NYC. Today, two short films I helped make will be broadcast on CUNY TV.
Below is a pic of a panel discussion held during the pandemic. (l-r, by row) Jaime Carrillo, Tony Torn, Alex Basco Koch, Jocelyn Kuritsky, Jake Hart, Ron Cohen, Jan Leslie Harding.
We made 16 Words or Less a few years ago, just as I was starting what we now call Staging Film (where we meld the contemporary stage and screen into short films). And thanks to the fortitude of Alex Basco Koch and Meghan Finn, this little initiative has grown over the years. 16 Words or Less has evolved into a gem of a film, a sweet and oddly charming meditation on grief and loss. The film is directed by Meghan Finn, and written by Peggy Stafford.
The other Staging Film piece that will broadcast is The Bad Infinity. The Bad Infinity took off in 2019. It was produced in the fall and we raced to finish it by early 2020. It is a hilarious and bizarre film, gorgeously constructed. And, without a doubt, it speaks to our last many years of a distorted theatrical landscape, confused structures, limited perceptions. The film is written and directed by Graham Sack, based on works by Mac Wellman.
Finally, I just want to say a few words about some of the fans and supporters we have lost...
My dear friend Ron Cohen passed this week. He was, of course, the beloved husband of the late Lynn — one of my favorite actresses. She made her last film appearance (I believe - Nov 2019) in The Bad Infinity.
Ron loved The Bad Infinity. We held a private screening for him, shortly after Lynn's passing in early 2020; and then, over the pandemic, he engaged in virtual panel discussions about the film. He was the most curious, most lovely, most insightful, all the way to the end. Lynn and Ron felt like my surrogate theater parents. They came to almost anything and everything I ever invited them to. They engaged in all my nutty ideas. They regaled me endlessly with stories of their very lived lives and enviable careers, and in the last couple of years, since Lynn left us, I made a routine of having lunch with Ron. He incessantly asked me what I was up to, sometimes to my overwrought pandemic exhaustion ("What else do you want me to be up to?!"). He recommended old films and theater to research; we played odd association games that I sometimes thought he made up on the spot; and often we would split a cookie or two. I remember one of our last discussions, earlier this month, was about the Compass Players. I do and will miss them both very much. I am comforted by the knowledge of their long, full lives.
Below is a pic we took after our private screening, right before the pandemic. (l-r, by row) Graham Sack, Joel Bernstein, Ann Blackstock, Ron Cohen, Jocelyn Kuritsky, Jody Christopherson, Florencia Lozano).
I also want to mention my friend Jaime Carrillo, who also sadly passed in late October. He, too, was a fan of The Bad Infinity. He loved Mac Wellman's work and was delighted we had turned it into a film. He also joined us for a panel, and cheerleaded (cheerled?) along the path.
Both of these men were really kind in ways I find hard to describe. They were deeply interested in other people, other worlds.
Bad Infinity will open the program and 16 Words will close it, which seems very fitting. I hope you find adventure and as much rigorous, intellectually preternatural stimulation as they did, and then land in the balm of a tender comfort. We are lucky to have these broadcasts, and I hope Ron and Jaime are resting in whatever new, unknown world(s) they now find themselves in, and my hope is that perhaps they can also still tune into us from beyond the stars.
Watch “CUNY TV Presents: NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival” on Friday 11/24, Saturday 11/25, and Sunday 11/26 at 02:00 PM only on #CUNYTV
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And read more here, if you like.
NYC. CUNY TV Presents will broadcast The Bad Infinity and 16 Words or Less, starting November 24th! Schedule here. These films hit the festival circuit during the pandemic, and now we are thrilled to share them with a larger and broader audience. A studio interview will also precede each episode. Tune in!
NYC. Wound up at opening for Godot. Extraordinary production. I'm now obsessed with Arin Arbus. Had an unexpected scene with the great Michael Shannon, and witnessed a truly LUCKY performance by my friend, Jeff Biehl. Go see it! Read Cote's review too.