La Palle Dolce
And thus the sunset has set on Palle Amorevoli's time on the screen. That's right, the Des Moines 48 Hour Film Project season has come to a close for 2018, and our latest and zaniest film is officially out in the wild for general audiences to enjoy.
Each year is a roller coaster. Some years you know you have some special, some years are a little more shaky. This year I knew we had some thing... special*. Yes you're reading that right; italics and an asterisk. If you have yet to see the film, Palle Amorevoli is a romantic musical set inside a bitter bowling anti-romantic comedy. The quick synopsis is "A delusionally romantic bowling alley chef falls for his musical whims and discovers two of his alley's balls have found love; however, just as their romance buds, bitter bowling rivals threaten to end it." I'll save the musical portion of it for you to discover inside the film.
Once again, we didn't win any judges awards. Instead we walked away from Best of City with the audience award for Screening Group C. Still trying to understand how discerning film critics would choose a film with muzak for best musical score over a film with original music with great lyrics, oh and the music is fantastic. Take a listen for yourself.
Again, as I've said in years past, I really don't care about the awards but they sure are mystifying sometimes. A film as quirky as ours was never in the running for Overall Best of Des Moines (the only award that truly matters because it means you get to screen at the national 48HFP event).
Palle was a blast to make. I don't think anyone had a bad time who took part and it seems everyone loves the final product. Audiences loved it as well. It unquestionably got the loudest laughs of any film either in Screening Group C or Best of City screening. Chances our we'll make a comedy every year for 48. Comedies make the experience more fun for everyone involved and gives everyone a moment to enjoy when the audience cracks up at their screen time.
Finally, our name lends itself to keeping the guffaws rolling. When I first signed us up for 48 I chose the name Tiny Explosions from a song by my favorite musical act of all time, The Presidents of the United States of America. I've always loved them, but for many people they fall somewhere in the one-hit wonder territory or novelty act. There's no reason arguing with this inference, but if I may paraphrase lead singer Chris Ballew's own words on how he overcame the cast off 'novelty band' nonsense before the bands first album was ever released. According to Ballew, Madonna (yes that Madonna, a major fan of the Presidents) pulled Ballew aside just before the band signed it's first record contract and told him the critical machinery of the music industry would never acknowledge the intelligence, craft, energy, and visceral fun of the Presidents. She went on to say the key is to disregard all of that and put your trust in your audience because their reaction is the only thing you can trust.
I love that. Would I like to make films like Network, Miller's Crossing, and Alien (three of my favorite films of all-time)? Of course I would. But 48 is about a band of friends having a good time and collaborating to make something that is a pooled sensibility. Some day I'll get to hefty, serious stuff, but it's unlikely it will ever be with Tiny Explosions. That is fine with me.
Addendum: A quick thank you must be made to everyone who traveled to take part in our film; Nate from Oregon, Andrew from New York, Jon from Milwaukee... you guys are awesome and any year you want to join the fun, I want to have you. Jon Hoffmann and Brian Hogan, any year you boys want to make a 48 Hour short, I want as well. Finally, thank you to Jordan Mayland and Jill McLain. Jordan put in more work than anyone this year to make the musical portion of our film happen and it wouldn't be anywhere near as a good a film if someone else had taken the scoring reigns, and Jill, thank you for coming aboard the Tiny Exploding team and lending your wit, acting talents, and lyrical prowess to our film. Can't wait to see what we do in 2019.