You know, sometimes the environment can really affect the way something proceeds. I’m not talking about the hemorrhoids that supposedly kept Napoleon from making smart decisions at Waterloo, I mean the more general rules about the situation in which something is displayed. They say a room has to be “cold for comedy,” in other words, if the theater has the heat on too high, none of the audience will laugh.
I think we ran into a similar problem tonight, as we screened both the short trailer and the longer industry reel of The Pink House for a bunch of friends at Automatic Slim’s in the West Village, and both seemed (to us, anyway) met with a flaccid response. It wasn’t until everyone came up to us in private, saying how much they liked it, that I breathed a small sigh of relief.
But again, it’s the environment thing. It was a bar-owned TV, high atop the racks adorned with the pricey scotch, with muffled sound and a small picture. Even the illustrious George Gilmore, who was tending bar, said “well, it’s to be expected. People watch TV in bars as a way of zoning out.” Which made me wonder why we had it there in the first place, but no harm done. We saw a lot of great people tonight (John Lasala, Alex Yong, Seth, James, Lizzie, Shielagh, Ed Ryan even Ben Feldman was there!) and handed out a shitload of tomatoes. Even if we only spread good will, then our job is well done.
And I might have to get used to this fact: the Pink House movie is an intellectual, intense pursuit full of great details that don’t make for laugh-out-loud moments. It’s a lot of small, wonderful little things that are part of the whole, not a joke unto itself. I wanted to make the kind of movie that people would take home with them, enjoy bits in private, commiserate in silent recognition. If we get people to come up to us afterwards and say they get it, then I won’t care if they laugh or not. Even if it is a comedy, god dammit!