Sunday, September 7, 2014


         Early this year, I wrote, shot, and edited most of the above short film about my friend Nick, a fellow cinephile with whom I co-chaired the unofficial (read: technically illegal and chronically underattended) film club at St. Mary's College of Maryland for two years, and Lusby, the suburb in Calvert County where he lives. This is the second time I've made a movie with Nick as the protagonist. The first was my student film, All My Little Words (2013), a 33-minute pseudo-Godardian exercise in which he said a total of two words. In this second one, he says nearly 2000 words in 20 minutes. I was inspired to make it by his droll descriptions of his life in Lusby, which sounded like something out of a Jim Jarmusch or Hong Sang-soo movie. Some of the text comes almost verbatim from said descriptions. Other parts are, shall we say, embellished. That Lusby is something of a tabula rasa, even to people who live there, gave us some imaginative leeway.
         I don't want to preempt any criticism, but I do want to say that as acidic as some of the jokes are, the last thing I want anyone to think is that my sole purpose in making the movie was to run Lusby down. I would have quickly tired of the whole thing if that was the case. I wanted to evoke, however cheekily, the ambivalence that people of a certain cast of mind who live in hazily-defined, near-anonymous places like Lusby may feel toward their surroundings. They can feel like the dullest, shittiest places in the universe one day (or, in Lusby's case, most days), and strangely beautiful and charged with significance on another. I hope this comes through, and the movie doesn't play simply as a fish/barrel-type deal.
         One last thing: we made Destination: Lusby! (2014) with a DSLR, a camera-mounted shotgun mic, a rickety plastic tripod I've been using since I was 13, pirated nonlinear editing software, some free tracks from the Vimeo Music Store and one from the Library of Congress archive, and a couple six packs of beer. It took four days to shoot: three in January; one in June. Nick was the only crew member. I can't say our limited means don't show, in the clumsiness of some shots and the messiness of the sound recording, but I think the movie also shows what anybody so inclined can do now, anywhere, for nothing. When I briefly put the rough cut up on YouTube several months ago, somebody who liked it told me they too grew up in another place called Lusby. While it would be gratifying to me if a lot of people saw Destination: Lusby!, what I would like most is if someone from that Lusby, or another similarly out-of-the-way place, made a movie in response to this one.

1 comment:

  1. Hello. I enjoyed your movie. The line “Generally, my interest in a movie rises in inverse proportion to the number of outwardly dramatic things in it” spoke to me....

    We seem to have an eery correspondence in taste; I thrill to just about every one of your dudes re: film/books/music/criticism. I myself am a lit major, a film/philosophy minor, and the chair of an unofficial undergrad film club, which, in the worst of times, has had an attendance of exactly one. Again, eery, I thought. My own contributions to le cinema include a few misbegotten pseudo-Godardian shorts, a half-finished screenplay based on a Robert Coover novel I thought Guy Maddin should make, and now a thesis film in my last year of college that's giving me ulcers. I often wonder whether I’ve been wasting my life, and I guess seeing your stuff made me feel a little less like that, a little less alone in the search. Anyway. I've enjoyed wandering around your site (especially the Out 1 stuff) and enjoyed this and thought I'd let you know.