Throughout the week, the Daily Planet will feature audio interviews with filmmakers discussing their films in this year’s Sound Unseen Film Festival. The festival, which kicks off on Tuesday and ends Sunday and typically features films with a music theme, is in its 10th year. Make sure to check out the festival Web site to purchase tickets, view trailers and information for all the films, and explore what this cultural event is all about.
All the interviews were done over the phone, recorded on my computer. In this entry in the series, I speak with Gregori Viens, director of the droll, at times hilarious comedy Punching the Clown. (Click on the icon at the bottom of this article to listen.) Check out the film’s Web site for more information. Punching the Clown screens this Thursday (October 1) at 9:45 p.m. at the Trylon Microcinema. Star, composer, and co-writer Henri Philips will be present.
The official plot synopsis (by way of the press notes) of Punching the Clown reads:
Henry Phillips, a road-weary American comedian and troubadour, is down on his luck playing hell gigs in the desert. He moves to L.A. thinking he’s got nothing more to lose. It turns out he was mistaken: his reputation and his music are soon at stake, yet if he plays his cards right, it could all be grist for his darkly humorous songs. Henry Phillips, a modern day troubadour, is living out of his car on a perpetual tour of small time comedy and music clubs around the country. After a gig gone terribly wrong in Arizona, he decides to push on through to LA and crash on his brother Matt’s couch. He needs to find work fast.
I begin every interview with the same question. Having seen nearly all the films in this year’s Sound Unseen Festival, a clear theme emerged. These are stories about people pursuing their dreams, consequneces be damned. So I lead off asking the filmmaker about this theme as it pertains to their film.
Erik McClanahan (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance film journalist and critic in Minneapolis. He is also co-host of KFAI’s Movie Talk.
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