I’m not a huge fireworks person, though I do enjoy shared experiences with people in my community. So, on July 4th, I found myself happily on the roof enjoying a beer and the white noise of people on surrounding rooftops combined with the randomly distributed boom of fireworks in 5 different directions. Best of all, I was treated to a heat lightning storm and had one of those I-love-where-I-live moments.
This video is what grew out of it on a lazy, unplanned Friday night.
This article from Slate about the perpetuation of the sassy, fiery, stubborn, hot-tempered redheaded stereotype is an interesting read. The author asserts that she’s not one of them and doesn’t get it; I believe and respect that. I am probably closer to the stereotype and feel proud to be a redhead; for some reason though, the jokes and archetype are mostly fine by me.
Is it a bit eye-rolling that lady villains or sex vixens are more often than not redheads? YES. Am I probably just happy that redheads at least have alleged traits of sharpness and power instead of supposedly being frivolous? YES. Do I strongly dislike being prejudged and told I remind people of someone (always another redhead with glasses they know)? YES.
BUT: It’s fine, because red hair is special and we know it. If we can be the fiery leading ladies in films, fine. Let’s just hope that people can have the sensibility to know that not all redheads are the same and to not assume we’re all a high level of fiery.
AN ANALOGOUS EXAMPLE: Rare is it that a non-attractive (by magazine-cover convention) man plays the leading male role in a film. However, even though we associate all men like George Clooney and Ryan Gosling to be suave, charismatic, above-the-law, good dressers who ‘have a way with the ladies’, not all men with a pretty face are those things. However, good for them that they get to play those roles; we just can’t assume anything about them as people.
A RESULTING QUESTION: What would happen if a brunette or dyed blue-haired lady were to have played Grace on Will & Grace? Or if a stockier, beer bellied guy played Jacob Palmer in Crazy, Stupid, Love.? Would both be less convincing and less easy for a viewer to simply understand? (I think probably.) Would it be less eye catching? (Likely.) And, would we associate different personal traits with the same characters? (Absolutely.) This is part of the art and tragedy of casting, and while I wouldn’t want that job, I understand why stereotypes are played into.
This best-of video from RiffTrax doesn’t do justice to the howling I did listening to Bill and Kevin do some shorts about art projects with grass, safety, nothingness, and more at MaxFunCon. Their humor is spot-on and compliments their meticulously-curated content and timing brilliantly.
I feel very lucky to have seen them do a live show, and I highly recommend watching some movies through their voices. It’s enlightening.
Watch this short film (10 minutes) by Director Jay Cheel called The Politics of Competitive Board Gaming Amongst Friends. It’s charming, compelling, and beautifully rides the fun line between serious and sarcastic as it explores the dynamics of four buddies playing Settlers of Catan.
I’ll be there all day; check it out and pre-register! There will be lots of great workshops, speakers, and of course, food. See you there!
Exclusive Interview with John Solo from the new film Love Magical
I had the pleasure of interviewing John Solo, who plays Stan Klock in the new film Love Magical by babywolf productions. The film, shot in NYC, is the story of David Justice, an overly passionate man whose fear of love is standing in the way of his dream of becoming the greatest R&B songwriter in the history of the world.
Jen Bokoff: In Love Magical, you play an ‘alternative’ elementary school principal. What was it about the role that attracted you?
John Solo: What attracted me to Stan was his passionate battle for the woman he loves. Even though his heart is broken, he pushes past his feelings of betrayal to fight for Barbara. His ‘alternative’ elementary school abides by the mantra “Find your truth so you can find yourself.” Stan knows his truth and that allows him to battle like no other, storming the castle, and going balls deep in the name of love.
JB: Babywolf productions creates content that is “comedic and truthful.” How do you think Love Magical conveys that idea in the film?
JS: It’s truthful in that we all know and feel what the characters are going through. It’s comedic because the characters leap into very aggressive areas that the most people wouldn’t. Breaking into my ex-girlfriend’s house while she is having dinner with friends and presenting my case for love is a pretty risky thing to do. I know I’ve thought about doing it, but to actually do that is hysterical.
JB: The directors of Love Magical are on Kickstarter raising money to score the film with orginal music. How important is the music to the film and to the director’s focus on rising artists from the NYC music scene?
JS: The story is about a guy wanting to be an R&B songwriter, so music is very important. I think the directors are thinking they have two masters to serve here. One is the R&B side, the sexual and passionate aspect of the film and the other is the independent and quirky nature of the film. The film is a bit off. So between Keith Sweat and Sophia Urista, the R&B side should be covered and with independent artists like Marnie Stern and My Pet Dragon, the fun and independent side should be covered.
JB: Can you give us any hints on who wins the great janitorial showdown at the end?
JS: It’s really a close call. All I can say is that political correctness is thrown out the window!!!
JB: In addition to Love Magical, you were recently in Ed Burn’s new film Newlyweds, which was also shot on location in and around NYC. What was it like shooting both of these films there?
JS: It was fun filming in NYC. We had one day shooting Love Magical down in Tribeca and it was on the same block as this cool little restaurant where a few months before I’d shot a scene for Newlyweds. I actually went in and had lunch there that day. It’s great when two different film worlds collide.
Love Magical is currently in post-production and raising a final round of funds for original music, which you can support through Kickstarter. You can also get a sneak peak at some footage and more behind the scenes info here.
Check out the trailer for a new film by Mary Mazzio called The Apple Pushers. It’s an absolutely phenomenal exploration of the intersection of immigrant entrepreneurship, obesity, and access to fresh fruits and vegetables through compelling characters and thoughtful storytelling.
You can like it on Facebook, too, and check back here for the website that’s launching next week. Please share with whoever you think might be interested! The film will be available for general viewing this fall, but there may be opportunities for advance screenings after the premiere in Aspen this month.
Abigail Disney has a really good head on her shoulders. On top of being a leading philanthropist and talented documentary filmmaker, she’s a beneficiary of a huge estate…and understands the taxes behind it.
Now, if only she’d get rid of the pigtails, I could take her completely seriously.