We’ve known Larry Longstreth for a long time as a person and as a filmmaker. It’s no big surprise that we here at Cinema Crazed are big fans of Longstreth and his work in the fan film and internet arena. Longstreth is one of the finest filmmakers working in independent film today and our friendship with him is no bearing on the man as a filmmaker. We discovered Longstreth years ago when he sent us his screener for a short film about a zombie musical and we were instantly hooked on whatever he sent our way.
After years of creating animated films for the fan boy community it was about time for Longstreth and co. to grow up and venture out in to the vast unknown where creative works were much more appreciated when they were original and of the mindset of the creators.
Sure, “Batman’s Gonna Get Shot in the Face,” and “The Greatest Fan Film Of All Time” were internet hits across the board garnering special mentions from esteemed websites and movie critics alike, but as every filmmaker knows, you can only go so far on fan films before you want to stop and try to create a baby of your very own.
Here comes “The Long Slow Death of a Twenty Something,” a marvelous dramedy by director Larry Longstreth and produced by Mark Ordesky of “Lord of the RIngs” fame that ponders on Longstreth the man, and on the state of nation’s youth, all of whom are starting our as children, growing in to men, and inevitably evolving in to man children. “The Long Slow Death” is about a man child, a man incapable of learning and incapable of growing up who has to decided suddenly, what kind of man he wants to be.
In July we were able to have a sit down phone interview with Larry Longstreth and Mark Ordesky and in spite of my rattled nerves I was able to garner some insight from the two friends who shared a passion for Larry’s film (and are currently working on an animated pilot together). We were given early access in to the film before it was handed over to Maverick Entertainment (distributors of critically acclaimed films like “Deaden” and “Bad Reputation”) for an October 4th release date on DVD and Netflix, and Longstreth has made a film that is a personal testament to his own blossoming in to an adult while also appealing to males of his ilk also struggling to find an identity in society.
Hysterical and thought provoking, “The Long Slow Death” stars director Longstreth as Ben, a normal manchild of the twenty first century persuasion who lives comfortably among his devices. Video games, LARPing, and comics are all he knows. That is until he meets Donna, a sophisticated young woman who takes a liking to Ben, but dumps him for reasons Ben can not understand. This sudden departure from the relationships sparks an inner conflict within Ben to find out what kind of man he really is and what kind of man he is to become should he bow to the requirements of Donna, whose idea of a mature man is something Ben can’t possibly comprehend.
What’s scary about this situation is that Ben has an easy time playing the character Donna wants him to be. What’s even scarier is that Ben has no problem trading in every value and moral he’s ever known to please Donna and come back to her as her boyfriend. The series of hilarious situations involving Ben’s fitting in with Donna’s group sets in to motion a series of actions that will inevitably have consequences and force Ben to find out more about his own male role model.
This is a scene that sparked many a tears among the female crowds as Larry points out in our interview as Ben confronts his father in the garage and struggles to make sense of what kind of man his dad envisioned and if he’s managed to build up to the frame work that his father originally had in store for him. This is a film for the folks who could never get off of their butts to make an actual film, Larry explains, something for the slackers still struggling to find an identity.
In a world where our identities are designed to be nothing but marketing tools for technology and vanity, do we ever get a chance to understand and come to know our true selves? Producer Ordesky professes an undeniable enthusiasm for “The Long Slow Death” and explained his reason for working on the film with Longstreth and helping to finance the film’s DVD release as an easy partnership since the two share a friendship and camaraderie that many would envy. Ordesky is thankfully not above helping out the indie field after years of producing films like The “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and “The Golden Compass.”
In a time where the economy has somewhat hobbled the independent film industry, Ordesky stands true to his devotion to Longstreth’s indie film, and through it Longstreth and company 4Reelz found inevitable distributor Maverick to bring audiences and fans of Longstreth his feature film debut, the personal and deeply powerful drama comedy that will perhaps help audiences shed light on their own nature of existence while laughing out loud to Longstreth’s unusual taste for the humorous and the humane.
“The Long Slow Death of a Twenty Something” will ease in to stores and online October 4th asking audiences everywhere “What Color is the Blue Square?”