Ruth is starting over. How, she'll figure out.
Ralph would love to help her, for his own reasons.
When they encounter would-be-hermit Reg, engaged in a grinding life and death game of hide-and-seek with the insatiable Lott, their quest begins to devolve.
Packed with incredible performances and unconventional filmmaking, this deceptively bare-knuckled miracle, shot in the fall of 2000 on a $2000 budget, is a portrait of isolating desires and a trove of hidden detail and allegory.
Jerry Marsini, Anabel Perez, Daniel Yohannes, David Gassaway, and Addie Johnson Talbott
Additional Cast (in order of appearance):
Mike Fernandez, Anna Brandenburg, Charles Piervallo, Ace, Mark Trushkowsky, Micheas Yohannes, David Gould, Katie Glaser, Stephen Collins, Erica Froyd, and Jesse Chenven
Production Sound: Mark Trushkowsky
Written, Directed, Shot, Edited, Produced, and Music Composed and Performed by Olaf Bertram-Nothnagel, hoping the movie would benefit from his inexperience in almost every aspect of its creation.
I will always be indebted to the many people who gave of themselves generously in the making of this movie. Daniel, Mark, Anna, and Mike went over the top providing critical assistance in ways completely unrelated to their credited roles. Great thanks is also due to Maria Torres, Aaron Torres, Greg Travis, Julie Warsowe, Ashley Young, Anne Marson, Catherine Scarboro, and friends and family everywhere for their help.
Thanks to the Open Space Institute and these Brooklyn establishments for their work and corks: al di lå, Angry Wade's, Banania Café, Cucina, Harvest, Latin Grill, Patois, Sam's, Saul, Smith St. Kitchen, Tony's, Vaux, Viola, and Yternel.
For me this movie is a parable puzzle, attempting to define engagement and apathy. I made it with two primary goals. The first was to naïvely explore as many of the creative aspects of filmmaking as I could, without preconceptions or a method. The second was to make a movie that was... demanding without being didactic, direct yet complex, a movie with layers of meaning that weren’t obvious or cliché, one that would reveal itself slowly and with great resistance, while remaining entertaining. While I wanted to cue the audience to active interpretation, I neither wanted to point the way, nor frustrate more passive viewing.
These twin goals complimented each other just as they (along with the movie’s tiny budget) limited and defined each other. Early in the script’s writing, the characters’ relationships became clandestine metaphors, bringing a density of subtext that could be cumbersome to less personal filmmaking. Reflections on art and industry, the creative process, class and cultural struggle, communication and democracy, genes and free will embedded themselves in a relaxed story concerned on its surface with, among other things, infidelity and longing, human nature and chaos. On occasion, these meta-dialogues could play upon expectations for a no budget production, such as with the insertion of apparently happenstance off-camera sounds, to elaborate symbolic content in a scene. By breaking the sensible rule of films’ “makers” not editing them, perhaps the cut is more aligned with this movie’s themes and goals, due to my tendency to select interesting details over emotionally cohesive storytelling.
To help realize my preposterous dream, I was blessed with a cast and crew that were unflinching in their willingness to help get the compressed aspirations of a first-time filmmaker off my chest. The time and talent they gave so freely was an inspiration. Clearly, insisting on playing so many roles as a novice in production did necessarily detract from how effective I could be at any one of them, and at times opportunities and my collaborators’ gifts were squandered. There were a great many lessons learned! Nonetheless, I am most gratified by how the movie came out and how much people like it, how much it rewards repeated viewing. It manages to trace a very big but coherent circle, holding a great deal to be variously, and I hope enjoyably, discerned.
a movie by Olaf Bertram-Nothnagel