Cinematic interlude

A few days ago “Positioning,” a short film I wrote, was accepted to the Indianapolis International Film Festival (July 15-July 25). This is the 7th festival for the film, which was directed by Hans Montelius, a Swede followers of this blog are already familiar with. In 2008 we went to the Cannes Film Festival, where Hans had two films in the Short Film Corner. We stayed outside of Cannes, in an apartment secreted away in a gated community. I had my first exposure to GPS machines as we wound through the Cote d’ Azur looking for the apartment. The more dead-ends we ran into, the more I made fun of Hans for relying on this new gadget. We eventually found the apartment, and granted, it would have taken us a lot longer without the GPS. It was during the search that “Positioning” was born. We started brainstorming for a short featuring a GPS machine. I had never written for the screen before, but a few months later I put the story to paper over a long weekend. Soon after, Hans directed it. A month of later, the film premiered in the Short Film Corner at Cannes.

“Positioning” starts with a man and woman driving to an untold destination. The man drives. Even though he’s not that familiar with the neighborhood, he tries to rely on his memory to find the address. After going around in circles a few times his wife suggests they use the GPS machine. The driver scoffs at the idea.  I’ve always enjoyed the urban legend that men never like to ask for directions. I always thought it was women who do not like to ask for directions. More than once an impatient female passenger has said to me, “Stop and ask for directions already.” Not once has a female passenger said “Stop and I’ll ask for directions.”  Still, I wrote the script because of the often told joke of the guy who equates asking for help with wussiness.  The husband in “Positioning” eventually capitulates.  Later in the film, the couple are in bed.  The husband goes down on his wife only to face the same problems finding his way around…That part of the film is in no way autobiographical.  Seriously.  In no way. Totally from my imagination.

Some fun facts about the film. Han’s first choice for the male lead was an actor who has appeared in a number of his shorts. Unfortunately, the actor didn’t have a driver’s license. Hans and I talked a bit about getting around this issue, like having the woman drive, but that just wouldn’t have worked. The film was shot on the streets around Han’s apartment building in Stockholm. There’s no indication in the finished film that the story takes place in Sweden, though in the original script I make it clear the couple are in Stockholm and use Han’s mother’s address as their final destination. Hans also changed the ending of the film. In my version, the husband never hits “paydirt.” But Hans, always a sucker for a happy ending, has him reach his intended destination.

For a trailer for “Positioning,” go to IMDB:

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