either taking vows of silence or going vegan and being disapproving of ANYTHING a parent might suggest or do. Remember? This situation calls for a family road trip. From Chicago to the Oregon Coast, with a stop in Portland so Dad can present his just about to be published history book on York who was a part of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition.  For this family? The promise of so much. The urgent hope for renewal. And so begins a new film from Justin Schwarz.

Find out where to see “The Discoverers” HERE  The run has been extended.

Robert Parish and I had the opportunity to speak with the film’s director, Justin  Schwarz, and his wife Laura Kleger who produced  “The Discoverers”.  Check out the video, below.


We’ve seen it on screen with “The Royal Tennenbaums” and “Little Miss Sunshine”. And countless other stories and films. The falling apart so we can all come back together. Maybe not the same as before, but different, and for that, renewed. That is the story of a film finally making it to the screen (it was made in 2012). The difference with “The Discoverers” is the way the journey is made; a sort of journey within a journey and its lead “discoverer” played here by outstanding Griffin Dunne. And at the heart of this indie-comedy-drama, all of it, beautifully underplayed and alive in the small detours.
Dunne plays, by turns, an exasperating, bumbling, frustrating, sad sack middle-aged professor fearful of losing relevancy and purpose and family and career. He is thrust into a journey within a journey with his alienated son and daughter and father (played by Stewart Margolin) on a Lewis and Clark re-enactment of the 19th century Westward  trek. Hilarity and enlightenment?  Plenty to see and learn here. All in the smaller pleasures, discoveries, frustrations and nuances our lives never fail to offer.
It turns out there are so many parallels for Dunne to Lewis Birch, his character in the film, and to his father Dominick Dunne, and a few unexpected connections to Portland and to Oregon as well. Our conversation, below.

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