Archive for March, 2009

Comedic duo makes transition from TV to big screen

Posted in Features on March 13, 2009 by Steve Mesa

If you like road-trip movies and sex comedies, then Miss March might be a movie that will satisfy you.
Miss March tells the story of a young man named Eugene (Zach Cregger), who falls into a coma and wakes up four years later to hear that Cindy (Raquel Alessi), his once virginal high-school sweetheart has since become a naked centerfold in Playboy magazine. He and his sex-crazed best friend, Tucker (Zach Moore), decide to embark on a cross-country road trip in order to crash a party at the legendary Playboy Mansion and win back the girl of his dreams.
On their way to the Playboy Mansion, they become the targets of crazed fireman and Tucker’s crazy girlfriend (Molly Stanton) and hitch a ride with a famous rapper sporting a provocative name (Craig Robinson) and two Russian lesbians.
Trevor Moore and Zach Cregger are cast members from the IFC series “The Whitest Kids U Know,” a comedy sketch show that is reminiscent of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
Moore and Cregger sat down with The Beacon at the Shore Club in South Beach as part of the Miss March Comedy Tour, where they went to a screening of their movie to participate in a Q&A session with the audience. They also performed at a local comedy club with their “Whitest Kids U Know”
companions.
Fox Studios approached the comedic duo with a script somebody wrote for them about two sex-crazed guys breaking into the Playboy Mansion.
“We were not crazy about the script,” says Moore. “It just was not something we would do.”
The studio then told Moore and Cregger that they could rewrite the script, as long they kept the founding premise that Cregger’s character falls down the stairs, slips into a coma and wakes up to find his former girlfriend posing naked in Playboy.
The screenwriting team of Moore and Cregger changed the conception of the characters so that one guy (Cregger) is terrified of sex and the other guy (Moore) is obsessed with sex. They are polar opposites, but share the same problem as they put sex up on a pedestal.
Moore and Cregger said they wanted to tailor the script to their sense of humor and make it something they would want to be involved with and something the fans of their TV show would like.
“It is basically a road trip sex comedy for people who are sick of road trip sex comedies,” Moore said.
Aside from being cast members on the show, Moore and Cregger have written with their fellow cast members and directed the majority of the episodes of “The Whitest Kids U Know.” They looked at the TV show as boot camp training for Miss March and went straight into production of the film as soon as their second season of the show wrapped.
“It was more normal to do this instead of us just writing the script and passing it off to someone else,” Moore said.
“If there would have been another director, we would have been miserable and they would have been miserable,” Cregger said.
When it came to shooting the film, they said that the most difficult scenes to shoot were also the same scenes they looked forward to shooting.
“I think the scene at the end in front of the mansion was difficult because there was a lot of action, people coming from different directions, and it took two days to shoot that scene,” Cregger said.
Despite the film being a sex comedy, Cregger says that there is a message in Miss March.
“When you treat sex like it is everything, you are going to be messed up,” Cregger said.
“I think it is cool that people get the message, but for me, I want them to come away saying ‘That was the funniest road trip movie I have ever seen,’” said Moore. “Even if they do not like road trip movies, I want them to come away saying ‘I do not like road trip movies, but I like Miss March.’”

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Miami Film Festival showcases films from around the globe

Posted in Festival/awards on March 1, 2009 by Steve Mesa

  The festivities of the 26th annual Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) will commence tonight as they screen their first film, Valentino: The Last Emperor, at the Gusman Center For The Performing Arts in Downtown Miami following an opening night celebration at the Freedom Tower. Valentino is a documentary that documents the life of the legendary fashion designer Valentino and his 45-year association with his sometime boyfriend and business partner.

  One of the films that the MIFF will showcase at the Gusman Center on Sunday is a documentary called Cachao: Uno Mas, which was produced by Miami’s own Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Thirteen). The film pays tribute to one of the greatest Afro-Cuban musicians of all time, Israel López, who also known as ‘Cachao’. This documentary features a live concert that took place in San Francisco and feature interviews with Cachao’s musical collaborators Garcia, John Santos, Ray Santos and Orestes Vilató. These interviews are constructed to help trace Cachao’s musical journey from his early days in Cuba to worldwide fame and recognition.

  The documentary is short with a running length of 68 minutes, but the film manages to weave between Cachao’s performances in San Francisco with his musical collaborators and interviews with Cachao and his friends with stories told about the legendary musician’s career. Anyone who has followed Cachao’s career or any moviegoer who loves a great documentary with excellent music should appreciate the film for what it is, a celebration of a man’s life and his music.

  From the seedy underworld of his films such as King of New York to his recent documentary called Chelsea on the Rocks about the historic New York hotel and the artists, musicians and poets who lived there, New York has become filmmaker Abel Ferrara’s muse. Ferrara, who has collaborated with actors Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter) and Willem Dafoe (Platoon) more than once, will be honored by the MIFF on March 12th at the Gusman Center as part of the festival’s Career Achievement Tribute.