Saturday, May 11, 2019
"Frances Ferguson" (preview, SXSW) seems an echo of my own dangerous script "The Sub"
While at the Maryland Film Festival in Baltimore yesterday, I noticed a writeup for a 75 minute black comedy called “Frances Ferguson”, directed by Austin-based Bob Byington.
The film concerns a female substitute teacher Frances (Kaley Wheless) who becomes infatuated with a physically mature student (Jake French), tries to set up a motel meeting, gets arrested, convicted, sent to prison and labeled a sex offender.
I missed the film (schedule conflict) and cannot a website or indication of availability, so I can only offer a preview. But because I had written a screenplay short around a similar concept that led to an incident in my own substitute teaching career in 2005, I want to see it. For more details, please see the “Bill Boushka” blog, story on July 27, 2007.
The film, however, seems to have many differences from my concept. Frances doesn’t even know what subject (biology) she is supposed to cover when she shows up. Her behavior shows she is very apathetic to normal ideas of morality. The prison visit by her mother, shown in the trailer, seems to show that.
Ironically, however, she picks out her target after “teaching” natural selection in biology, a politically divisive idea in today’s polarized political climate. She is also bored in her marriage (husband by Keith Poulson). She thinks normal marriage is a prison by itself.
I hope this little film shows up on Amazon soon.
I’ll link to reviews by John DeFore (Hollywood Reporter) and Film Threat (Chris Gore) at SXSW in Austin in March 2019.