A Second Look – The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard

We returned to the Carlton Cinema last night to enjoy a second performance of The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard.

And I have to say, I enjoyed it even more this time around.

After our laugh filled, extremely enjoyable interviews with the film’s director, the awesome and seriously funny Jeremy LaLonde, the producer, the ebullient and fellow geek (how’s Game of Thrones coming along?) Anthony Grani, and one of the film’s talented stars, the endearing Mary Krohnert, our experience of the film rose to a whole new level.

We reveled in the performances once again, and this time, it effected us both even more. I’ve openly admitted to being heartbroken when Sam (Mary Krohnert) is crushed at Christmas and on their second anniversary, and this time was no different, in fact I had tears in my eyes this time, no manly man me. 

Having spent some time in S-Mary’s 😉 presence, I couldn’t help but feel more protective of her, and I liked watching her grow (once again) into herself, a strong woman who’s learned to ask for what she wants in life. We’ve already warned Mary that we will be happily following her career… watch for her in the next month or so on a new episode of Flashpoint! Sam is the heart and soul of the film and Mary perfectly embodies her. As I told her when we spoke for me she is Sam, and to me I could pay her no higher compliment, she was the character.

And would you believe she’s just as darling in person, cause she really is, but she interviews way better than Sam ever could!

But my creative partner, Sue Maynard and I were both strongly moved by Zoie Palmer’s Hayley, because this time, we knew going in, what had happened to her character, and it let us watch her performance in a whole new way, and this perception changes the character. Despite the fact that she has the funniest scene in the film, and we still laughed, there’s another layer under her light banter in the first interview scene, one that hints at how scarred and hurt she was by Paul. It was there the first time, obviously, but I simply picked up on it this time. Zoie has some serious chops, and brilliantly layers her performance, and then when she breaks, it caught both of us so hard this time. As she rages, you have no doubt that she’s completely justified in her anger. She tries to cover things up in her life, gloss it over, or even hide from it, I think the juice box affectation lets her tap into her inner child to allow her to distance herself from what she does on a daily basis now that Paul left her. In short, Zoie, as expected, is fantastic. And how hilarious would it be if she used all the pics from her character’s photoshoots as 8x10s to sign for fans?!

Sadie (Christine Horne) is still a delight and after having talked about her performance with Jeremy, I can see that there’s Sadie The Artist, the semi-facade she puts on for her fans, because yes she is angry and hurt over what Paul has done, hells she wrote a book about it, and Sadie the Woman Behind The Artist, which she lets slip when she chats to Paul. A woman who thinks she understands him better than any. And I think Paul is kinda bothered by the comment that they’re the same.

Kris Holden-Ried shines. He is “Super-fantastic buddy!” and I loved watching how he interacted with all of his co-stars. As we’ve established, he’s really not a bad guy, but one relationship in his past, spoiled him for everything that came after. And with each of his co-stars, his character missed out on so much.

Lisa (Tricia Braun), to Anthony’s credit, flawlessly delivers one of the most important lines in the film, and his description of absolute contentment is perfect for her. This is a woman who has found her place in life, and thrives. Is her marriage perfect? I’ve never met one that was, but you know that both she and her husband work at it to keep the romance alive and are truly happy to be with one another.

And that’s something that Paul doesn’t get, or even understand…

But what about all the things we missed the first time round… all the shout-outs to Hoff’s New Direction (I really do want one of those shirts!), the fact that Anthony was also the producer on the fictional documentaries “Shell” and “Myth and Measurement” both of which were TUWOPS films… I love reading credits on fictional posters.

Watching for all the Pandas, which leads us to Paul’s producer Ray (Alex Poch-Goldin), pure hilarity! His look of sheer joy that someone else gets pandas when they visit with Lisa is priceless. Sure he spouts a lot of facts and waves releases about, but like any good friend, and one assumes any good producer, he pushes Paul on the documentary of his love life once he realilzes that the panda one is a no-go, he wants it to be the best film that Paul can make, and I’d tag along with him to crash a craft services table anytime.

I know there are a number of people who haven’t seen it, and want to, Jeremy and Anthony have both confirmed a possible dvd run, so watch the Paul Shepard Facebook page and website for details.

We’ll also share what we learn here!

This is such a wonderful film, and deserves to be seen.

The Mind Reels is looking forward to seeing what Jeremy and company bring us next.

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