Jan 31, 2010

Slug Magazine Film Critic Jesse Hawlish Reviews LOWbASiC

Slamdance Film Festival
Director: Frank Rinaldi
It makes me happy that filmmaker Frank Rinaldi understands the importance of Story. I’ve watched many a short at Slamdance 2010. Although I’ve enjoyed nearly all of them (a difficult position for a critic), any displeasure I feel comes from Experimental Films that are, to put it glibly, 100% experiment and 0% film. Funny Guy, Rinaldi’s previous short, received the Slamdance 2009 Grand Jury Award for Best Experimental Film. His films, while undeniably experimental, manage to provide just enough character and plot to instill empathy in the viewer – allowing for greater emotional payoff during the less rational material. LOWbASIC is a hallucinogenic collage of corrugated anxieties, truths, and emotions, folded over colorful, lo-fi visuals. It’s also about two men in a band who have a strong but troubled relationship. In composing this non-linear narrative, Director Rinaldi is adept at creating and dispelling anxiety, making LOWbASIC an engaging, emotional experiment.
-Jesse Hawlish

Click here for more of Jesse's Slamdance 2010 coverage.

Jan 20, 2010

Chad and Frank Talk 'LOWbASiC'

Frank and Chad (from behind)

Interview with LOWbASiC director Frank Rinaldi

Q: What is your film LOWbASiC about?

A: LOWbASiC is a movie about friendship and communication. Josh Intrator and Thomas Seely comprise the punk band LOWbASiC. They love each other, but are incompetent when it comes to expressing their feelings. They talk to each other via their creative connection, their music.

Q: Are Josh and Thomas real people?

A: Yes, they are close friends of mine. They play together in a Brooklyn based punk band with drummer Max ‘Tumblebottom’ Tremblay. Their band is called SLEEPiES, and they are excellent. Check them out at www.myspace.com/herecomethesleepies.

Q: What persuaded you it was the right decision to cast Josh and Thomas?

A: Well, I wrote this movie for them. As I mentioned before, they are two of my best friends. We went to college together. We are all artists, and much of our respective relationships revolve around making art together. We have a lot of similar ideas, listen to similar music, like similar movies and share a passion for professional football. I think they are beautiful, and saw LOWbASiC as the perfect opportunity to memorialize them, and to draw attention to their music. Filmmaking is one of the most important things in the world to me. Whenever I make a movie, I have to stuff it full of things and people I love. Josh and Thomas fall under this category.

Q: A large part of LOWbASiC takes place in what appears to be an apartment decorated by an interior designer really high on LSD. Discuss.

A: Yes, it was a lot of fun to build the apartment. It was designed by Shannon Fitzpatrick (who is also a producer of LOWbASiC). She has a wonderful eye for taking seemingly disparate elements and arranging them into a cohesive space. We modeled the apartment in the film after Josh and Thomas’s real life apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn. I actually lived there myself before going back to school. The motivation behind the design was similar to that of casting the real Josh and Thomas. We took elements from our lives and exaggerated them in order to explore certain truths about relationships, perceptions of reality, things like this. The apartment in the film is sort of a prison of artifice, and a kind of obstacle that somehow gets in the way of Josh and Thomas’s ability to communicate with each other. It’s like a nightmarish vortex of confusion and narcissism, made all the more disorienting by the fact that it closely resembles something we all recognize, but is not quite that thing, you know?

Q: How did you first conceive of this movie?

A: Well, I suppose I’ll be repeating myself a little here, but I wanted to make a movie for Josh and Thomas that was my own accurate interpretation of our relationship (that is, the relationship Josh, Thomas and I share). So I flew them out to Singapore, and we made the damned thing.

Q: Singapore?

A: Yeah, it’s where I go to school. I’m working toward my MFA at NYU Tisch Asia. Ever heard of it?

Q: No.

A: Oh…that’s cool….

Q: I’m curious about the moments of LOWbASiC that take place on T.V. Josh and Thomas, as LOWbASiC, are scheduled to debut their music on FALSE MEDIA, which is a television show hosted by a character named Dr. Bob. What is FALSE MEDIA, and how does it work in the film?

A: FALSE MEDIA is a rock ‘n’ roll T.V. show. It’s like my own perverted interpretation of, say, Top of the Pops. I am a ‘rock star’ aficionado. There are few things in this life more exciting than watching Ian Curtis or Kurt Cobain perform on live T.V. In my mind, Josh and Thomas are great punk rock stars, and so I wanted to provide them an opportunity to play on an awesome T.V. show, so I built this idea into the story, that they are scheduled to debut their music on FALSE MEDIA, but they might blow it because they can’t get their shit together. It (playing on FALSE MEDIA) is something they’ve always wanted to do, and now that they have the opportunity, they are really, really scared.

Q: And who is Dr. Bob?

A: Dr. Bob is the nefarious host of FALSE MEDIA.

Q: I see. And who is the guy with the melting white head who shows up throughout the film, both on the television and in the apartment.

A: Oh, that’s The Glueboiler.

Q: ….

A: ….

Q: Well, thanks for your time, Mr. Rinaldi. Best of luck with the film.

A: Thanks, Chad.

Jan 10, 2010

'Sundowning,' the Debut Feature Film by Frank Rinaldi, Scheduled to Begin Production in May 2010

'Sundowning' is a coming-of-age story and character study spanning two years in the life of Shannon Fitzpatrick, a 24-year-old girl suffering with dementia.

Frank Rinaldi, the writer/director of 'Sundowning', conceived the idea following the death of his grandmother, Lorraine Schneider, who suffered from dementia. Curious about the subjectivity of her experience, he imagined his own perception of life with dementia. 'Sundowning' arose from this concept.

In ‘Sundowning’, Shannon suffers from a rapid progressive form of dementia. The disease steadily destroys her brain, leaving her mind an unreliable and tattered landscape of confusion and disorientation. It is amidst these obstacles that Shannon seeks clues from her pre-diseased life, and insight into her present condition.

Shannon wants answers, but cannot remember what questions to ask.

'Sundowning' strives to be a timely investigation of modern social concerns, and a timeless exploration of personal identity.

‘Sundowning’ is the first feature film written and directed by Frank Rinaldi, produced by Stephanie Bousley, and starring Susan Chau and Shannon Fitzpatrick. It will be shot in Singapore in May of 2010.

Please join us on Facebook or e-mail Frank Rinaldi and Stephanie Bousley (producer) at sundowning(dot)film(at)gmail(dot)com.

Jan 7, 2010

LOWbASiC Screening Dates, Slamdance 2010

Shorts Block 3
Slamdance Gallery
Friday, January 22nd, 5:00pm
Tuesday, January 26th, 5:00pm

Treasure Mountain Inn
255 Main Street
Park City, Utah

Click here for directions to venue.

Be sure to check out SLEEPiES Updates, as well as the other films screening at Slamdance 2010.