Sunday Matinee: Just Say Goodbye [Film]

 

“After enduring years of abuse from his alcoholic father and the school bully Chase, Jesse Peterson tells his best friend Sarah that he plans on committing suicide. After promising to tell no one, Sarah finds it upon herself to try to stop him, taking any means necessary.” – October Coast PR

 

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2019 is already been shaping up to be a pretty heavy damn year in the world of film showcases here at Trainwreck’d Society. We are entering the second quarter of the year, and we have already had some pretty wild conversations about some very important issues through some of the cinematic adventures we have been going on. And today is absolutely no different. Moving further down the “what makes us sad” path, we have the brilliantly made indie gem of a film Just Say Goodbye as a platform to discuss the seriousness of mental health. Director Matt Walting brings Layla O’Shea’s amazing and dark take on the idea of suicide to the screen in a truly tremendous fashion. This films simply steeps pain into the boiling water of life, and brings in and out of existence throughout every other scene. Much like anyone suffering from mental health issues, the pain comes and goes in severity, but it never truly fades away entirely. And the same can be said for timeline in which this film follows. You see so much love, saddle alongside so much fear. You feel the ups, remain hopeful, but weary all at the same time. The mark of truly great storytelling, if I do say so myself. I and I do.

 

 

 

Featuring a cast of hard working yet relatively unknown performers, Just Say Goodbye is one of those films that is such a well done story in its own right that the level of talent in performances could have been drastically understated. But as it would be, the cast was absolutely incredible, and truly managed to pull you directly into the story and appreciate even more what the folks behind the story where attempting to convey to their audience. Katerina Eichenberger is an absolute star in the making, and somebody I will be watching very closely at in the future. And William Galatis gives an absolutely stunning performance as the crazed emotional wreck of a father. Everyone on the screen is obviously giving it their all, and seem to understand just how important this film could, and will be.

Mental Health has been becoming a more regularly talked about issue these days it seems. Which is definitely a wonderful thing. As a society, it appears as though we may be finally starting to break down that wall of judgement that comes with a person suffering from ailments that can’t always be seen to the untrained eye. The stigma is lessening. It’s not gone, but we the conversations are getting longer and more impactful in certain arenas. One major problem (apologies for the soap box regiment I am about to go on) has been the way we talk about mental health issues in general. It has always been frustrating to me to hear certain lies like “Oh, my ADHD kicked in” or “I’m a little OCD about [insert humble brag bullshit]”. Why do we speak like this? Why do we think this is okay? ADHD and OCD are very real mental health issues that should be taken a whole lot more serious. I know these are two very specific examples, and they don’t entirely have a direct link to depression, but the coalition can obviously be made. Basically, when we use bullshit language like this, we are belittling very real mental issues by even saying that you have even “a little bit” of a real problem. You never hear, “I’m a little fractured femur about cleaning my apartment” or “Oh, my broken foot really kicked in when I was at work”. Sound ridiculous? Well, that’s because it is. And so is claiming to have a mental illness as a simple personality trait. So please, please, knock that shit off. Okay, back to the film at hand.

All ranting aside, Just Say Goodbye is indeed a wonderful film that the world needs to see. And I hope that you all will. Soon. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and if you are looking to get a conversation started about suicide and the effects that it has on a person and those around them, I implore you to check out this film.

 

Just Say Goodbye will be in select theaters starting May 10th.

 

 

Saturday Special: Silencio [Film]

 

“In order to save her son’s life, Ana must find a powerful stone. Her grandfather originally discovered it in the Zone of Silence, the Bermuda Triangle of Mexico. Throughout her desperate search, Ana stumbles upon family secrets and enemies who believe the stone’s power is worth killing for. Silencio fixes on a factual mystical marvel in the heart of Mexico that charges a young psychiatrist the mission of unravelling a real-life X-File!” – October Coast PR

 

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Planet Earth can be a wild and unpredictable place. There are so many mysteries surrounding our planet that truly can not be explain. Which I believe sort of makes life just that much more interesting. And for those of us who enjoy a nice suspenseful thriller of a film that is shrouded in just a little bit of mystery, it is the earth’s mysteries that can make a story all that much more fascinating. And Folks, that is absolutely what you get in a film like Silencio. This is a powerhouse of a dramatic thriller that will leave you metaphorically (and maybe physically) gasping for air. Not out of fear, mind you, but of bewilderment. Anybody who has pondered the existence of super natural powers and/or beings that could severely disrupt our regular human movements and actions, this is the film you simply HAVE to see. Writer and director Lorena Villarreal absolutely knocks it out of the park with a truly original story that is stylized absolutely perfectly throughout the entire film’s run time. There truly is so much to love here, Folks. I truly implore you all to see this film as soon as you can.

 

 

There truly is so much to love about this film. As always, we have to talk about the performances. But first, I have to give a shout out to not only Villarreal’s direction again, which is phenomenal, but also to Mateo Londono. Mateo is a cinematographer with an absolutely amazing eye for turning even the smallest scenes of a big film into moments of highly enticing visual stimulation. Silencio was just so damn much fun to watch unfold, and so much of that had to do with how it was shot. And when it comes to the aforementioned performances, everyone absolutely rocked it. I was specifically blown away not only by the film’s lead, Melina Matthews (who was actually the voice of one of the freakiest characters of all time as the titular character in 2013’s Mama), but by the legendary John Noble as well. Everyone was so wonderful, and brilliantly added to the cinematic perfection that is Silencio. I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys beautifully shot, well written, and thought provoking dramatic thrillers. Which really should be Everyone, right?

 

 

Silencio will be available on DVD & On Demand on May 14th.

 

 

Taylor Nichols [Interview]

Photo by Richard Wright

 

Hello Everyone! As many of you regular readers may remember from our recent interview with Stacey Osei-Kuffour, a recent obsession of mine has been the new Hulu Original Series that was released this last February entitled PEN15. It is such a god damn gem of a show, and I simply cannot say enough good things about it. And today, we have the distinct honor of being able to showcase some wonderful words from one of the stars of this damn fine program. It’s Taylor Nichols! Taylor portrayed Curtis Kone, father one of the main subjects of the show, Anna Kone as portrayed by Anna Konkle. And boy does he do it well. Nichols has a delightful bit of awkwardness in his character that is absolutely delightful and such a joy to watch, especially as the impact of his character continues to grow throughout the season.

Taylor has been an incredible character actor in the world of film and television for close to 30 years. His work beyond PEN15 has included 3 projects from acclaimed writer & director Whit Stillman, one of which is a personal favorite of mine entitled The Last Days of Disco. Other films include Congo, Chappaquiddick, Boiler Room, and many more. In the world of television he has worked in all of your favorite programs! Seriously Folks, everything from Murder She Wrote to NCIS he has been around. And as another wonderful surprise for you all….we have another Becker-based conversation. Taylor made a wonderful appearance on the program, much like several other guests we have been so fortunate to have grace our digital pages.

Taylor Nichols is an extremely talented person, who has a brilliant body of work that is not to be missed. And we are so excited to have him with us here today. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the absolutely brilliant artist in front of and behind the camera, the brilliant Taylor Nichols!

 

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What was your inspiration to get into the world of performance? Was it something you have always had a passion for, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

No lie, when I was at the University of Michigan studying business a peer said to me, “You will make a great middle manager at a car company.” I think he meant that as a compliment, although I don’t know what kind of compliment that is, but in my mind it was a fate worse than death. I spent the rest of my time at U of M studying Theater. Then, once I graduated I started working in local, then regional theater and never stopped working and never looked back. I have done a bunch of car commercials and that is as close as I ever got to working in the auto industry. And now I much prefer to ride my bicycle rather than drive my car, so I think I made the right decision.

What was your very first paid gig in the world of acting? And was there anything from this first gig that taught you any sort of lessons that you still incorporate into your work today?

I did have quite a few summer stock gigs that paid, but I’m not sure I would call them “professional.” My first real money job was working the Food Show in NYC. I had to memorize this spiel about some wine company and then recite the info back as I poured wine and  all the buyers got drunk. I learned that when you connect your work with the corporate world you get paid a hell of a lot more money, but you might as well get drunk, because if you don’t, the work may kill you it is so boring. I still feel that way today, whenever I do a commercial, I can’t help but think, “God, we have all this equipment and talent and we are wasting it shooting a car commercial… that some middle manager is making a fortune on.” To this day I would much rather do a Whit Stillman or Mike Binder film for a fraction of the money I might make on a commercial.

One of the best new shows to come out recently would hands down have to be PEN15 on Hulu. And you have been incredible portraying the father of a “13 year old” Anna Kone. It is such a fun show to watch, I am curious to know how your experience has been working on this fine program? And what initially drew you into this show?

An audition is what drew me to the show, and for that I thank my manager, Darlene Kaplan, and my agent TalentWorks. I think the show is hysterical and at the same time oddly moving. My 94 year old father may be on the fence about it, but everyone else I have heard from, under age 93, loves it. Anna and Maya, the two leads and creators along with Sam Zvibleman are geniuses. Hands down, it has been one of the best experiences I have had working on a show since Miind of the Married Man on HBO. We did a lot of improvisation on the set and Melora Walters, who plays my wife, and I have a great history from working together on an indy film I produced called Case 219.

 

Taylor Nichols, Anna Konk, & Melora Walters on the set of Pen15, courtesy of Taylor Nichol’s Twitter.

 

In 2001, you appeared on a wonderful episode of my favorite television sitcom of all time, which is Becker. Now, I know it was only one episode, but any time we have the fortunate chance to feature anyone who has worked on this program we have to ask about that experience? So with that, how did you enoy working on this program? Was there anything memorable from this experience that set it apart from the plethora of other shows you have worked on before or since?

Ted Danson is one of the best, most supportive people in this business. There is a reason every show he does is a hit. The episode I was on was actually very interesting. That week, the cast, sans Ted, walked off the show due to a contract dispute. So the whole show was up in the air. The writers were amazing and wrote an entirely new show featuring just Ted and me.  I was going to hold him hostage in a botched robbery, that way it would be just the two of us and some police on the outside. Basically, Ted and I sat around all week not knowing which lines to memorize, in the end the cast settled and we filmed the original show.

You have worked extensively in the worlds of television, film, and theater. I am always curious to know about any actor’s preference in performance. So, if you were forced to only be able to work in one particular field, which would it be?

The one that pays the most… No, that is an impossible question for me to answer except to say I prefer the platform that I am currently working in. They are all so different and yet exactly the same if that makes any sense. Acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances and the different fields have different obstacles and offer different advantages to achieving that goal. That said, hearing an audience laugh is a real drug.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Directing. Directing. Directing. I have made a few short films, Two Heterosexual Men Get Ready to Go Out… One Has A Girlfriend which stars the late Jay Thomas won a couple awards.  Currently, I’m working on an amazing feature called The Beautiful Dark, by Erik Gernand. It is a gut wrenching story about a single mother who must decide what to do when she fears her son may be planning a school shooting.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My seventeen year old daughter. Sometimes she can really tick me off, but lately she just makes me smile I am so proud of her.

Stacy Osei-Kuffour [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! Every now and again, a new series will come out that is absolutely mind-blowing to me for several different reasons. Right about now, it’s the Hulu Original Series PEN15 that is currently completing the blowing of the mind. I haven’t burned through a series so damn quickly in such a short amount of time. There is simply so much to love. With that being said, there was one particular episode of PEN15 which took the proverbial cake for me. In fact, it was actually one moment of one particular episode. And it was a moment that featured, and would later learn was written by, the very funny and extremely talented performer Stacey Osei-Kuffour. I know there is a lot of TV out there to watch these days, and it’s barely been a few months since it aired, so I won’t spoil Stacey’s incredible performance, but suffice to say it may be one of the funniest moments involving Harriet Tubman I have ever witnessed.

And wouldn’t you know it, when I decided that I would love to know more about Stacey Osei-Kuffour, and was fortunate enough to steal some time from this brilliant performer, Stacey turned out to be a very cool person and has so much other damn fine work that you should all know and love. Whether on the stage, small screen, or film, Osei-Kuffour is absolutely crushing it both in front of audiences and behind the scenes as a playwright, screenwriter, and more. And please pay attention to a little brilliant something called Cocktails and Conversations via Instagram, which will be brought up in the conversation below. I took a moment to indulge in this brilliance, and I simply cannot recommend it enough. Especially the episode about Us, which left me only even more intrigued to see the Jordan Peele film.

So Folks, you are in for a real damn treat today! Please enjoy some words from the absolutely brilliant Stacey Osei-Kuffour!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of performance? Was it something you have always wanted to do? Or did you just sort of find yourself in this world one day?

Ever since I was a kid I wanted to perform and be a part of the arts. I was actually struggling in school until my parents put me in an acting class. Everyone says this, I know but it was true for me. I took an acting class and a dance class at ETA in Chicago and it changed my life. I never looked back.

 

What was your very first paid gig as a performer? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this project that have stuck with you I your work to this day?

My first paid gig as a performer was a understudy acting job I had at the Pearl Theatre in New York. This was a few days after I had graduated from NYU and Austin Pendleton was directing. It was a surreal moment because the actress I was understudying got so nervous on opening night that she couldn’t go on and I had to do it. The main thing I learned from that job was practice makes it possible. I had been practicing the character over and over privately but thinking I would never go on. So when I actually had to go on, I was so grateful that I had done all that hard work. Ever since I’ve tried to do as much work on a character I’m playing as possible because you never know what’s going to happen!

You made an incredible appearance in the Hulu Original Series PEN15, that had me literally LOLing all over the place. It was actually the reason I reached out to you! So with that in mind, how was your experience working on this show and in the role you had? Was it as fun of a world to play around in as it has been for viewers like me to watch?

PEN15 is an incredible show! I was lucky enough to take part. I went to NYU with both Maya and Anna and co-wrote the episode with them. I came up with the character I played on PEN15 but it was originally supposed to be a man. Anna and Maya decided I should play it instead. It was so much fun and when I filmed my scene I was so impressed with all the kids who were improving and outacting me! I even broke character multiple times because everyone on set was so funny. Amazing experience. I hope I have the opportunity to take part again.

I am very intrigued by what I found whilst doing some research on your career, which would be a play you wrote entitled Hang Man. I obviously have not been fortunate enough to check it out, but would you mind telling our readers a bit about this play?

It’s a play I wrote loosely based on a real life story of a black man that was found dead in the woods hanging from a tree in Mississippi. In my play, a white woman finds his dead body and becomes obsessed with it. This of course forces the people around her to come to terms with this obsession but also the history of what we’ve done to black bodies in America.

If you were handed the opportunity to portray any famous figure in American history, who would you want to portray?

Nina Simone. Period.

 

 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I am doing an Instagram show, Cocktails and Conversations, with my very good friend of mine Corey Clifford. We review TV shows, movies, and discuss current events all while drunk! So as you know, we aren’t able to hold back.  You can find us @stacyamma, @coreyclifford, and @cocktailsnconversations

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I was watching Escape to Dannemora and Benicio Del Toro’s performance towards the end is the most genius, hilarious thing I’ve ever seen. You won’t know what I’m saying until you watch it. He’s a genius.

New Music Tuesday: The Black Tones: Cobain & Cornbread [Album]

 

Holy Shit Folks, this is probably one of the most exciting and unique New Music Tuesday features we have done in quite a while. We’ve been pretty steady with our usual singer/songwriter and hip hop trends, even digging into some standard rock n roll gems, which have all been absolutely wonderful in their own right. But now, we have something truly special to share with you all. Folks, we are talking about The Black Tones. Have you ever listened to a something that is such an incredible combination of so many different styles of music that it tends to transcend average misconceptions of what something should sound like, and sounds incredibly original? For some of us, this isn’t really a new concept, but in this day and age, it is the mark of some true artists. And that is exactly what is happening on The Black Tones aptly titled album, Cobain & Cornbread.

The entire track list of Cobain & Cornbread is absolutely the standardized definition of solid. It is an insane jazz-fused collection of blues influenced rock & roll with some absolutely stunning guitar work. The unorthodox way in which The Black Tones choreograph a song is probably one of the most impressive feats in which they manage to step up to. My absolute favorite track on the album, “Chubby & Tubby”, entails about 2 minutes of Eva, one half of the band, riffing in such a manner that it simply sounds like the guitar is speaking directly to you. And it continues on with the wailing and whining that would put a smile on an aging Hendrix fan today. And this is just one example. It has been quite a while since I have heard just true musicianship being showcased in such a manner. Maybe I’m not listening hard enough anymore, but I truly believe that something as original as The Black Tones is such a rarity in this day and age, and I am so excited to have been introduced to these phenomenal artists.

 

 

I am dead serious when I say this folks: The Black Tones are an uncategorized & genre-bending couple of masterminds. And while there is obviously a little bit of punk influence in their sound, it is more about the organized chaos that within their sound, which is also similar to the also very obvious blues influences. But then, they will riff so fucking hard into something that sounds like early grunge music of the late 80’s and you just don’t know what the fuck to think anymore. Which is perfect! Again, it is the truest of indications that you are listening to something truly unique and original. And The Black Tones and their incredible album Cobain & Cornbread are nothing if not incredibly talented and insanely original. You absolutely have to check this one out, Folks!

 

Cobain & Cornbread is available now wherever you get your music. To learn more about The Black Tones, check out a few dates below, and be sure to check out their website, theblacktones.com.

 

Live Shows:

 

18 May – Seattle, WA @ Bothell Block Party and Brewfest 2019

23 May – Bellingham, WA @The Shakedown (w/ SISTERS)

19 July – Seattle, WA @ Capital Hill Block Party

24 Aug – Historic Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA @ THING

19 Oct – Clarksdale, MS @ 2019 Deep Blues Festival

 

For a preview of the genius you are going to hear, listen to “Chubby & Tubby” right now:

Lance Gentile [Interview]

 

 

Hello Folks! We have an absolutely incredible interview to share with you all today. I know I say this a lot, but this one is truly incredible, and probably one of the most unique stories we have had the great fortunate to have told on within our digital pages. Today, we are so excited to share some words from Emmy Award winning writer and producer, Lance Gentile! Starting his life out (and actually continuing to do so) in the world of medicine, Lance hit a point in his life where he decided to pursue his passion in the world of the arts. And what would soon occur is a brilliant blending of both worlds.

Lance’s career in television really took off when he began working on what would be one of the biggest dramas in television history, the smash hit series ER. He picked up an Emmy for his work on the series, which included gigs beyond writing such as directing a couple of episodes and extensive work as a medical consultant and more. Gentile would go on to work on several other hit series such as House M.D., Third Watch, The Mob Doctor, and many more.

And while I could go on and on about the brilliant career and life that this man has had, I believe it would be best to simply get to Lance’s own responses, as he has a life story that is so incredible, that it really needs to be a miniseries of some sort, probably written by somebody as talented as, well, himself! So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from an absolutely brilliant human being, the great Lance Gentile!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of television writing and producing? I understand you are a board-certified Emergency Physician, still working today! How did you find yourself being able to combine the two very different professions?

In my 30’s, I found myself back at square one following a divorce.  More like square two, actually, as I was still an ER doctor, albeit a burned-out one.  With no debts, dependents or assets, I was in the unique position to ask myself what I’d like to do with the rest of my life.  After some thought, I decided that being a film director seemed like a fun job.  I had no relevant experience at all, knew no one in the business, so I applied to the MFA program at USC film school and was miraculously admitted.  As an ER doc, I did shift work, so I was able to cut down on the number of shifts to make time for school.  In fact, all through my TV career, I’ve always done at least a couple shifts a month, to stay up to date and grounded in reality – to remind myself that TV career timetables and choices are not actually life and death.  I also taught TV writing at USC for 15 years.  With three careers, you have to think of your time at work as being time off from your other two jobs.  I liked being insanely busy – relaxing makes me nervous.  My wife Jacqueline and I also raised two sons – she’s done most of the heavy lifting on that front.  Our oldest was born the night the ER pilot aired — we watched it in her hospital room with our brand new baby, who incidentally had a cameo in the first ER episode I directed, playing a crying baby.   

What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And was there anything from this experience that you learned and still sticks with you to this day in your work life? Any lessons learned, basically?

I played bass in a bar band in Portland, Maine for a couple years after my internship.  Twenty dollars cash a night plus free beer.  Learned a couple lessons:  Do what you love and you will be happy.  And always go for the free beer.   My first TV/film job was directing Karaoke videos with a few guys I went to film school with.  Same lessons.

 

 

You worked for quite a while on one of the biggest medical drama series of all time, which would be E.R. You started as a technical advisor, and would eventually write and produce for the show as well. So, I am curious to know what it was like working on such a legendary show like this? Especially in those beginning years? Could you just tell right away that this was going to be a massive success? 

It was like being launched in a rocket ship to a new planet.  In one year, I got married, had a son, got a job on what became the number one show on TV and won an Emmy for the second episode of TV that I ever wrote.  I remember standing onstage at the Shrine Auditorium thanking Michael Crichton, Steven Spielberg and the amazing people I worked with and wondering, “Where the hell am I?”  The talented and way more experienced writers, led by the incredible John Wells, basically taught me how to write, shaping my doctor’s POV into story form.  The eyes of the world were on us, and it was gratifying to be contributing to the conversation on health care in America.  Everybody on the show felt that responsibility.  We were on the cover of Newsweek, the Today Show, People, TV Guide.  George was on all these magazine covers.  I went to the Long Beach Grand Prix with him and Noah, which was my first brush with the magnetism of celebrity.  We were just walking around in the crowd and people mobbed them.  I’m sure George hasn’t done stuff like that in awhile.  It was crazy, right from the day after the pilot aired.   I don’t think any of us had the slightest idea of what was going to happen, although we all thought we’d made a good show.   Initially, the Emergency Medicine establishment hated us, panned the show, said how unrealistic it was.  John directed all that stuff to me.  After the show was a huge hit and emergency medicine residency applications skyrocketed, the American College of Emergency Physicians gave me and Michael Crichton “Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine” Awards.   I still have it in my office.  

One very specific and non-television project that you worked on that intrigues me the most, as we ADORE the world of horror, is Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, in which our good friend Mark Irwin was the DP on. How was your experience working on this film? Does your work differ in the medical sense on a horror project?

I think it was number seven in the series.  There were a few hospital scenes.  On my first day, they had hung a forest of blood bags on IVs around the set.  I went up to Mr. Craven, introduced myself, and told him that in fact, blood was kept in refrigerators in the blood bank, not left hanging around on random IV poles.   He looked at me a long moment, then said, “This is a horror movie.”   I nodded, then slunk off to find a place to sit and speak only when spoken to.  So, yeah, medical reality is relative.  More blood! 

 

 

And one questions we always like to ask our statue holding friends: Where do you keep the Emmy you received for your work on E.R.? And does its physical location have a specific meaning to you?

We bought a 20’s Spanish in Santa Monica that came with a little alcove over the fireplace in the living room.  There was even a kind of a spotlight.  The Emmy lives in there.  The fireplace surround, by the way, is the “Spielberg” model, which we put in along with a chorus of angels that sing “aaaaah” every time you turn on the spot.  When my youngest son was little, he thought the statue needed something, so he decorated it with the star from our Christmas tree.  It was on there for a few years, but it’s gone now.   So is he – off to NYU film school learning to be a TV writer.  Maybe that gold statue served as an early inspiration?  

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I’m writing a spec feature about a guy who moves to Key West to reinvent himself, but finds that no matter where he runs, there his is.  Also a couple TV things bumping around.  I’ve also gone back to my long-lost musical roots and am writing songs for an album.  I’ve got seven so far.  I’m not even sure there are albums any more, so who knows where that will go.  At least I have a title:  Better Late Than Never  I’m always looking for interesting writing projects, so if you know of anything send it my way!        

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I can finally play “Johnny B. Goode.”

Sunday Matinee: The Most Dangerous Year [Film]

 

“In early 2016, when a dark wave of anti-transgender bathroom bills began sweeping across the nation, The Human Rights Campaign published a report identifying 2016 as the most dangerous year for transgender Americans. In Washington State alone, six such bathroom bills were introduced in the State Legislature. Filmmaker Vlada Knowlton captured the ensuing civil rights battle from the perspective of a group of embattled parents as they banded together to fight a deluge of proposed laws that would strip away the rights of their young transgender children. With the help of a coalition of state lawmakers and civil rights activists, these families embarked on an uncharted journey of fighting to protect and preserve their children¹s human rights and freedoms in this present-day civil rights movement.  As one of these parents, Knowlton presents an intimate portrait of her own struggle to protect her 5-year-old transgender daughter from laws inspired by hate and fear.” – Big Time PR

 

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Hello Folks! Today is Easter. I was planning on taking this round of the Sunday Matinee showcase off, but a certain gem of a documentary has come across my digital desk and I feel as though, religious holiday or not, the subject matter within this film needs to be widespread on any given day of the year. The Most Dangerous Year is a powerhouse of a film that should very well knock anyone who is on the fence about issues surrounding transgender off of their proverbial high horse if their pulse is active and there is even an inkling of compassion within their being. Sadly, there is still an element of human beings out there in which it will have zero impact and will just downright refuse to watch the “blasphemy” (it is not) of young children understanding who they are at a very young age. And with that being said, if you are one of these people who would make their way into the latter category, please know this right now: Trainwreck’d Society stands with these children, and against the absolutely ridiculous laws that these brave children and parents were willing to stand up and fight to have withdrawn. And if you don’t like that? Please stop reading this very second.

Whilst watching The Most Dangerous Years (which before getting to far into the dissection of the content of the film, is a very WELL MADE doc, as well as being very important) their is one solid and hope filled argument that continues to run through my head, even though I know it is of no use in the matter, but really calms me down: Some day they will do a Dollop podcast about this nonsense.

For those of you who aren’t aware of The Dollop, it is a bi-weekly American history podcast, once a week (inside joke, for sure) that is hosted by our friends and previous guests, comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds. And the reason that the “bathroom bills” of 2016 are ripe for parody from these hilarious cats is because it is exactly the type of horrendous and ridiculous subject matter in which they would lampoon on the regular. Now, this is a very specific reference, I know. But, it’s really just an argument that is in relation to something mentioned at the very beginning of this very documentary. The people who were so against the nation accepting gay marriage as a normal occurrence, basically needed something new to fear. And apparently, attacking transgender humans became the next “logical” target to spread their hate speech towards. And yes, I will flat out say this: this is a religious issue. It is directly their fault, as well as the fault of any other group of hate mongers out there spreading their own personal brand of evil just because somebody doesn’t think like them on issues that frankly, don’t really affect them in anyway.  Obviously, “not all religious people”, “some are okay”, and yada yada yada. I’m getting pretty sick of having to say shit like that, but for pretense and purposes, there it is.

Basically, the country is going to laugh and scoff at the ridiculousness of the entire subject matter. Just as we do on the subject matter of civil rights. It is almost impossible to conceive the idea that there was a period in time where the American legal system would be able to ban people from sitting at certain counters because of the tone of their skin. And as a father of three young children, I can contest that the idea of two people of the same gender who want to share in legal matrimony was once illegal in nature is a ridiculous concept to them. And with that, this too shall pass. There is always going to be hate, racism, and down right bigotry in this country. But the passage of time is hopefully watering down the ignorance and weeding out the hateful. I remain hopeful in these ideals. Even with the flare up of the current administration in the White House and the MAGA attitude that swayed an election, I still remain hopeful that one day this ridiculous hold out for the “old days” will be deemed unsuccessful and absurd. Of course, this doesn’t mean we sit back and wait. We must fight. And fighting is exactly what Vlada Knowlton and her family and supporters are doing, and I simply can not support it enough.

Seriously, bathrooms? A simple place to complete the physical relief in which the body requires by nature? We separate ourselves from other animals by completing these acts in controlled areas. So, what the hell do people think is happening in these rooms designated to eliminate as much Taco Bell from your body as possible? Did these people watch that scene from There’s Something About Mary about the Rest Areas and take it too seriously? Are these people the same folks who still believe that rapists are hiding in dark alleys, and aren’t actually more than likely close relatives? Do they actually believe that pedophilia runs rampant entirely in public places designated to control particular bodily fluids? Even writing this out I can’t help but think: Is this a joke?

Another fascination I had with the film is its setting itself. The grand state of Washington. The “hot bed of liberalism”, as I have once heard it called. Yeah, sure. From the viewpoint of a front porch in rural Nebraska, it may appear this way. But, lest we forget: Washington has trees. Lots of fucking trees. And they grow food. Lots of food. The concept of rurality does not escape the Evergreen state. Logging is a very real profession. Fisherman exist all along the sea, living in a sort of unrealistic stand still, as distant from the shadow of the Space Needle in miles as they are in generational growth in some cases. Being from the one of the most MAGA friendly counties on the western side of the state, I can definitely confirm these opinions as being very close to facts.

In order to prevent any further babbling, I would just like to reiterate that I firmly believe in and stand by the message of this film, and I implore everyone to see it as soon as it becomes available to them. This is a beautifully down documentary, about some even more beautiful human beings, and it needs to be seen by all. History will prove this to be right, but only with the help of guiding forces and those who support them.

 

The Most Dangerous Year will have its L.A. premiere on April 26th at the Music Hall in Beverly Hills. Go HERE for tickets. Further screenings will be happening in cities such as our beloved former hometown of Spokane, Washington in the coming weeks. Also Chicago, Tacoma, Chattanogga, & more. Visit the film’s WEBSITE for further details.