-Note: This is not my writing. I am copying and pasting only. Permission was granted.
"Knock. Knock." and why it's kind of like "The Chris Manz Show"
Ok, so in the past I have used this blog as a place to post little improvised stories of varying quality. But today I am going to use it like it is intended to be used, to promote an art project thing that I worked on. I'm talking to you about "Knock. Knock.", a film that I wrote and starred in, and which is just now starting to hit the film festival circuit (or has at least been sent out into it). I'm going to conduct this thing in an interview format, and sort of rip-off one of my past (more popular) blog entries called "Dialogue of the Chris Manz's". Time to begin...
First a setting. This interview is to take place in my house (for a visual reference please refer to the most recently added picture in my myspace picture section, where I am standing up wearing an "Art Ensemble of Chicago" t-shirt, and looking off into space planning my next move (which was to go into the kitchen to eat something, if I remember correctly)). Now in this room there shall be two Chris's. One Chris will be sitting at the piano located in the back of the picture (where the book of BACH MASTERPIECES is displayed, ready at all times to have the 2 simplest preludes of the well-tempered clavier performed). This seated chris will be the interviewer. The other Chris will stand up kind of like how I am in the picture, but probably face more towards the Chris who is seated at the piano (rather than away).
Chris (seated at the piano): So, Chris. What is this "Knock. Knock." thing?
Chris: Well it's a movie that I developed with director Amir Motlagh--
Chris: Is he a good director?
Chris: Yes. And you will find that out when you watch the film. I have a copy here and I will show it to you after we finish the interview.
Chris: Ok, who else was involved in this film?
Chris: Well it also features two wonderful performances by Keaton Shyler who plays a character named "Carla" (my ex-girlfriend in the film), and Lene Pederson who plays "Sharon" (a guest on my show). It was produced by Chris Otteson, edited by Rick Curnutt, and was co-produced by (and features a production design by) Tom O'Connell, who frequently works on the Chris Manz show.
Chris: Ok, now you say that Keaton plays an ex-girfriend and Lene is a guest on your show. What does that mean? Do you mean it's like your internet show?
Chris: It's a lot more narrative than that, and a bit more glossy. It's loosely based off of the idea of the Chris Manz show (and to further confuse things the internet show that appears in the film is called the Chris Manz Show) but the story is totally made up and NOT auto-biographical, even though the character I play has my same name.
Chris: So do you have an enormous ego then? Why do you play a character named after yourself in this film? Why do you have a show named after yourself?
Chris: Actually Amir worked with me on some of the development of the script, and when he cast me in it, he said he wanted me to go by real name. He likes to blur fiction and reality in his films, and by making these choices, he achieves that in "Knock. Knock." In terms of the show, I wouldn't say that I have a very high self-esteem, but not so much a low one either. And the show wasn't even my idea originally, but my friend's. I guess it's kind of like therapy. Just learning to be comfortable with myself, and learning to talk to other people and to not be afraid of that.
Chris: So what happens in this movie?
Chris: Well there isn't really a story to it. I mean there is in that it feels like a narrative film, but all of the events in it just kind of happen in a very intuitive manner. Much of my past work has been totally non-narrative, experimental, very stylized, and much more about image and sound relationships (or textual). There is a hint of some of that in this, but not much (although the film does truly achieve an original feel, and perhaps story). And it just seeks to capture that awkward feeling of making peace with an ex-lover, and sometimes revisiting that, and how things are always changing, are more funny than we realize, and how it's really hard to control everything, or something like that…
Chris: I don't really get that last part—in terms of what you are trying to say—
Chris: Sorry… I'm not totally sure what the movie is about. I'm just saying that it definitely succeeds at something. It does capture certain feelings. And many people have responded pretty favorably to it. But it's really in poor taste to list the types of praise your work receives…
Chris: So it has received praise?
Chris: Some. But like I said, I'm not going to talk about that.
Chris: So is this film LIKE other films? What are some cinematic reference points?
Chris: Not that "Knock. Knock." is on the same level, but there are some elements of early Godard, a bit of Woody Allen, also some of that guy who did "In the Mood for Love."
Chris: Wong Kar-Wai?
Chris: Yeah, but I still haven't watched a full movie of his yet.
Chris: ...Because you're against Chinese cinema?
Chris: No! Nothing like that. I just don't really like contemporary films, and so I see very few of them. Hopefully my position will change. I hear a lot about how good he is. But that new movie he did with the girl who thinks she is a jazz singer (on the pop radio stations) didn't seem to fair to well, from what I have read...
Chris: Well, I haven't seen it myself, so I can't really comment. Ok, I guess we're getting towards the end of the interview. Anything else you'd like to add?
Chris: Well, just go see "Knock. Knock." For what it is, there's nothing about it that I would change (and the same has been said from everyone else who was involved with it). And it works! Yes it has a story and characters, but it is fun to watch and it really has some "real" elements in it. Also, stay tuned for more Chris Manz shows. And if you like the Chris Manz show (or even if you hate the Chris Manz show) you might very well like "Knock. Knock."
Chris: And I guess I'm going to go ahead and watch it right now, right? You said you were going to show me a copy after the interview...
Chris: Yeah, let me go get it. See if you can find the remote to the TV if you can.
Chris: What does it look like?
Chris: It's gray, has buttons... You know, like a remote.