No more lead actor, director and a terrible script won't stop a crew OF MISFITS
from achieving the impossible : a great film - AN homage TO SERGIO LEONE.
5 PART SYNOPSIS (BELOW)
AUSTIN - TEXAS (A MOViE TOWN)
A film within a film
The movie begins with a fade in of a SERGIO LEONE style scene, a movie within the movie, a misdirection a la “Living in Oblivion”.
In a cafe name "CAFE DEL ARTISTO", we find out it's a shoot in progress which falls apart when BRANDON, a self-important actor, breaks character to return to his usual complaint: the quality of the dialogue.
We meet the other characters on set through the lens of a MAKING OF camera:
MARISOL, a beautiful and busty yet academic Claudia Cardinale looking actor
MARCO, a reserved, spanish-speaking actor ready for everything to make it in the industry.
MANA, a frazzled AD, line producer and script-supervisor
BO, a burnt-out Sergio Leone Obsessed DP
LUIS LEONE, the director, producer, and writer who has a mysterious past in Latin America.
It quickly becomes apparent that while Luis Leone has been able to fund this project, he has no talent for it whatsoever and has created a stressful work environment for the others. While shooting has stopped the other characters continue with their business, Marco attempts to discuss nuances of script with Mana thrn Luis, who has no time for it,. Leone and Brandon get into a seriously hilarious argument. Bo and Angela are caught via hand held shots reacting to the ill fated shoot. Brandon actually drops out.
Enter JONAS, a depressed out of work Documentary Filmmaker who has been hired to shoot the “making of” as an independant film. We meet him as Leone is in the editing room with Jenny, the talented and pretty Taiwanese editor, watching the dailies. It continues to be made clear that Leone does not know what he is doing. When he leaves, Jonas and Jenny have a conversation revealing their past: a friendship from film school and their common dreams of working on world-changing documentaries together. Jonas has stuck to his ideals but has not been successful, Jenny has moved on to mainstream projects but has been very successful.
We move to a sequence of interviews with Marco, Mana, Marisol and Brandon as part of the documentary Jonas is making. From these interviews as well as from other behind the scenes shots, we shift out of the documentary footage into the drama of that day when a "rape" scene has to be rehearsed in a hurry due to Brandon's absence and a necessary shift in the schedule.
Leone gets a call. The conversation is in Spanish. Actor Marco overhears it.. We know something’s up.
Leone & Jonas
Mana attempts in vain to get Brandon to not abandon the project and get everyone involved in trouble by not coming back on set. He explains how, at this stage of his career, he can't act a terrible script with no possibility of modifying it.
In a humorous fashion Jenny and Jonas assess the film shoot situation. Leone calls Jonas demanding that they meet for a special morning SCREENING of a famous silent movie (FAUST) in the basement of an old CHURCH in Austin. This serves as an opportunity for Leone to explain to Jonas why films are so important to him and shows us how sincere his LOVE OF FILM truly is. Jonas is moved by his story, they bond, spend the day together and tend the evening night in a drunken stupor where they almost get into a serious fight with upset neighbors.
The next shooting day, Mana gets a call from Leone at the airport. He is leaving for Mexico pretexting an ailing mother and wants Jonas to take over the directing. He adds the film HAS to be at the next CANNES film festival where it's already scheduled to screen and wants to show it to his mother before she dies. Mana then soon finds out Leone took all the money out of the bank and they are left with just 25 minutes of usable footage.
The crew in the US is left powerless but Marisol revives their hopes by standing up for the team which truly impresses Jonas. Eventually they call back Brandon to rewrite and adapt the whole thing. He accepts. Jonas accepts to direct.
Drugs & A Real Fake Documentary
Luis meets RODRIGO, his brother, at small MEXICAN airport. We find out out through an essentially silent scene, that he has a gambling debt with a Mexican gangster (EL GUERRERO). Their family is threatened if he doesn't pay back. Luis gives Rodrigo a ticket back to AUSTIN to hide in his place as he pays up Guerrero with the film’s money.
Luis drives Rodrigo's pick up truck to his village and stops at "Pedro's tavern" run by PENELOPE (Luis' high school sweet heart) whom he does not recognize at first.
He calls El Guerrero who tells him that on top of the $200'000 Rodrigo owes, he now wants 20% more, the interest for the delay in the payment.
Upset at the situation, a hungry Luis decides to remain in the bar to eat their "special of the day. "He recognizes in the flavor Penelope's identity. She overheard his conversation on the phone and faces him with questions]
After a heated exchange Luis explains. Penelope accepts to help as a way to get back at El Guerrero and because she feels responsible for unknowingly training Rodrigo to play poker.
BACK IN AUSTIN TEXAS.,
at Luis' place, Rodrigo discovers his brother's universe (Sergio Leone Movie posters etc…).
He finds and reads Luis' script. Scribblings on the script's first page reveal an address where the shoot is taking place. Rodrigo goes on location as Jonas, Brandon, Mana and Jenny are trying to find a solution to add another scene involving Luis who has become the film's main character. He gets involved in the project to impersonate his brother.
STILL IN THE MEXICAN VILLAGE,
Penelope and Luis buy a small gun and go train in a SHOOTING RANGE.
At a high stakes poker game with El Guerrero, a muscular dangerous looking dude with TATTOOS, she wins.
Not happy to have lost against a woman, El Guerrero who's real name is CARLOS, decides to eliminate them but as a last minute argument erupts between Penelope and Luis and he finds out Luis is making a movie with him as a character, he decides to instead become their producer. Penelope also finds out Luis was Carlos' right hand man for many years.
Marisol and Marco argue fercely in behind the scene looking footage. Jonas yells "CUT” and we realize it was an improvised bluffing scene . Rodrigo does a brilliant monologue about being Mexican and the importance of STORY TELLING as he interprets the character of his brother Luis,
The film is made but Mana finds out that their Cannes programming was a pie in the sky and the core crew with Marisol meet in a cafe in a depressed mood. A famous personality walks in and Marisol finds the courage to go and present him a copy of their film on a DVD. He/She loves it and arranges for them to be screened unofficially at the SXSW Film Festival.
NOT CANNES BUT SXSW FESTIVAL
As they all go to the SXSW film festival to present 'LEONESOME LOVE', just before the film SCREENING everyone learns from Marco about Luis' shady past and where the production money came from.
All is well that ends well until... until Luis appears with El Guerrero as the new producer.
US film crew
DIRECTOR - CO-WRITER
Daniel is a self made Canadian Filmmaker, Screenwriter, Producer and Actor. He has honed his Director’s skills by working with renowned Jerome Savary, Roland Topor, Andreas Voutsinas and Jean‐ Luc Godard to name a few. His versatility as a Director allows him to move into different genres with ease. He's co-written 5 feature films and directed a host of short films and 2 documentary pilots which he hosted as well. He’s fluent in French. (www.clockwise1.com)
Alexander Janosek Doyle is a New Jersey based teacher, writer, and producer. As a founding member and Executive Director of The Box Colony Theatre Inc., Alexander has produced work at The New York Fringe Festival, as well as his own writing independently in New York and New Jersey. Cafe Del Artisto marks Alexander's first foray into screenwriting. Alexander lives in Jersey City with his wife, Melissa Weiss, and teaches English at Dickinson High School.
María González de León
is from Mexico City.
She studied English Literature
at Mexico’s National University
and got her Masters in Scriptwriting
at Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica, Instituto Mexicano de Bellas Artes (INBA).
She has written several feature films, two of which have been produced:
Filosofía Natural del Amor
and Estero (currently on postproduction).
She has also worked as writer and co-writer of several television series and short films.
In 2011 she was awarded with the
Jóvenes Creadores writing scholarship of Mexico’s Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA).
doesn't love these good old spaghetti Western? Who hasn't seen one of Sergio Leone's memorable epics? Most people have.
The idea started as a joke toward the aburdity I've witnessed on some independent film sets but soon took a turn when I got Alex Doyle involved. He immediately understood the tone and with his wit and our countless coffees and teas at the french bakery downstairs, we actually took on writing something much more SUBSTANTIAL.
The notion of telling a story within a story is not new but giving it that documentary "making of" twist is unique. The STORY has become a HOMAGE to those fillmmakers that marked our SOCIETIES, LEONE in particular, how little we know about them and how much they helped shape our minds as filmmakers and as an audience. It is also a tribute to 'independent filmmaking' with all its unexpected ups and downs and how, with the will to come together against all odds, we can achieve our dream. Here's to the DREAM.
BY IT"S NATURE,
America is an ever evolving nation;
not merely politically and economically, but socially, philosophically, and ethically.
As the millenial generation comes of age in an increasingly globalized world, it is time to ask:
What is the story of the American immigrant in the twenty-first century?
It is sure to be different; as sure as the American culture changes,
so will the experience of those entering it change.
This film asks, how is the experience of the artist affected by integration
(and inevitable clash) of culture,
and what do the values of America offer the immigrant and the artist?
wanted to tell a story about making a film but never knew the context in which to do it until Dan Thorens presented me "Leonesome Love" .
I could see myself through the eyes of Jonas - a documentary filmmaker unable to sustain himself while trying to tell compelling human stories. Now he finally receives his big break in the most unlikely of circumstances - with an opportunity to have his film premiere at a MAjor Film Festival. An ironic twist to how unpredictable success can come in such an ever-changing volatile industry.
What I'm also drawn to is how filmmakers influence our storytelling perspectives so much so that we choose to emulate their approaches - (Sergio Leone, Jean Luc-Godard) yet end up creating unique styles that add another layer to their canvas: the screen.
I think the filmmaking perspective from the US to Mexico has been limited and this story merges the two very different cultures into an original and un-pioneered way.
I'm excited to see this film come to light.
my first reading of "Leonesome Love", I liked very much and accepted to work on it.
I love the originality of the plot and characters.
The drug trafficking scene in Mexico is very prevalent, especially nowadays.
The first thing that caught my attention was Luis,
because we Mexicans and, I think, people from other countries,
conceive Mexican drug lords as a personification of wickedness and darkness.
But Luis is anything but that.
He's a sensitive character, despite his occupation and more evident traits,
and in his deepest desires, although he can't express it,
he has the sensitivity of a true artist. His brother Rodrigo expresses it for him.
I was happy when Alex and Dan approached me to ask for my impression and input
as a Mexican screen-writer.
For a Mexican audience, whom this film aims at reaching as well,
it is important to keep the Mexican scenes and characters as authentic as possible.
I look foreward to seeing this project come to the big screens.
We are a specialized production company based in Manhattan, New York, with strong working partnerships in the US, China, France, Canada and Switzerland.
We like to work closely with producers and directors and we maintain an extensive knowledge of production procedures from start to finish.
CW1 has worked with clients such as BENZ, MITSUBISHI, HEINEKEN, BUICK, PIONEER,, VIDAL SASSOON.
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