"Do you remember what you looked like before you were born?"
One night, a mysterious man appears on the streets of Phoenix, asking this question and raising dozens more. Nobody knows who he is, where he comes from, why he's here, or why he looks so peculiarly familiar. All they know is that this guy just seemed to materialize out of nowhere, the exact same night as the mysterious "Phoenix lights" that appeared over Valley skies on March 13, 1997.
For the film, Pace once again worked with producer and actor (and ASU alum) Michael Tassoni (the duo also worked together on Pace's 1999 film, 14 Ways to Wear Lipstick, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 1999 Slamdance Film Festival).
In The Appearance of a Man, Tassoni plays Father Michael, a clergyman searching for answers about the mysterious stranger, and life and death themselves. (One of the movie's many great one-liners: "Dying is just getting up and going into another room.") Tassoni won the Best Actor award for his role at the 2008 San Diego Film Festival.
While man attempts to unravel the enigmas, science and religion butt heads, as usual, with someone making this observation about things that come from the sky: "2000 years ago, they called them angels. Today, we call them aliens."
Father Michael's character is joined in his quest by his colorful mentor Father Daniel, played by Thomas Basham, and a disturbed Vietnam vet (played by Richard Glover), who believes the man who appeared in Phoenix on March 13, 1997 is the man who saved his life in Vietnam.
Pace's experimental mystery film incorporates news clips, "amateur videos" of the Phoenix Lights, and harrowing, suspenseful, shadow-filled cinematography. The Appearance of a Man seems packed with layers of intrigue and revelations, and has already won a handful of awards, including the Heineken Red Star Award and a Best Feature award from Indie-Fest.
Check out the trailer for the film at www.theappearanceofaman.com.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.