Filming Rose Donohue – Behind the Scenes

Check out the story from behind the scenes on the set of Rose Donohue—a smashing 1950’s who-done-it from writer/director Austin James Nunes. This collection of pictures that I gathered from the whole gang gives an inside look at what went down; they feature…
Our core cast: Jason Catron, Cheryl Aiello, Donna Roesel, and myself
Our director: Austin James Nunes
Our cinematographer: Holly Fischer
Our make-up artist: Timothy MacKay
Our hairstylist: Adi Nujedat
Our stylist: Vanessa Leigh
Photos by Justin Leo, Jason Catron, Austin James Nunes, and Ayesha Adamo
Enjoy!

New Articles on Alternet

Somewhere in between performing finger-tapping choreography in a cell phone commercial and compiling a Sitar Songbook for my DJing gig at the New York Botanical Gardens, I’ve been doing a lot of writing for Alternet.org.  The two-part article that I did on Harmony Korine’s fantastic new film Spring Breakers has been trending pretty heavily, with part 2 appearing on Salon.com and making the top 10 most popular on Alternet.  Be warned: this article goes pretty deep, looking beyond the film into the reality of youth, sexuality, and exploitation—from Girls Gone Wild to Backroom Casting Couch. It took a lot from me to write it.

Another article I wrote outlines various subgenres of Electronic Dance Music, and is helpful reading for anyone trying to decipher dubstep or pinpoint the difference between house and techno.

Here are links to them all:

Spring Breakers, Part 1:
http://www.alternet.org/culture/startling-spring-breakers-film-explores-sexual-coercion-turned-its-head

Spring Breakers, Part 2:
http://www.salon.com/2013/03/29/real_spring_breakers_dont_have_happy_endings_partner/singleton/

EDM explained:
http://www.alternet.org/culture/cant-tell-difference-between-witch-house-and-nu-disco-welcome-electronic-dance-music-101

Starlet-Eyed

You never know what you might find when you show up at a yard sale…or when you show up at Sunshine to check out an unrated film because your friend’s friend is the DP.  After reading the press online, I was a bit skeptical—thinking silly things like, “Not another film with a famous person’s kid in it” or “Seriously?  Privileged offspring AND a fashion model!?!…AND she didn’t even deign to do her own sex scenes?!?!” Sort of a trifecta of reasons to bet on a different pony, but sometimes you hit the jackpot when you least expect it.

Turns out: Sean Baker’s Starlet is a beautiful film, Besedka Johnson is this diamond from the YMCA (no, like really: that’s where they found her), and Dree Hemingway doesn’t make you want to hurl.  At all, actually.  It works!

Some of the most noteworthy acting comes from Stella Maeve, who gives a wonderful performance in a thoughtfully conceived role.  She and her pseudo-pimpin’ X-Box-fanatical boyfriend (James Ransone) manage to hit all the humor to be found in their rather bleak existence.

I had the chance to talk to Maeve after the screening about how she went fairly Method for this role and moved into an apartment with a group of pornstar hopefuls, like the one she portrays in the film.  All of her hard work shows in her performance, and I was so happy to see someone truly do justice to the oft-misrepresented world she was evoking in her acting.  It’s rare to see really great character roles for young actors in cinema, and Maeve absolutely does this one proud.  Come to think of it, it’s rare to see a movie that genuinely focuses on female characters at all, and this one has three beautiful, whole, indelible women.  The writers (Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch) should be knighted for putting the ladies first for once!  It’s a very special thing.

Of course, there is that fourth female character: the inescapable Los Angeles sunshine—a kind of daydream goddess.  My friend’s friend (the DP, Radium Cheung) rocks this in vintage anamorphic style, capturing all the bleached-out dilapidation that I love so much about LA: how that radiance can swallow everything you are, though this film shows a kinder side to constant sunshine.

What more can I say?  Go see the film.  It might be exactly what you never knew you were looking for.

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