A Shout from the Streets

(Press Release)


When one thinks of an ensemble film about a group of folk-singing/dancing 40-something men caught up in a comic caper involving $2 million in missing cash and the travails of a lapsed "psychic detective", James Joyce's ULYSSES does not immediately jump into one's mind. But, when Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts filmmaker Fred DeVecca, after a number of frustrating flirtations with Hollywood "name" players and several near-miss deals, decided to produce his feature-length script APPARITION FALLS himself, he realized there were a number of parallels between his multi-award winning (Austin Heart of Film Festival, Massachusetts Film Office, etc.) screenplay and Joyce's (incorrectly thought of as) impenetrable epic.

ULYSSES is the stylistically experimental story of Leopard Bloom's wanderings through the streets of Dublin throughout the course of one day, June 16, 1904. Bloom's travels are chronicled by Joyce in 18 chapters which roughly parallel Odysseus' journey home in Homer's THE ODDYSSEY. During his long, symbolic, profoundly normal but startlingly significant, and, yes, even fun, day, Bloom, a Jew in largely Catholic Ireland, meets up with friends, visits a number of pubs, contemplates his wife Molly's sexual indiscretions, increasingly feels alienated from his community, and, in the end, sleeps next to Molly, whose powerfully sensual nocturnal interior musings mystically, lyrically underscore the redemptive, healing powers of camaraderie, friendship, music, and love which have been so much a part of "Bloom's-day".

Fred DeVecca has been a freelance writer for 10 years, writing primarily on arts and entertainment , as well as covering Red Sox Spring Training for 2 years. A graduate of film school at Rockport, Maine, he's worked on a number of independent films, including NEXT STOP WONDERLAND and Ted Demme's MONUMENT AVE, in many capacities, from grip to assistant director. FROG PRODUCTIONS' first feature film HELLHOUSE MOON, which he directed, produced, wrote, and acted in. was shot in 1997 and won 3rd Prize in the prestigious Micro-Budget Film Festival.

DeVecca had already prepared a condensed version of APPARITION FALLS, designed to be filmed as a 15 minute short, when he was reminded of ULYSSES, which he had not read since college. Noting the similarities in character, theme, tone, events, and locations, DeVecca did a quick re-write of the shortened script and what emerged was an entirely new screenplay, self-standing but still having the same comic ensemble feel of the original, and now called A SHOUT FROM THE STREETS, which, according to ULYSSES, is the true nature of God.

In A SHOUT FROM THE STREETS, Leo, a common, but extremely aware, working man, and his younger friend Steve, a "sensitive artiste", an actor having to teach to survive, early one spring morning ambush their friend Buck, an accordion repairman, as he toils in his second floor shop. Startling Buck with a "shout from the streets", Leo and Steve are enlisted to assist Buck in a round of accordion delivery, but immediately lead him astray and soon find themselves in Mooney's Pub, where the to-be-delivered accordions are put to the use for which they were truly intended, and a morning of conversation, reflection, song and dance commences. Leo's profound sense of alienation draws him psychologically and physically away from the group, until the seductive, intoxicating lure of song, dance, music and, especially, the freely given love of the barmaid, Molly, bring him back.

Inspired, partially by Molly Bloom's soliloquy, but especially by the SIRENS section of ULYSSES, which features Joyce's interweaving of 57 musical motifs into his words, A SHOUT FROM THE STREETS itself contains a rousing potpourri of traditional musical styles including Irish dance music, Cotswold Morris dancing, jigs, English clogging and a variety of Anglo-Irish pub songs.

A SHOUT FROM THE STREETS will be a fifteen-minute short film, designed to be entered into the major film festivals and serve as a fund-raising calling card for the feature film APPARITION FALLS. It is not meant to strictly adhere to the text of ULYSSES in any sense. It's inspired by parts of Joyce's novel, not based on them, and it is modernized, taking place in contemporary times, and Americanized. The parallels between characters and events are not perfect, but they are, we hope, thematically consistent.

A SHOUT FROM THE STREETS will be filmed in 35mm color in the Shelburne Falls/Amherst areas of Western Massachusetts on October 16-18, 1999 with a professional crew, experienced actors, local New England color, and a lot of energetic, lively music, song, and dance.

For details, contact:

Fred DeVecca
FROG PRODUCTIONS
PO BOX 158
SHELBURNE FALLS, MA 01370

tel- 413-625-2896
fax- 413-625-8621

email - frogprod@javanet.com

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