Well hello there! Long time no see!
I have had requests for some local screenings of Out of Print, and I am happy to oblige!
If you live in Orange County – come on down to The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana on Friday, September 4th at 7:30.
If you haven’t been to the Frida, it’s such an incredible theater and bringing true independent cinema to the OC in a fun and creative way!
If you don’t feel like crossing the Orange curtain, come the next night, Saturday, September 5th at 7:30 to the Crest Theatre in Westwood!
The Crest was built in 1940 and is a GORGEOUS cinema.
At the moment it looks as if both screenings will be on blu-ray – but it will still be big and loud and gorgeous.
I will be in attendance for both screenings – so come on down with any questions you may have!
Also, the soundtrack – scored by my brother, Peter Marchese – will be for sale at both screenings for $10 a pop.
Hope to see you there!
It absolutely breaks my heart to say this, but the New Beverly Cinema that have I loved and stood so ardently for – and that I believe so many of you out there love and stand up for – is gone.
The first time I walked into the New Beverly Cinema in October of 2001, I heard a little voice inside me say: “This is where you belong.”
It felt like home.
I loved that the theater was slightly shabby, that the prices were too cheap, the butter was still real, the films were still on film. I loved the kooky cast of characters working there, and the even kookier regulars who came to watch the films.
All you needed to be welcomed with open arms was a love of film.
Here was a place that was never about money or power, but solely about the love of cinema.
A quixotic throwback to a time when ideals meant something.
Run by a family, and casual to a fault, the New Bev seemed to me a time machine back to 1978 – when the theater opened – when revival cinemas were king.
I asked Sherman Torgan – then the owner – for a job that first day and every time I returned for five years. I knew I had to work there. I would wait as long as it took.
Eventually, he gave up one of his own shifts for me, and I started working at the Bev in May of 2006.
I was over the moon.
Shortly after I started, Sherman asked why he hadn’t hired me five years ago. He was astounded and amused by my youthful enthusiasm for the theater, which brimmed over in bucketfuls. He told me I breathed new life into the stagnant theater. Even stocking the candy counters made me happy – I was finally part of The New Beverly Cinema! The best movie theater in the world!
Over the past eight years, I felt I have given more of myself to the theater than I had to give. I have loved that place with all of me, and have told every soul I came in contact with about how absolutely fantastic it is. I have loved it more than any person should love a theater.
And now everything I have been fighting for with all of my heart all this time has just been taken away.
I can’t fight anymore.
I am done.
But let’s back up a bit, shall we?
Mid July of this year, I was summoned to a meeting at Quentin Tarantino’s house and informed that as of October 1st, 2014, Quentin would be taking over ownership of the New Beverly Cinema, and that I – along with Brian Quinn, who has run our Grindhouse nights for years – was to be one of the co-managers of the 35mm-only-from-now-on-forever-and-ever-amen Bev.
You can imagine how I felt – personally hand-picked by Quentin Tarantino to run his movie theater in Hollywood! A dream come true!
And I was being promoted to a salaried manager position! I made slightly less than $14,000 in 2013, so the thought of making nearly four times that – with paid vacation and health benefits – was dizzying. Living paycheck to paycheck and being on food stamps at 35 years old is a sobering feeling – one I was ecstatic to say goodbye to.
I was, as far as I understood it, to be the public face of the theater – to conduct guest interviews, run the social media outlets and to be front and center in the box office – the first face that the customers would see.
I take my box office position very seriously. I feel that it is my job to welcome every single person who walks through that door, and make them feel like they are part of something unique. I get to welcome them to the coolest movie theater and because I genuinely love the place, this task is a delight.
I was so excited to tell everyone about all of the exciting upgrades the theater was going to get!
Instead, a social media muzzling was immediately ordered.
I was not allowed to instagram, twitter, facebook, blog, or in any other way talk publicly about what was happening with the New Beverly.
I am a very open person and love sharing my life online. It hurt to ignore the dozens of emails, phone calls and texts asking me what was happening with the theater.
If I ignored you, I’m sorry.
I was censored.
This social media muzzling eventually became a confidentiality agreement that I refused to sign which would forbid me to say anything at all, on any public forum, about my job, the New Beverly Cinema or Quentin Tarantino.
Any violation of this agreement – and they would be constantly monitoring my social media outlets –was grounds for immediate dismissal.
Why would you want to silence your employees from saying good things about your business?
Because that is all I would ever say about the Bev.
This monitoring soon became physical as well – we were welcomed into work last week with cameras absolutely everywhere. Not only watching the box office and snack bar, where the money is, but the manager’s office and projection booth as well.
We weren’t being protected, we were being watched.
When I asked to know who was watching the monitors, I was ignored.
In the six weeks I worked with this new management “team”, which hypothetically included Julie McLean – Quentin’s personal assistant – Brian Quinn and projectionist Jeff Nowicki, I was left feeling completely vulnerable and isolated.
Although I was now a manager in title, I was never given any job parameters or instructions.
I was constantly left in the dark, my emails unanswered.
Emails about the status of our social media.
Emails about why showtimes aren’t easy to find online.
Emails about our inventory, about the theater, about my position.
Emails asking for help.
I was completely frozen out.
In fact Julie, my immediate superior, hasn’t answered an email of mine since October 3rd.
And yet, I was supposed to be managing a theater during all of this time.
This past Monday morning I was called to a last minute meeting by Julie McLean – the new general manager of the Bev – who informed me that, although I had only started my new position less than two weeks before, she had come to the conclusion that I was not manager material.
Effective immediately, I was to be demoted to snack bar, with no shifts guaranteed. In layman’s terms: I won’t fire you, because then I would have to pay unemployment, but I simply won’t schedule you – which forces resignation.
She assured me that any argument was useless. No, I was not allowed to state my side of the case, nor could I talk to Quentin. She had already assured him that this was the best move for the theater, and he had given his consent to allow her ultimate power in all decisions regarding the theater.
She wouldn’t listen to anything I had to say, and found all of my arguments “bordering on insubordination”.
My last gasp was pleading with her – couldn’t she see that there was a feeling, a soul to this place that she was only going to crush? Couldn’t she see that?
She told me I was making it about myself, like I made everything about myself.
My last words to her were:
“You’re going to turn this place into a fucking multiplex, and it’s a goddam drag.”
I think Quentin Tarantino is an incredibly talented filmmaker with his heart in the right place. He’s been my personal hero for several years – here’s a man who uses his celebrity in the best possible way – to insure 35mm will be around and to save a theater that both of us see as something extraordinary.
However, I think he has people working for him that aren’t serving his best interests.
He needs to wake up and see that these people are killing the very thing he is trying to keep alive.
For my dedication to the New Beverly, I am rewarded with no job, $47 in my bank account and a finished documentary film about a place that no longer exists.
Out of Print is a film I made about how important 35mm exhibition is and how special revival cinemas are – I illustrate this case with showing you ONE special cinema – The Bev.
I have been struggling to make this film since 2012, and am proud to say it is finally finished.
I was planning a big premiere at the New Beverly in January – on a 35mm print.
Obviously, that isn’t going to happen.
That’s why I have decided to let you all watch the documentary I made about the New Beverly Cinema – Out of Print – now.
I hope you will see first hand the enthusiasm I had for that place, and the passion I will always have for cinema. No matter what you think of the film, you can’t deny that my love for The New Beverly Cinema shines through.
And I hope it will encourage you to support that struggling mom and pop theater near you.
Embrace it while you can.
It may not always be there.
As for me, I have no idea what the future holds.
All I know is that I refuse to be censored anymore.
Watch the film HERE.
I feel like I need to give everyone an update of what’s been going on with the movie…sorry it’s so late, but I haven’t felt much like writing lately. Been in a kind of lethargic/super anxious haze waiting to see what will happen with Out of Print.
This is all stream of consciousness so forgive me if things are a little slapdash.
Man, I had no idea how brutal the whole film festival process was. As the film was rejected from festival after festival, my stress began to bulldoze higher and higher.
Hot Docs? No.
And so on and so forth. My redemption came in the form of the Sidewalk Film Festival, in Birmingham, Alabama where Out of Print will be premiering on August 23rd, followed by a panel discussing the importance of film preservation. My parents will be joining me, and I couldn’t be happier. Having them both there for my first feature film premiere is a fantastic feeling. I couldn’t have done it with out them.
So, the film will premiere at Sidewalk, and then hopefully I can screen it at the New Beverly before the year is out!?
After that, who knows? More film festivals? Distribution? VOD stuff? A tour of revival cinemas with the film on 35mm?
Yes, It’s true, I was able to make a 35mm print of the film, thanks to the incredibly generous help of Digineg, Deluxe, Kodak and Fotokem. I actually have a 35mm print of Out of Print!! So so so happy, and still rather startled – I had no idea going into making this film that I would one day be able to shoot AND show it on FILM.
While I have been sitting at home waiting for the rejection letters, like a draft dodger nervously checking the mailbox, I have been writing. When someone asks me what I am working on next, I want to be able to give them a wide range of options! So, in the works are:
3 documentary pitches
3 feature films scripts
1 television show pitch
It’s been a strange year because after the thrill of the Kickstarter succeeding, filming the movie, editing and getting all the bits and pieces together, you send it out to be appraised and then it’s kind of out of your hands. Its hard to keep the enthusiasm going (myself as well as the fans).
The film was officially finished in 2013 and I don’t think I had watched it all the way the through for a couple of months. There was a screening at Fotokem of my print 2 weeks ago and I watched it and thought “Oh, no. This is all wrong. I made the wrong movie – I should have edited this and that……” and so on.
I’m sure every first time filmmaker goes through it.
But I am so very excited to have it screen with a crowd – only close friends and family have seen the film so far – and i’m sure I will feel totally different about the film after that.
I hope it goes over well.
I kind of feel like I am standing on the tippy-toe edge of a cliff, about to jump off – and I have absolutely no idea what is waiting for me below.
My senior year of college, I lived with (still) my best friend, Marion Kerr. We lived in Irvine (which I am convinced is the Hellmouth), near a little video store called Gold Star Video, run by a sweet-faced woman named Peru. We decided to challenge ourselves to watch every horror movie in their horror section that year – and nearly succeeded – watching 175 out of 217. We watched a lot of terrible films (Halloween 3, Dead End Drive In), but also found some unheralded gems (Fade to Black, Final Exam) and we officially became horror junkies. Since she and I are pretty angel faced, we confused people with our blood lust – Peru was perplexed, and even Jackie Joseph, who we spoke to at our first Fangoria convention felt compelled to ask, “What are you nice girls doing here?”
We kept a notebook and wrote down info on every film – cast, quotes, popular horror themes (lead girl’s name ending in Y, someone calling “who’s there?”, topless chicks, etc). We clutched each other in abject horror during Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Last House on the Left. Marion fell off the couch she was so scared when Johnny Depp got sucked into his bed in the original Nightmare on Elm Street (still my have horror movie of all time). We were scared, but we also felt that with every horror movie we watched, we had a better chance of survival in case of actual events. We knew not to run down that blind alley, not to check the hallway with only a candle to light the way, to never say “I’ll be right back!” We felt proud that we sat through all of the Nightmares, Halloweens, Friday the 13ths, Hellraisers and Child’s Plays – even if most of them sucked.
To be honest, becoming a horror fan is one of the smartest things I have ever done. I’ve made incredible friends and gotten several jobs because of my enthusiasm for horror – including one at Second Spin, and one of the leads in Delta Delta Die! back in 2003. A Full Moon Feature, I was overly excited to get covered in a bucket a blood, and that I got to deliver possibly the best line in the film – (watch below at 1:30). Sadly, my career as a scream queen has yet to take off. (Even though I have a FANTASTIC horror movie scream).
I’ve never particularly understood why horror – nay, all film itself – it’s mainly a man’s game. At the New Bev I am constantly perplexed by the man/woman ratio (90% men on 90% of nights) – where are the other Julias? I understand that not everyone enjoys being frightened, but I find being scared a delight – it makes me feel alive – my heart pounds, my breath quickens, my hands clutch each other in anticipation – I love it. And, of course, watching horror films in the theater with an audience is the BEST way to see them.
I have been so disappointed in horror films lately – I have been trying to keep up, more or less, with modern horror but I hadn’t seen any movie within the last five years that had really rocked my socks – until this week. I decided to take in a double of The Quiet Ones and Oculus – two recent horror films I knew nothing about, save the posters I had seen around town. I was ready for disappointment – everything I had seen recently had been reductive, CGI filled and boring. Luckily, I was wrong.
The Quiet Ones gets extra points off the bat for being a new Hammer Film. Set in England in 1974 and “inspired by true events”, the film follows a small crew of students helping a slightly dastardly Oxford abnormal psych professor while he tries to prove that the young girl in his psychiatric care is merely insane, not possessed. Jared Harris does a snakily wonderful job as the professor, and Olivia Cooke is hauntingly beautiful as the disturbed girl, but it is Sam Claflin that stars as the shy cameraman, Brian, that steals the film. Because of the time period & set up, half the film is shown in 16mm – as we look through Brian’s camera – which of course delighted me. The film has some decent scares, and some nice twists – I look forward to seeing what else Hammer will be offering up in the next few years. And I am officially crushing on Sam Claflin. Hubba Hubba.
But the film that I really want to write about is Oculus – which blew my goddamn mind. It is one of the scariest, cleverest and well written horror films I have seen since 28 Days Later. And, of course, knowing absolutely nothing about it made it even more fun. (I am going to try to not spoil too much here, but some plot points will be revealed.)
Not since my favorite final girl Nancy kicked Freddy’s burnt butt has there been a heroine as incredible as Karen Gillan’s Kaley. She is beautiful, smart, and has spent 10 years devising a fool-proof plan to kill the demon that lurks inside the Lasser Glass – an antique mirror that has killed over 40 people in a very personal and horrific manner over the last 400 years, including her mother and father. Or is Kaley crazy, and did her parents just lose their minds? Either way, she has more booby traps and kill switches than you can shake a stick at, and she ain’t backing down for no one – not even her younger brother, Tim, who has been getting brainwashed at mental institution for the last decade. But she’s believably awesome – she hasn’t turned into a Sarah Connor type, but is going to win using her intelligence and street smarts.
The film jumps back and forth between two timelines – Kaley and Tim as children going through their parents downward spiral, as well as their present attempt to kill the evil – and it does so seamlessly. There are several astounding gore effects in the film that are terrifically squirm worthy, but the thing that makes the film so terrifying is that it locks into a fear I think every child has had at some point .What if your parents – the people you trust wholeheartedly for your security and well-being – went crazy. Like REALLY crazy. By tapping into this primal fear, the film knocks you off-balance and puts you back into the child’s mind – where monsters lurk around every corner and you wouldn’t dare leave the closet door open at night. Brilliant. And genuinely horrifying.
I had also never seen Karen Gillan before and I think I am in love. I am a straight woman, but she might be the most beautiful girl I have ever seen and she KILLS this role. I know Doctor Who fans are already on board her train, but I am signing up for a ticket here and now. I hope she becomes a big star because she fucking deserves it. Also, she chews an apple cuter than anyone else I have ever seen in my life.
I highly recommend Oculus – it got me excited for horror again, and that’s saying a lot. It’s inspired me to write a horror script myself – something I should have done years ago – that pulls from all of the horror knowledge I have accrued over the years. And if a movie can do that, i’d say it’s worth your $14 bucks.
I’m having a really bad week.
Nothing has changed in my life – everyone I know is (thankfully) happy and healthy, I still have my jobs, and everything is cruising along normally on the surface.
Underneath that is me having maybe one of the worst bouts of depression/anxiety I have ever had. And the scariest part is I’m on two medications right now for depression and anxiety. And it is still absolutely crippling.
Before I go any further, let me say I have an appointment this afternoon to see a doctor and get this all sussed out.
But in the meantime…yesterday I could barely function, dragging myself as if I were a zombie to the gym and then to the grocery store. It was a friend’s birthday recently and I promised him I would make him a cake, so I robotically put one together.
I shouldn’t have gone to work and I should have called off my regular Monday movie night – that’s how bad I was. I would have done – but I had made the cake.
I ended up leaving movie night halfway through, which I had never done before, seeing as I am the host, but I couldn’t keep up the charade any longer – and I had been slumped apathetically in my boyfriend’s lap, so my charade – if I had any to begin with – had been paper thin.
I curled up in bed and waited for sleep. I just didn’t want to have to think or feel anymore.
This morning I woke up slightly better, but still in dire need of a doctor’s advice. So while I wait for my appointment, I am snuggled up on my couch under the quilt I made, sipping a Tab and watching Glee.
And Glee is making me so fucking happy.
And this, folks, is why people make art.
When the cast and crew behind Glee were filming, they would never know that one day a girl battling with severe depression would watch the show and find it a lone source of joy in a world otherwise completely overwhelming to her. And I think that every one of those actors, crew members and writers would probably agree that if their show can do that for one person, then all of it has been worth it.
I’m that person.
Thank you, everyone behind Glee. You’ve helped me more than you could ever know.
I turn 35 on March 18. I thought I would impart what wisdom I have accumulated thus far. If you can call it wisdom…
1. Don’t let other people’s opinions of you change the way you look at yourself. You’re awesome. Trust me.
2. Be kind to everyone you meet. You never know when they might pop up again in your life. But if someone is a dick to you, be a dick back. Fuck that guy.
3. Take good care of your teeth. You can have crooked teeth and have it be adorable, but no matter what, they should always be clean and white. When you haven’t flossed since the last time your mom made you its gross. Floss and brush and you don’t have to worry about your teeth falling out or heart disease later.
4. On a similar note, keep your nose hairs in check. No one like to look at protruding hairs – and the older you get, the more unruly they become. I highly recommend getting a nose hair trimmer – available for less than $20 at your local drug store!
5. Here’s my dating advice: If you see someone you think is cute, ask them out. The worst they can say is no. Even if they do, I promise you they will let you down easy and won’t say “Eew! NO!” You might waste an evening of your time with them if you don’t get along, but what’s one evening out of your life? And maybe you’ll gain a lover, a friend, or at least a good story.
6. Be considerate of others. Pay attention to the space around you. Other people deserve the respect you expect from them. Please be considerate when playing your music, using your phone, driving, walking around – Awareness, please.
7. READ. I devour books by the truckload. I love to learn and can’t wait to see what book is going to blow my mind next.
8. Be honest. Telling people what you really feel helps pretty much every situation there is. Which leads me to:
9. Pay attention to your instincts. When you meet someone and a little voice inside tells you that’s there’s something off about them, listen to that voice. Humans are amazing creatures and our body has a little defense mechanism built right in – that most people plow right over intellectually. You will save yourself from dangerous situations in every facet of your life with this.
10. The Beatles are the greatest band on Earth. If you don’t like the Beatles it is either because:
a. You haven’t listened to enough of their songs. You need to explore the deep cuts – there is a little something for everyone. I guarantee you that I can find you ONE Beatles song you would like, regardless of your music tastes.
b. You are contrary and reject them because everyone has told you your whole life that The Beatles are the greatest band on Earth. But if you let this go, you would actually like them. ( see letter a. above)
11. Converse were, are, and will always will be the coolest shoe on the planet. Black high tops go with absolutely anything, in any style. Preppy, gangster, punk, goth, nerd – Chuck Taylors know no societal boundaries. When I see someone wearing Converse I like them a little better.
12. Braces are a fucking scam. You will get your braces off and your teeth will be perfect. BUT YOU WILL NEED TO WEAR YOUR RETAINER EVERY NIGHT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE IF YOU WANT YOUR TEETH TO STAY AS THEY ARE. Truth.
13. Life is too short to waste time matching your socks. The only people that see you in your socks are your close friends and family, so who cares? Oh, but the TSA guys at the airport are going to tell you EVERY TIME you go through that your socks don’t match. Humiliating-1984-esque body scans AND hilarious jokes? It’s almost too much to bear.
14. Punctuality. I am always on time. I think making other people wait for you is very disrespectful and suggests that you consider your time more important than theirs. I understand there are exceptions when you legitimately couldn’t help but being late, but 95% of the time you could have made it on time, you just didn’t.
15. Stand up for what you believe in. I felt so moved when I found out that movie studios were going to stop making 35mm prints that I felt compelled to create a petition to ask the studios to continue sharing their prints with revival cinemas indefinitely. It sparked a debate in film circles and lead to me making my first feature film. At first I wasn’t going to do anything because I didn’t think an online petition would make any difference – but then I realized that fighting for what i think is valuable is more important than how many signatures I got. I’m so glad I listened to that little voice. (See #9)
16. TCB. Take Care of Business. If you say you are going to do something, do it. Don’t hem and haw and maybe get to it two weeks later. After I raised the money on Kickstarter to make Out of Print, we were shooting the film less than a month later. I finished the entire film, soup to nuts in a little under a year.
17. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. You are just as important as everyone else and you deserve to be treated as an equal.
18. Movies – and the art of watching movies with an audience – is one of my very favorite things. Nothing makes me happier than being in a darkened theater surrounded by like minded people enjoying a brilliant film. End of story.
19. Don’t buy into your own hype. Living in Hollywood, I have seen folks get famous and consequently act as if they are suddenly better than you and too busy to be your friend, or are simply “ON” all of time. It’s exhausting and a major drag. True friends are ones that won’t agree with you on everything, but will tell you when you’re being a major chump.
20. Traveling is the best way to discover who you are. Seeing how the world works (or doesn’t, in some cases) and how everything around the globe is so different yet so incredibly similar is a real mind opener. Food, clothing, sights, weather, customs…the wonders of travel never cease. And when you return, I promise you’ll see your own life in a new way, too.
21. If a restaurant looks dodgy, the food is not good. I had been living my life by the old “Hey, it’s in a dingy shopping mall and the people looked shocked when I walked in the door and everything is covered in grease but maybe its a HIDDEN GEM” mantra. Folks, that mantra has failed me more times than I care to count. I could write an entire separate post about the abominable meals I have been served in Los Angeles. I’m an experimental girl and I love exploring the city and am always up for trying a new place, but ain’t nobody got time for lousy food.
22. No one wants to hear you complain. Not even your mom. Venting is a normal human response – I’m not saying keep everything bottled up inside – just don’t let your life become overwhelmed with negativity. If you spend just one day noticing how much you and the people around you complain, I promise you’ll want to cut back.
23. Always take the time to appreciate an amazing ass.
24. If you start a fight club and proudly walk around with a black eye as a woman, people will think you are a domestic violence victim.
25. Be silly. Don’t trust people who aren’t.
26. No woman is immune to the biological clock.
27. Electric blankets are the fucking best. I wish I could time travel back to my childhood and tell myself to buy one, post-haste. Instead of shivering under your covers for way too long in the winter, just crank this little puppy up ten minutes before you jump in the hay, and you’re in for warm, snuggly heaven.
28. Cookie Butter is the life. Find me a substance more delicious than this – I double dog dare you.
29. Whether you are a very poor man or a very rich man, it is always in bad taste to talk about money.
30. Be wary of corporations and cities that white wash everything. They are out to kill your soul.
31. Whatever you fantasize about is okay. It’s in your head.
32. Love at first sight really exists.
33. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know something. Ask. No shame in it whatsoever.
34. Stay away from talking about politics and religion.