I enjoyed Feisto very much.
I was serious when I said I wished Fiesto was the pilot for a TV series. A weekly show where Feisto arrives in a new town and solves the problems of the townspeople through eroplay. (c.f. problem-solving weekly dramas with a travelling outsider in the genre of Kung Fu, The Fugitive, and The Incredible Hulk.) It would brighten my life to see a new Feisto episode every week.
After the screening you said you "know how to clear a room." It was kind a joke but serious. I think many people left because of the pacing rather than the subject matter. I want to give you some notes on the pacing. It's awkward for me to do so. I believe you are a great unknown filmmaker. I'm just an improv actor; I've never written a script. I especially don't want to challenge you on Feisto, which is a wonderful and challenging movie.
Your movies tend to be slow. I imagine that is your artistic choice. You live with slow speech and movement. The slowness of Feisto gives us an insight into that world. Seeing the world at Feisto-speed reveals the normally invisible pace of our own life stories.
Yet the slow pace distracted me from the story. The movie could have been cut in half without changing the story. It wasn't that there was too much eroplay in the movie! Those scenes were mostly sexy, messy, and fun. (If I had video, I'd like to watch those scenes again, right now!) The woman playing Julia has an amazing energy and the camera loves her.
There is an over-long exposition in which we see the history of Julia and Chip and the fashion company. The movie moves into the present and there is another exposition about Julia's design block (she claims from the Chip breakup but it was a longer block). Two expositions was too much, maybe aim for "starting in the middle" of the story.)
Finally Julia meets Feisto. He is truly other-worldly! Julia falls for him with melodramatic speed. At first I imagined Fiesto as an alien giving off some kind of cherotic radiation that euphoriated Julia. (Later we learn it was because of a forgotten childhood memory.) I loved this scene! I myself fell quickly for you --Frank-- when I met you at Gallery X. I enjoyed the speed of Julia's connecting with Feisto. I think an audience who didn't know your work would expect Julia to notice the magical nature of her instant rapport with Fiesto and at least ask Feisto why he is so cuddly and inviting. This scene seemed too fast.
Julia brings Feisto home. She learns of his powers and his mental differences (e.g. not knowing about sleep or hunger.) These were some of the best scenes in the film. Communicating with the alien Feisto Julia can talk about her philosphy. She quickly starts to eroplay with Feisto. Her quick embrace of eroplay made it seem as if she always had a free sexual nature. Feisto didn't have to teach Julia to eroplay, just remind her to.
(Perhaps because I had to be *taught* to eroplay I wanted Feisto to teach Chip, or anyone, to eroplay somewhere in the story.)
Designing clothes that don't constrict Feisto lets Julia find the fun in design again. These scenes take a long, slow, time.
The movie picks up when Julia gets out of the house with Feisto. Scenes with Julia and Feisto interacting with people outside the house were the most enjoyable of the movie. I wanted to see more! A montage of Julia taking the cherotic alien around San Francisco. Maybe Julia introducing Feisto to her mother.
Chip returns. He argues with Julia then stalks her. I enjoyed the stalking story. I wanted to see Hollywood-style excess here: Julia taking Feisto to a 49ers game and Chip disguising himself as a hotdog vendor. Tension-filled comic mayhem with Chip ducking to avoid being seen and being splashed with mud, etc.
Chip hires some toughs to beat Feisto. The choreography in this seen really stank. The goons were obviously not landing their punches and kicks. You need to get actors who aren't afraid to hit you. An movie punch doesn't have to hurt but it should at least land. (If the blow can't land put the camera in a rear angle.) Wear padding if you have to. Use a dummy in a Feisto wig for kicking.
Chip recovers emotionally. He gives two awkward speeches about the
nature of poetry and hooks up with Julia's boss. This part of the movie was slow. Chip never learns to eroplay. My wife and I talked about the poetry sale... She felt he sold the poem about change planned during in the tree scene. I felt he accidently sold the bizzarre anti-Feisto rant he tried to get his boss to publish.... (Don't tell me your intent!)
I wanted more than the talking ending. I wanted an action ending: A double wedding, or Feisto returning to his home planet, or a big cave with Feisto and Chip and all the women from the fashion company.
I don't want to criticise Feisto. It was a powerful film. It seems like I'm asking for a mainstream-friendly version of Feisto. Perhaps I am?
I saw your _Out of Isolation_ at a public showing. (Over 90% of the audience walked out of that film as well.) When I saw _Isolation_ I knew nothing about you. It was kind of difficult to watch because the spastic character had intelligence invisible to the Nurse. She didn't see Mr. Merrill. She used him to work through her own issues. I was offended by the way the disabled "actor" was treated by the story until I the credits revealed the writer and the actor were the same man.
Feisto was an uplifting story. The plot was the dramatic opposite of _Isolation_.
Thank you for making it.
Give my best to Linda.
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Last modified October 1, 2002