Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back in the saddle again. Sort of:

If you know me or if you read my Facebook page, you're aware that I developed a particularly acute case of shingles nine weeks ago and that, in many ways, it has derailed my summer thus far.

The good news, though (and I while I'm not superstitious, I can't help but touch wood as I write this) is that I'm incrementally improving and that, last week, I interviewed Lynn Shelton, the out-of-the-park talented writer/director of the new indie comedy, Humpday, for Nerve.

I'm extraordinarily fortunate because if my folks and TJ did not graciously volunteer to do my grocery shopping, errand running, et al, there is no way I could have taken on or completed the assignment. (It should be noted I pitched this feature before I developed shingles but it wasn't assigned until the eleventh hour. 'Twas ever thus in publishing and I'm neither surprised nor complaining.)

The feature went up on Friday and so far, the feedback has been quite good. I'm including the link and, also, my original intro that was edited for space reasons because I believe the maiden venture more accurately represents both Lynn and me.

And for the love of all that is holy, get your ass to a theater. Humpday is the rare film that makes you laugh and think in equal measure and, laudably, it eschews the edgy-for-the-sake-of-it dust that coats so many flicks of all genres.

My piece with the estimable Ms. Shelton:


And my original intro:

Lynn Shelton, the 43 year-old writer/director of the new critically lauded indie comedy, Humpday, enters Seattle’s Neptune Coffee wearing a wool cap on one of the city’s on-again-off-again drizzling summer afternoons. A smash on the festival circuit, the pocket change budgeted Humpday explores events set loose when two straight college friends, the staid and married Ben (Mark Duplass) and the still peripatetic Andrew (Joshua Leonard), reconnect in their thirties and opt, on a dare of sorts, to have sex with one another in a locally sponsored amateur porn contest. (“It’s beyond gay!” Ben announces as they mull the idea at a wine-soaked party.) The film has just begun its nationwide rollout and Shelton is a bit tired, but gregarious. During the course of her career, she has jettisoned between Seattle and New York, making experimental films, music videos, acting in theater, and more recently, creating the singularly executed gems, We Go Way Back and My Effortless Brilliance, resulting in a “Someone to Watch Award” at the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards. Over a pot of tea, she holds forth on the contrasts between men and women with regards to homosexuality, her unwavering desire to create real characters in genuine human relationships, and the advantages and limitations of the “mumblecore” genre in which she’s often lumped. Erudite, insightful, and possessed of a sardonic wit, Shelton’s hat comes off and her laugh is infectious.

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