The AMERICAN PIE series hasn’t exactly been Shakespeare — so far — and even when Jason Biggs has branched out into a Woody Allen movie (ANYTHING ELSE), it turned out to be one of Woody’s weakest, before the neurotic auteur magically found inspiration again. So it’s good to see Biggs doing a fine job in GRASSROOTS, a shaggy new movie based on the true story of a fired alternative weekly writer (Biggs) who helped his friend the music critic run for Seattle City Council in 2001.
We adore independent films here—duh—but surely there are ways to guarantee that they don’t fall into various traps that could make them become the very kind of clichéd fare they’re supposed to be a reaction against.
Before that even has a chance of happening, here are my ultra sane suggestions for keeping the indie spirit alive rather than letting it become as hackneyed as some of the see-it-coming-a-mile-away stuff Hollywood spits out on a regular basis.
Irrepressible, New York born Sally Kirkland has amassed a startling career, leaping from theater to Hollywood films to indies, while always going to extremes with the intent of “not doing things halfway.” Kirkland’s latest venture has her filming Sharon Greytak’s Archaeology of a Woman, in which she’s going for broke as a mystery lady shrouded in crime, lust, and madness—a role that could be her most intriguing since 1987’s Anna got her an Oscar nomination as a Czech actress who mentors an attractive immigrant.
Kirkland called me from the Archaeology set for an expectedly intense chat:
Me: Hi, Sally! This movie sounds fascinating.
Kirkland: It’s a really juicy role for me—a modern day Lady Macbeth with a little Trip to Bountiful. I definitely have a Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? type anger in it. My character, Margaret, was involved in a crime years ago and she’s angry at her daughter (played by Tony winner Victoria Clark). Margaret is ferocious. I have some amazing emotional scenes. I’m tearing the scenery apart! And there’s a three-page single-spaced monologue. I’m releasing all kind of demons. I have a nude scene too.
TINY RIOT PROJECT director Kris Lefcoe.
Sundance Channel recently sat down for an interview with Kris Lefcoe, the director of TINY RIOT PROJECT. What started as a music video for a small Canadian band ended up installed at some of the most prestigious art galleries and venues in the world suck as Art Basel Miami, Havana Biennale, and Galerie Tomas Schulte Berlin. Watch TINY RIOT PROJECT at Sundance Channel’s Digital Shorts.
What was the inspiration for TINY RIOT PROJECT?
Lefcoe : A few years ago I had a vision of an army of Care Bears and Coppertone girls attacking kids. I wanted to re-contextualize these sweet and cuddly icons as a bastion of corporate power. I ended up dropping the Coppertone girls and going for more of the Saturday morning cartoon plushies.
Why did you choose stop motion over other forms of animation, even live action?
Lefcoe : Stop motion is just so charming, so endearing. The viewer is drawn into this magical world, it’s irresistible. So it was the perfect medium, a surprising juxtaposition with the violence and political critique in the film. But it’s dangerously addictive. After shooting it, I wanted to shoot everything in stop motion.