Director: Austin Chick
Screenwriters: Howard Rodman
- 2008 Sundance Film Festival
Austin Chick returns to the Festival (his XX/XY played in 2002) with August, a sophisticated and razor-sharp film about an aggressive young dot-com entrepreneur struggling to keep his head above water as the bottom falls out of the market.
At the end of March 2001, the dot-com market went into a downward freefall, but LandShark, an Internet company run by the cocky Tom Sterling (Josh Hartnett), seemed to come through the crash still glistening with the aura of success. In August, however, the company faces serious financial troubles, and everyone—except for Tom—seems to be coming to terms with that fact. He cruises around town in his money-green convertible, convinced that LandShark’s products, which were developed by his brilliant brother, Josh (Adam Scott), are still in high demand and destined to revolutionize the future of business. Tom is right, but the road to the revolution may not look exactly like the one he has in mind.
In his brilliantly crafted sophomore effort, Chick draws spot-on performances all around (including a cleverly cast David Bowie) and perfectly captures the innocence, optimism, and electric anticipation of the rise of e-commerce that enthralled America before the world changed. At its most basic level, August is about hubris—about a time when we, as Americans, thought we were untouchable.