A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Antigonish, the movie to be made in North Adams

I love the poster for the upcoming movie, Antigonish. I can't tell if it's the Swallows returning to Capistrano or the Seagulls returning to Antigonish. Not that it matters, as it evokes the dark aura I believe the filmmakers are aiming at.


Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away...

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door... (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

What was Hughes Mearns getting at when he wrote that poem? It was inspired by a ghost haunting a house in the town of Antigonish up in Nova Scotia. Originally part of a play Mearns had written for an English class at Harvard, it is often called The Little Man Who Wasn’t There. Hardly surprising that.

The poem has had an influence in popular culture. The movie starring Billy Bob Thornton took its title from the poem. It was made into song, listen to a Glenn Miller version here.

The words of Antigonish present a conundrum. How can someone be there and not there at the same time. Ah, but such a problem spells opportunity for the artist. The possibilities are endless.

Just where would someone go who could go just about anywhere with the plot? This is the question facing the team of Alexis Rosasco (IMDB) and Christopher Grace (IMDB) who are making the movie, Antigonish. Alexis, a Williamstown native and graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts has written the script. Christopher, director of Boston Film Festival entry, Third Shift: Michael’s Lament, will be at the helm when cameras roll.

Alexis, recently in Kevin McDonald’s Witching Hour, will also play Rachel Ames. Rachel is an eccentric young artist with a bored and disgruntled husband, Gerry. The not so happy couple is having some problems. Gerry has resorted to adultery. Always a sure method to simplify ones life.

Rachel is getting some guidance from James who is described as “a sweet art student and temporary library clerk.” That with the addition of an “intimate working relationship with jock-turned-art model Kyle” should provide some twists and turns that can only become complicated. With this setup, the therapy provided by stern marriage counselor can’t be that exciting.

Can Rachel and Gerry come to terms? Will Rachel find peace from the roaming hubby? Or is the source of her problems deep inside her? Calling Doctor Hitchcock.

Antigonish will not be filmed in the town the poem is named for. Rather, the venue will be the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. This is a dark movie, so despite all the lovely locales, the work will be done in the old mill town of North Adams starting in 2011. As a small city, it might bear some resemblance to the Canadian town.

Other cast members include, Kyle Wilker as James, Ellen Soderberg as Sarah, Gina Gesamondo asAndrea, Rich Manley as Kyle.

Academy award winner Loren Miller will direct the editing with Nick Beaubien assisting.

David Palmacci is art director, and William Koroskenyi is in charge of music.

The Antigonish website is here. We’ll be keeping track at the Boston Film Industry Examiner so check back

Again, I must lament not that movies are being made elsewhere, but that they are not being made in Sturbridge Country.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

One week left, don't miss the Big E

The Big E

Thursday, September 23, 2010

3rd Shift: Michael's Lament premiere at the Boston Film festival was the highlight of the season

And the post screening social at W Lounge was a hit too. Okay, this is a bit of shameless self promotion. I had a small part in this movie. Congratulations to the people who made it. We should be making movies in this area. But it is not happening. Oh Well.

Last Monday, September 20th was a sunny, windy day for a movie made entirely at night to premiere. No matter, it was a pleasant contrast for everyone in the audience at the 26th Annual Boston Film Festival. It was even more so for the cast and crew in attendance at the Stuart Street Playhouse in Boston. When the last of the credits had rolled by, they had every right to feel good about 3rd Shift: Michael's Lament.

Christopher Grace, the director, described 3rd Shift as Neo Noir, or for the non francophone, New Dark. Dark it is. Mark Vos' Michael has much to lament of his life. He has a secret that not even the people closest to him know Then again in Michael's case, closest does not mean close.

The secret is horrible. Michael is a walking disaster area. He knows it and would end it if only. If only. We're he caught, no jury, or god would spare him the maximum torment. Yet for all that, our Michael is a sympathetic character. When you see the movie, you will want him to be able to find some resolution, even though one can see what he is a mile away.

Ally Tully plays Clara with heart. She loves Michael, and he is not without feeling for her, but that will not bode well for her destiny. Franz Strassmann is Frank, Michael's boss at a movie theater. We meet him with his paramour, Marie, a high class call girl played by Liz Eng. Frank seems to be in control, but events will eventually unnerve him. Gianna Simone is intense as Patty, a street walker oppressed by Zito, a bad actor played by good actor, Eric Eastman. Gianna and Michael go back a long way and her tragedy will be his tragedy. As if he needed more.

Shelly Whittle, Marv, the diner cook is likeable even as he doles out the near edible "slop." Michael Reed and Nicole Trychon are effective as an obnoxious couple. Kachina Dechert as Silver, does not have the proverbial heart of gold as Patty's replacement. Anny Rosario as Lucy makes the bad choice to put the moves on Michael.

Everyone else in the cast and crew deserves recognition. Instead, click here to go over to imdb where almost all of the cast is listed.

Enjoy the video. It consists of Christopher Grace telling how he gets work out of actors. Marc Vos plays Christopher as a dramatic role. Gianna Simone talks about life, movies and being an adult in film. Eric and Emily Eastman as well as Leo Kei Angelos speak. Also, who is more glamorous, Emily or Eric?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Shameless self promotion-September edition

The Sturbridge Times Magazine is out, both print and online. This is the monthly notice wherein I, with no shame, tout my unworthy offerings.

On Page 12 is the story of Wally and Michelle Connors and Socks for Siberia. Talk about people with big hearts.

Ridge Shinn is passionate in a measured way about what he believes in. Read about him on Page 16.

Think our regional salvation will come with building a casino? Think again. Others have thought it was a sure fire plan. How'd that work out? Read the Review of Havana Nocturne on Page 19.

Got a buck? Maybe you too can overpay for a national news magazine. Read about it in my column, Musings From Long Hill Road on Page 26.


I am not the only one writing. There are many entertaining and useful articles that I had nothing to do with. You can read the magazine online by clicking here and downloading a pdf, or you can click on the graphic below to find out where to pick one up.