Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Minneapolis screening and discussion of self-distributed Film by Kacques Thelemaque, "The Dogwalker"

On Tues. Sept 19, 2006, IFPMSP offered a screening at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, MN of The Dogwalker, a "self-distributed" film, written and directed by Jacques Thelemaque. The writer was present to discuss cooperative interactive filmmaking with are Robb Mitchell of ScreenLabs, Lucinda Winter from the Minnesota Film and Television Board, and Walker film curator Sheryl Mousley.

I lived in Minneapolis from 1997-2003 and found the indepedent film community very active. Minneapolis has an active Screenwriter's Workshop that gives new writers opportunities for group readings of their scripts, and some scripts get public table readings, or stage readings with actors.

I will see if this film will come to the DC area where I live. The films website shows it in a platform release in several other cities.

April 16, 2009:

This film is available from Netflix, and I rented it.

The film comes from Truly Indie and Breakthrough Distribution, and was produced by Bigfoot, and directed by Jacques Thelemaque.

A battered woman Ellie (Diane Gaidry) flees to LA and meets up with a down-and-out woman Betsy (Pamela Gordon) who walks dogs in the Hollywood hills for a living. As Ellie tries to help her, they bond in a way and Ellie starts working for her and living in her house. The movie ventures off into exploring the behavior of dogs as social pack animals whose values (especially with hierarchy) mock those of humans. Gradually Ellie learns more about Betsy who is locally “famous”. Pretty soon Betsy’s dark past (including battering and a murder) come out of the woodwork.

The film has some great lines: “better a dog than a wife” and later “bow down to me for giving you a life.”

The DVD interview discusses the shooting of the film on MiniDV (with the sensitivities to lighting). And actress Pamela Gordon passed away shortly after making the film.

Four short films on the DVD by the same director are “Love without Socks" (1998), “Egg” (2001), “Infidelity in Equal Parts” (2001), “Transaction” (2005).

The first film has a couple of professionals hog-tying family, and then the bald-legged man goes back for his socks that he left behind. The family waits, and the girl waits.

In “Egg” a girl on a restraining order has contracted to sell her ova. Then she wants the egg back. It gets violent

The "Infidelity" film splits a full screen into four parts.

Transaction” explores the “dynamic” of a call girl and elderly male client in a motel room.

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