THE BLACK SEA was playing as the 2nd of a double feature with Ekimmu/The Dead Lust. This had great personal significance for me because Ekimmu's filmmaker is Andy Koontz, a fellow brain tumor survivor. Andy and I connected on line some time back and communicated frequently via social media but we had never met in real life. There is an ease and shorthand to survivor communication (particular to trauma in general I presume, not just medical/brain trauma) - where since so much is understood without being voiced. Andy understands things that no one else really can by virtue of his journey and his battle (sidebar: Andy had medullablastoma, I had chondrosarcoma). A few minutes before 7 Andy and his wife Chrissy arrived. We took a couple pix out front and then headed into the theater.
|Andy Koontz, me (photo by Kelsey Grace Soriano)|
When Ekimmu ended, I wasn't certain if Andy was going to do a Q & A before for my movie or not, we hadn't really discussed it - but it didn't matter b/c the lights stayed down and THE BLACK SEA began. I hadn't seen the film or actively contemplated it all in over a year (last shown in Feb 2016 at the SoCal Film fest) which was truly a liberating experience. Letting go. I watched solely (okay mostly) as random viewer and allowed things to just happen before me, void of judgement. Letting go. Things I'd previously disliked seemed to work. The movie has a dark flow and dream logic to it that I've always felt like I have to defend or rather that I have to be on guard about but this time to put it in crude terms I didn't give a shit. The cast is awesome, score, camera, sound design all top notch. I am very proud of it and eager for it to be seen. (there is rumor of upcoming NW Film Center screening this summer, will confirm - and some possible upcoming West Coast dates/venues that I can't discuss just yet but TBA).
|Q & A, me & Andy (pic by Kelsey Grace Soriano)|
Later, across the street at Dots with Scott (who shot and co-produced THE BLACK SEA) and Erin (who plays Charlotte), Michael (who plays the gallery employee), filmmaker Ryan Graves and some other friends a robust discussion about certain scenes arose. What did this scene mean? Why did character X do Y? I didn't answer as much as observe. It was a reminder of the power of cinema and how this movie that I made, that I hadn't seen/contemplated in awhile, that's been in the rearview mirror for me for quite a duration still has a pulse, is still here, is still alive.