Love in the Sixth

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An unromantic musical comedy feature film by Jude Klassen

People are very curious about this project. Even some of the people working on this project are curious about this project. For the sake of simplicity I can make some punchy pitches: Girls meets Glee. Boyhood meets Grease. Fellini meets Curb Your Enthusiasm. Young People Fucking meets Old People Fucking. And so on.

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The cast performing the tune “Fucking Love” composed by Ettinger / Klassen

The short answer is it’s a character driven musical comedy, a love story, an environmental angst story, a cheeky fearless indie adventure with kick-arse muthafucking songs. The long answer…

In February 2014 I sat down with my longtime collaborator, D.O.P. Rob McGee to brainstorm next steps. We’d been shooting celebrity interviews for Movie Entertainment Magazine, Judecast Live shows and Martini Think Tanks for over five years. Rob also filmed most of my strange and popular political satire music videos, the songs of Tasha James and Fast Ford Nation. What we realized was that we had this incredible team of dedicated, diversely talented people who were willing to throw down hard for wine, beer, laughs, and whatever was in the slow cooker that day. We had the gear, we had the people, we had the vision—we had to make a feature film. Since I was crawling through a killing field of heartbreak I decided to take advantage of my own fragile, erratic, slightly manic state of mind. Plus, I thought it would be a simple matter of tarting up an original TV series I’d written, Mancation, about a co-dependant single mom trying to stay off the man-crack and live a fulfilling life. It turns out the TV script was merely inspiration for the film–the stone in the Stone Soup. The ingredients we threw in the pot became increasingly complex:

The people who were drawn to participate in the project multiplied and inspired in-the-moment adaptations. The shit got real.

 

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Me and TC Folkpunk play Dani and Sid

What began as an unromantic comedy about one woman’s last chance for no romance quickly became much quirkier—a musical—and much heftier—a look at love in the sixth extinction. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the sixth extinction it’s the one we’re living in. The first man made extinction. The bio diversity crisis we’re ignoring in favour of flashy tech crap, compulsive tweeting, TV binging, fake boobs, and the banality of Botox. Without even realizing it we’ve become indentured serfs to piggy corporate overlords who stash our cash in data clouds to keep it safe from doing any good in the world. Yup, almost all of the planet’s financial wealth is being hoarded by tax-evading crazy people. And they’re doing it legally. Important to note, they don’t give the tiniest flying fuck about wiping out every species on the planet including their own. Analogies flood my brain: a gelatinous thing in the closet stuffing its cake hole with roasted hogs, cherry pies and horns of plenty, vomiting as it gorges, unable to stop.

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My real-life daughter, Mika, plays “Kat”

But I digress…

Yet, perhaps that’s appropriate. In a way this post mimics the film. Despite the horror of our times we still love, mate, procreate, laugh, gossip, go shopping, flirt, discover new cafes, floss our teeth, make New Year’s Resolutions. We still care if our ass looks fat in that, we still strive to give our children hope for the future. And that last bit about our children—that’s the beating heart of Love in the Sixth. Dani, the main character, is trying desperately to encourage hope, meaning and joy in the heart of her wise dystopian daughter, Katerina. Twelve year-old Kat is intrigued with The Hunger Games, George Orwell, the original Twilight Zone, David Suzuki and Elizabeth May. Kat, who sees all with the clear eyes of an exceedingly intelligent old soul strives to protect both her mother and Mother Earth.

Ultimately, Love in the Sixth is a tilt on the romantic comedy. Through the stories of young Mavis, a vibrant, cheeky polyamorous feminist who is involved with both Butler brothers, Brett and Jay, Qalie, a cell-phone addicted, artsy lesbian involved with a corporate lady-ball breaker, and at its centre, Dani, a funky, mid-life mom whose devastatingly dysfunctional relationship with her singer / songwriter boyfriend threatens the delicate eco-system of her tiny, atrophying Toronto cottage.

JK

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Wendy Sinclair and Brett Butler play polyamorous lovers

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Shay Steinberg and Lisa Santonato play mismatched lovers, Qalie and Tamara

A book and a film you need to digest:

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

The Price We Pay, a film by Harold Crooks

1 Comment

  1. Asher

    February 18, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Nicely done Jude.

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