3 items from 2017
Guest Post by Rosemary Rodriguez
There’s an abundance of turmoil, fear, anger, and hatred expressed through images that come at us 24/7 through social media, TV, and movies. As a society, we are more visual than ever, and we have more choices of entertainment than ever in our history. As a director, it’s crucial for me to listen to my heart because in the end, that’s where my stories live. And my life revolves around telling them.
My newest film, “Silver Skies,” was inspired by my parents. They adopted me when my mother was 42 years old, so I was very young watching them get older. I saw their struggles firsthand, and watched them become invisible to the world around them. I saw how their relationships with work, their friends, their family, and each other changed as they aged. The most important thing to them was staying independent, financially and physically. When these declined, it hit them hard.
When we are young, we make decisions that will affect the rest of our lives. My hope is that watching “Silver Skies” will make people of all ages think about their own lives, their own goals, and their own dreams. I want them to look at the people around them differently, and to think about their decisions more carefully — to consider how the choices they make now will affect them in the long-term.
My first movie, “Acts of Worship,” was about homeless drug addicts, who, like older people, are dismissed in our society. I love giving characters that are marginalized a voice. Seniors and drug addicts are in that category: Easy to pass on the street, or walk around them quickly because they’re just in the way.
Today, more than ever, it’s crucial to tell stories about people different than we are, yet have the same struggles and desires. Movies have that power. They bring empathy, compassion, insight, and a commonality that we may not experience otherwise.
Movies help us get inside another person’s life and connect to their humanity. Powerful movies live in our imagination forever.
The real challenge with independent movies today isn’t making them; it’s getting them seen. Distribution costs are massive. Marketing money has to be in every budget before shooting. It’s not a luxury; it’s crucial. Making noise to cut through all the other TV and movie options out there is daunting, to say the least. This has been my biggest obstacle with “Silver Skies.” Yes, there are more ways to show a movie. Yes, millions of people have access to a movie. But how will they find it? That’s what keeps me up at night.
What I hear repeated a lot is that a movie has to be a “movement not just a movie.” Frankly, I’m not even sure what that means. All I know is that when I sit in a dark theater with an audience watching “Silver Skies,” they take the ride with some amazing senior actors: George Hamilton, Barbara Bain, Jack McGee, Mariette Hartley, Jack Betts, Alex Rocco, and Valerie Perrine. At some point, they stop seeing the actors and begin to see themselves and their lives on screen. That’s what they tell me. They thank me for showing that seniors are not stereotypes like the grouchy grandparent or the butt of a joke. Seniors have sexual lives; they fall in love; they fight; they work at jobs with crazy bosses; they get jolted by injustice; they worry about finances. They deal with the same issues that we all do. The audiences laughs and they cry. When I’m fortunate enough to experience my movie alongside them, my heart is full like nothing else matters in the world. Then I start thinking about my next movie…..
“Silver Skies” will begin streaming April 4 on Amazon and iTunes.
Rosemary Rodriguez wrote and directed the Sundance feature film “Acts of Worship,” which was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards. Her episodic TV work includes “Jessica Jones,” “The Good Wife,” and “The Walking Dead.” Rodriguez is currently directing a documentary about renowned graffiti writer Lee Quinones, and her next dramatic feature will be “Loose Girl,” based on the memoir by Kerry Cohen. She hosts “The Director’s Chair,” a podcast on iTunes.
Guest Post: What Inspired Me to Make a Film About Retirees was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Women and Hollywood
Silver Skies debuts on DVD, Amazon and iTunes April 4th
When Dana Jung reviewed Silver Skies here at We Are Movie Geeks, he wrote “.…. there’s no better way to spend a couple of hours than skipping down memory lane with the old friends of Silver Skies.” Read all of Dana’s review Here
With humor and compassion, Silver Skies chronicles the unexpected developments that occur when a group of eccentric seniors have their lives turned upside down by the sale of their beloved apartment complex. A refreshingly original story about getting older and trying to hold tight to the American Dream, the film features a cast of much-loved screen icons: George Hamilton, Valerie Perrine, Barbara Bain, Jack McGee, Alex Rocco, Mariette Hartley, Jack Betts, and Howard Hesseman. Far from playing their usual roles, however, the actors fully inhabit »
- Tom Stockman
By Diane A. Rodgers
A wonderfully understated comedy-drama, The Electric Horseman follows the story of Sonny Steele (Robert Redford), a five-time champion rodeo cowboy now turned brand spokesman for AMPco, a giant corporate firm selling 'Ranch' breakfast cereal. Steele's life has become essentially a series of advertising appearances, at which he is required to brandish a box of cereal with his face adorning it whilst wearing a garish cowboy outfit festooned with electric fairy lights. The forced smiles, autographs and constant touring are starting to crack Steele; when we meet him, he is a disillusioned, unreliable drunk, stumbling from one engagement to the next.
The film centres around a big Las Vegas convention where Steele is booked for a ride-on appearance with AMPco's prize mascot, a 12-million-dollar racehorse. Horse and rider are strapped up in purple paisley silk and electric lights, the ridiculous spectacle of which, in the capital of sensational fakery and money-worship, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
3 items from 2017
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