SIFF spotlight: Little Dizzle

Photo by Matt Daniels for SIFF

We’re five days into this year’sSIFF and buzz is starting to radiate out from festival attendees. One of the most talked-about films so far has been The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, written and directed by local filmmaker David Russo (Populi, Pan With Us) and produced by local producer Peggy Case in association with NWFF and filmed right here in Seattle.

The darkly comedic sci-fi flick in which a laid-off computer programmer gets a new job as a janitor only to become the unwitting subject of a scientific experiment that causes hallucinations, wild emotions, and a twisted sort of male pregnancy is meant to be a consideration of “hope for the hope-averse”, per Russo, an assessment shared by cast members Marshall Allmann and Natasha Lyonne.

In a wide-ranging conversation a couple hours before Sunday night’s sold-out screening of Little Dizzle, Allmann and Lyonne shared their feelings on difference between European and American major studio films (European films tend to follow the story while American films follow the star), the difference between major studio and independent films (Lyonne says that independent films allow her to be more creative as an actor – “it’s like I’m another screenwriter” – but takes care to point out that “an indie film isn’t necessarily good and a big film isn’t always bad”), Natasha’s fondness for watching mindless entertainment as a way of relaxing and how ironic this is in the context of the choices she has made as a working actor (particularly since she describes working in independent film as making her feel “warm and embraced”), dinner theater in Antarctica, which Werner Herzog movie is the most accessible to someone unfamiliar with his work (Rescue Dawn, a film that screen at last year’s SIFF) and Christian Bale (who starred in Rescue Dawn.

Allmann expressed concern that the current downturn in Bale’s popularity was something he should worry about for himself should his star rise high enough to fall, but Lyonne, who would know, talked about the cyclical nature of popularity for most actors: “You’re up, you’re down and then someone else moves into the circle and it all keeps going.” (Not that Bale has that much to worry about; Allmann pointed out that signing up for the right “franchise” guarantees a name actor a certain level of comfort; Bale currently is part of two.)

Both actors were happy to be back in Seattle, having enjoyed filming a movie both wanted to be a part of the moment they first read the script. Lyonne particularly enjoys being in Seattle, describing it as “a very pro-existence town” where she feels she can just be herself. Asked what their hopes are for the movie, Lyonne and Allmann both expressed the hope that the movie does well and is seen by a lot of people, not just to further their own careers but because they feel that it’s a movie worth seeing. Allmann reported that he’s seen the movie several times “and the audiences always like it a lot” and is looking forward to seeing the film develop a larger following once US distribution is obtained. Negotiations are ongoing.

1 Comment so far

  1. Natasha Lyonne & Marshall Allman brave the Seattle press « Hot Splice (pingback) on May 26th, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

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