Limping Towards Babylon


TYPE
: Narrative Feature
GENRE: Comedy
STATUS: Pre-Production

LOGLINE

Five graduate student roommates are all secretly in love with the wrong person, until a professor's theft lights the fire that ignites their contained passions.

SYNOPSIS

In this gently satirical, moving ensemble dramedy, five grad student roommates are all secretly in love with the wrong person, until a professor's theft lights the fire that ignites their contained passions. Their betrayals force them to confront their own internal deceptions and so begin an actual journey into adulthood.

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

When I was 12, I randomly came upon a PBS broadcast already in progress. It was a filmed version of a play and I really had no idea what was going on. Yet, nonetheless, I was riveted and watched it until the end. Only much, much later did I realize I had been watching a young Frank Langella in Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull”. I should make it clear that my exposure to theatre was almost non-existent at that point. I grew up in a small town; my family wasn’t a theatre-going one; we were on the lower end of middle class and I had no personal experience that remotely resembled the tortured love lives and artistic strivings of Russian country aristocrats at the end of the 19th century. Fast forward many, many years into adulthood. I already earned my BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts (primarily in theatre but I took significant classes in screenwriting and film acting) and an MA from the interdisciplinary Gallatin School at NYU. I was now at the Yale School of Drama as a playwright and I experienced a significant injustice from a professor there. I fictionalized my anger into a comic monologue wherein a graduate student appears like a drunk Romeo underneath his professor’s window and accuses him of plagiarism. That monologue got published but I never could find the play that went with it. Fast forward again many years, and I’m in Los Angeles, focusing mostly on writing screenplays and making short films. I pulled that monologue out of the figurative closet and I began to work on it with a group of actors. It organically expanded to what came before and after and thus it became this screenplay. What I realized after I completed that first draft was that I had integrated, very organically, my experiences and observations at Yale with Chekhovian structure and themes. And further likewise, I had also created an ensemble dramedy populated by complex characters who are for the most part good people, but they nonetheless do stupid and selfish things. But because they are good people, they try to fix their transgressions, but doing so only makes things worse. I can confidently say I share at least this with Chekhov: I believe in an art that shows how life SHOULDN’T be lived. The reason for almost all human ills stems at core from some form of self-deception. The journey of the characters in “...Babylon” is one toward acknowledging those lies to oneself, and doing so is the only way toward maturity. After all, sometimes adults take a very long time to become adults. Visually, I would reinforce the script with the look of Renaissance chiaroscuro paintings, which are rich and saturated in color but the shadows are strong, in order to reinforce the idea that people are hiding their feelings. However, as the characters eventually evolve, more light will fill the scenes. (Please see my Look Book or website for more.)

KEY CREW

Julius Galacki - writer/director/producer

Julius Galacki is a Playwriting graduate of the Yale School of Drama. He is also a graduate of NYU, holding both a M.A. from the interdisciplinary Gallatin School and a B.F.A. from the Tisch School of Arts. His 29 minute film (writer/director/producer) All Things Chicken was shown at film festivals nationally and internationally with a number of nominations and wins, including the Tenerife International Film Festival (actual screening in Madrid) where it was nominated for Best Short Film, Best Short Screenplay, Best Producer of a Short Film, Best Actor in a Short, Best Supporting Actor in a Short. His first short film, “FIRST NIGHT”, besides being shown at festivals and getting over 33,000 hits on the website Funny or Die, was broadcast on the PBS affiliate KVCR in Palm Springs, CA on January 12, 2013. His full length screenplay “THE LOST TREASURE OF THE MAYANS” was 1st Runner-Up at the 2014 Wood Hole Film Festival, and honored by 6 more screenwriting competitions. Another full length screenplay “PRAY WITH A BULLET” was named a top ten finalist in February of 2011 by Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope. His theatrical monologues appear in all four volumes of the series “Audition Arsenal” published by Smith & Kraus. At Yale, Julius is particularly fond of his thesis staged reading of Black Flamingos at the Yale Rep; the superlative cast included Oscar and Tony nominated actress Amy Ryan. Other plays have been produced or read in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, etc.

Alex Wand - Composer

A Grammy Award winning musician (with the ensemble Partch) based in Los Angeles, Alex is a songwriter and composer interested in storytelling, alternate tuning systems, film scoring, and folk music. He has performed at venues and festivals from California to Tibet. Alex performs as a solo artist and in Three Thirds, Desert Magic, and Partch. Originally from Detroit, he studied music composition at the University of Michigan and at CalArts, where he also teaches. Film credits: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5118225 Latest musical news: http://www.alexwand.com

Josh Breslow - Actor (Thomas)

Film: Trial by Fire, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Love and Other Drugs, Houdini. Television: New Girl, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Once and Again, Port Charles/General Hospital as well national commercials. Theater: Theater District (Black Dahlia Theater, LA), etc. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0107754

Karen Sours Albisua - Actor (Amandine)

Grew up in Mexico City. Film/TV: La Sequia, Maria in the FX series The Bridge; We Are New York (PBS), Insidious, etc.; select NYC theater: Tennessee Williams Shorts (Animus Theatre Co. on Theatre Row, directed by Matthew Lillard); the New York Times reviewed She Likes Girls, etc. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2471615/

Matt Mercer - Actor (Marcus)

Film: Beyond the Gates, Artik, The Toy Box, Dam Sharks, Bad, Bad Men, Contracted: Phase II, Madison County, Auteur, Airplane vs. Volcano, House of the Righteous, All Things Chicken, etc. He directed, edited, and produced the feature film dramedy You or a Loved One. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0580290

Leandro Cassan - Sound Designer

Film: Bowery Rhapsody: The Rise and Redemption of Hollywood’s Original ‘Brat Pack (documentary), Eruption: LA, Polish Bar, 1 Dead Party, All Things Chicken, etc.; Hell’s Kitchen, Knife Fight, Ultimate Beastmaster, Last Comic Standing and much, much more TV; http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3498240

Miriam Korn - Actor (

Film:  lead in the indie Mr. Boo which filmed in Kansas City in the summer of 2017, also Hacked, etc. TV: Veronica MarsSupernatural, national commercial campaigns and sketches, latest on Tosh.0, on Fox with Jerry SpringerFox Sports, etc. Improv group: The Commune.  Graduate of UCLA and the Upright Citizens Brigade.  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1708100/

Adam J.Smith - Actor (Professor Richard Bligh)

TV:  Scandal, Castle, Medium, Numb3rs, 90210, etc.  Film:  Taken 3, Zombie Strippers, Deceit.  Emmy Award winner for When Things Get Small; Robby Award Nomination (Best Actor in a Comedy); NAACP Nomination. VO work:  Grand Theft Auto V, Discovery Channel.  Theatre:  Pasadena Playhouse, ICT, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Antaeus, Off-Bway, etc. Training:  MFA Acting from UCSD/La Jolla Playhouse;  BA in Drama & Economics from Duke University (magna cum laude).  Faculty in CalArts School of Theatre. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1889407 and more at http://www.adamjsmiththeactor.com

Justin Park - Actor (George)

Film: Mercury Plains, etc.; Web series:  Buddy Talk;  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2378564

 

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