Father and Son
“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken” is one of the most popular quotes around. And it’s a good one, although much overused by those desperately trying to be exactly what contemporary culture says they should be. The great aphorist Oscar Wilde, who apparently never said that, did address the ironic misuse of it in his play An Ideal Husband:
Sir Robert Chiltern: You prefer to be natural?
Mrs Cheveley: Sometimes. But it is such a very difficult pose to keep up.
I came of age in the hippie era, when being fashionably “natural” was as ironically in-vogue as it is now. This particularly came home to me when, for a role in a 1930s-era college play, I buzzed my shoulder-length locks and deleted my beard, leaving only a pencil moustache. Not exactly the look of the 70s. And then, to add insult to injury, in order to pay my rent, I took a job selling encyclopedias door-to-door!
Oh, the scornful laughs I got–for a look that was actually quite unique–from all of those “true to themselves” types who, in fact, looked exactly alike.
Recently, my production company began promoting our offbeat monster spoof Notzilla, a movie unlike any other. Result? Wins and losses. Often, on the same day. Even as we are passed-over by conventional festivals full of regulation-style “indie” movies (desaturated color, sparse, curse-laden dialogue, gratuitous nudity, depressed characters staring into the distance), we’re being celebrated by some truly unique festivals.
Last week, Notzilla was awarded Best in Show (the top film prize) at Con-Nooga, a big combo comics-games-cosplay-movies-etc. convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that is unlike any other. On the same night, our leading lady Tifani Ahrens Davis was winning Best Actress at Simply Indie, a refreshingly off-beat festival in Oklahoma (we were also a Finalist for Best Picture there). And two weeks before that, even as we were being passed over by conventional festivals, we were scooping up Best Picture and Best Actress awards at the adorably quirky Florida Comedy Film Festival. Last fall, Notzilla was proclaimed Best Comedy at the Will Rogers Motion Picture Festival, an event that regards comedies as important as moody-broody dramas. And it played to standing ovations at the wildly unconventional G-Fest in Chicago!
So our big guy’s feeling the love. But also the “meh.” Why? Well, both for the same reason, I suspect: Because he’s being himself, since everyone else is taken. So, like him or leave him, our big little monster is who he is.
Kinda like his dad.
Update: You can now watch or buy Notzilla here!