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Smitten!

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41default Re: Smitten! on Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:59 pm

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dusty wrote: He looks so good, even with duck tape! fifty shades of grey, the farm yard version!

haha!  You made me laugh, dusty!  "The farm yard version!"  :laughing

42default Re: Smitten! on Wed May 10, 2017 6:44 pm

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YES!  We have some news on Smitten!  Thank you!  Sounds like Smitten! is bound for Cannes Film Festival!  Yea!! clapping hands

From Darren Criss Army:




Film Sales Company head Andrew Herwitz’s sales slate includes the rom-com Smitten! directed by Barry Morrow, who shared the best original screenplay Oscar for Rain Man in 1989.

Glee’s Darren Criss stars alongside model and TV star Madalina Ghenea. The story takes place in Tuscany, Italy, as a couple overcome obstacles on their way to finding true love.
via Darren Criss Army





Screen Daily wrote:
Bob Shaye, Barry Morrow titles on Film Sales Company Cannes slate

May 9, 2017


EXCLUSIVE: Andrew Herwitz Cannes-bound with Ambition, Smitten!

The Film Sales Company has acquired worldwide sales rights to features directed by two familiar Hollywood names.

[. . . ]

Film Sales Company head Andrew Herwitz’s sales slate includes the rom-com Smitten! directed by Barry Morrow, who shared the best original screenplay Oscar for Rain Man in 1989.

Glee’s Darren Criss stars alongside model and TV star Madalina Ghenea. The story takes place in Tuscany, Italy, as a couple overcome obstacles on their way to finding true love.




The Cannes Film Festival is from May 17-May 28, 2017.  :happy face

43default Re: Smitten! on Thu May 18, 2017 12:42 am

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officialmadalinaghenea: So proud to announce my movie ‘SMITTEN’ has now been officially launched at the Cannes film festival. Rosalia is my first main role in an English speaking movie, a movie directed and written by Academy Award winner Barry Morrow! Big thanks to the whole film crew and especially to Barry and his amazing wife, Birdy! Dreams come true! heart heart heart heart heart heart

May 17, 2017

via dailydarrennews

44default Re: Smitten! on Thu May 18, 2017 9:37 am

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Love the film poster :happy face

And Cannes is a good news for him. Maybe he will get some price.

45default Re: Smitten! on Thu May 18, 2017 11:16 pm

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Yes, the poster for Smitten! is cute.  Cross fingers they find at Cannes a distributor for the film.  :fingers crossed

46default Re: Smitten! on Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:08 pm

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Some pics re: Smitten!, but not sure if there is any new news about the status of the film.

From dcriss-archive:



This man is in the cast of Smitten!


Cesare Vangeli: Ultima foto fine film Fantastica avventura! heart

September 19, 2015

via dcriss-archive







I haven't seen these pics before.  Why were they together in NYC in August 2016?
heart




Source  (Cesare Vangeli Xchiconosco)


NYC.  August 3, 2016

via dcriss-archive

47default Re: Smitten! on Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:04 am

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Source

via dcriss-archive

48default Re: Smitten! on Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:43 am

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Haven't heard anything for a long time, so it's nice to hear this bit of news.  From dcriss-archive:



Source







Smitten!  is being released in 2018?? 
The 37th annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) will be showing Smitten!
Film Society wrote:
SPECIAL GUEST BARRY MORROW, JULIA RASK ATTENDING

A New York fashion executive named Tyler Hutton takes a trip to Milan, expecting a smooth journey. As luck would have it, his trek goes sideways and he is abducted, taken to a mysterious Alpine village and held for ransom. But the cottage where they sleep happens to be under a spell that makes those who reside there fall in love with the first person they see. As you can imagine, the magical hijinks lead to the development of not just one, but four romances.

A hilarious and enchanting spectacle, Smitten! stars actor Darren Criss in the role of Hutton, and features winning performances from Madalina Ghenea and Angela Molina. The film serves as the directorial debut from celebrated writer Barry Morrow, who wrote the story and screenplay for the 1988 Academy Awards Best Picture, Rain Man.

SHOWINGS

St. Anthony Main Theatre 1 Fri, Apr 27 7:15 PM

St. Anthony Main Theatre 1 Sat, Apr 28 4:20 PM

TICKET PRICES

General Public:$14.00

Members:$11.00

Student w/ID (Box Office Only):$8.00

Youth (25 & Under):$8.00


FILM INFO

[. . . ]          

Premiere Status              World Premiere

[. . . ]

Release Year                   2018

Runtime                           88 min


CAST/CREW


Director:                          Barry Morrow

[. . .]                

Producer:                         Francesca Marras
                                        Barry Morrow
                                        David Nichols
                                        Julia Rask
                                        Mary Lynn Staley 
                                        Warren Staley

Cinematogropher:           Stefano Falivene

Screenwriter:                  Barry Morrow

[. . . ]

Composer:                      Jeff Cardoni


Principal Cast:                 Darren Criss
                                       Madalina Ghenea

Source:  https://prod3.agileticketing.net/websales/pages/info.aspx?evtinfo=365865~163a5c15-c3ae-4635-ba12-bbe995cbeb29&epguid=6a267806-cc78-4ea9-a89a-7d6b1a83dc49&

Note:  Go to the Source/Link above to Buy Tickets. 

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49default Re: Smitten! on Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:00 am

*Jeremy*

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Hope it will be released this year, all around the world.

50default Re: Smitten! on Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:29 pm

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Yes, that would be great!  Cross fingers! :fingers crossed


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51default Re: Smitten! on Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:02 pm

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I  was wondering if Smitten! would be released once Darren gained (much deserved) recognition from his acting in Versace.   This looks positive.  Hope the film is released.  Cross fingers! :fingers crossed  :happy face

Smtten!  will be shown this Friday, April 27 for two showings at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) (see above).





From Darren Criss Army:


The official SMITTEN! Trailer

(Source:  vimeo.com)

via Darren Criss Army








Ahmed Tharwat is a TV host/producer, a media consultant and a freelance writer. 

Director of Smitten, Barry Morrow:  "The idea of the film, started with a lover's wish in Italy!"

Published by Ahmed Tharwat, On April 23, 2018

Barry Morrow, after a long career in documentary films, Now a Romantic Comedy: SMITTEN, A New York fashion executive named Tyler Hutton takes a trip to Milan, expecting a smooth journey. As luck would have it, his trek goes sideways and he is abducted, taken to a mysterious Alpine village and held for ransom. But the cottage where they sleep happens to be under a spell that makes those who reside there fall in love with the first person they see. As you can imagine, the magical hijinks lead to the development of not just one, but four romances.

(Source: youtube.com)










From dcriss-archive:



Clips from “Smitten!” | Source

via dcriss-archive










Source




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52default Re: Smitten! on Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:09 am

*Jeremy*

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Finally a trailer! 

Well, it seems very different of ACS. I don't think you'll be afraid of seeing scary scenes :amused

53default Re: Smitten! on Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:58 pm

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Yes, finally!  I really hope the film gets distributed to theaters!  Cross fingers it does well in the film festival, where it has 2 showings this week (I think on Friday).

Jeremy wrote:Well, it seems very different of ACS. I don't think you'll be afraid of seeing scary scenes

haha!  Exactly what I was thinking!  Plus, I always wanted to see Darren in a romantic comedy.  I think he would charm the audience--even those viewers who don't think, after seeing him in Versace as Andrew Cunanan, that they could ever really accept him playing a nice guy.  (Reading these kinds of comments makes me laugh, because that's what they said when Darren played Blaine in Glee, that they couldn't see Darren play anything else, much less such a dark role as what he did in Versace.)


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54default Re: Smitten! on Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:25 am

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From dcriss-archive:



Thank you for this piece of news, dcriss-archive.  :happy face 


Some release dates for Smitten! Via Madalina Ghenea’s instagram post (April 25th, 2018)










Darren Criss and Madalina Ghenea filming a scene in “Smitten!” | Source

via dcriss-archive











DARREN CRISS
Cast, Tyler

“I was enchanted by the script.  It’s sweet but earnest, and you don’t see films like this anymore – a whimsical tale with aspects of magical realism.”

Darren Criss is an American stage, screen, and TV actor, singer and songwriter.  A founding member of the Chicago-based musical theater company, StarKid Productions, he first garnered attention playing the lead role of Harry Potter in A Very Potter Musical.  Darren also starred on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. 

Darren is widely known for his portrayal of Blaine Anderson on the Fox musical comedy-drama series, Glee.  He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2015 for writing the song “This Time” for the Glee finale.  In addition to his music endeavors, Darren starred in the second installment of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace in 2018.  Other feature film and TV credits include the comedy Girl Most Likely, American Horror Story, Web Therapy, and Eastwick.

In his words:

“When I met the director Barry Morrow and producer Jules Rask – and maybe it’s because I went to school in Michigan and have a deep affection for artists from the Midwest – they charmed the pants off me.  I just wanted to hang out with them.  I was coming off a weighty stage role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and this was just something that looked light and fun.  And we get to shoot in Italy?  Absolutely!

Our main location was in the north, a place not well known to Americans, and I’m sure that when audiences see this film they’ll say, “Where is this?” because it looks like it’s out of an actual fairy tale.  There’s been many moments over the course of the film where I’ve been doing a scene and had to pinch myself and say, “Wow, I really get to shoot here.”

When you think of Barry you think of Rain Man, a film that’s mentioned a lot in pop culture.  So, to meet this guy and hear his stories and become his buddy was pretty cool.  I forget the exact context, but one day I was talking to him and absently used “Rain Man” in a colloquial way, when it dawned on me that not only was this phrase coined by Barry, I was using it to speak with Barry, which is sort of like being with Elvis and wearing blue suede shoes.”
Source:  http://www.smitten-film.com/meet-the-team/


Note:  This site also mentions this: 
MEET THE TEAM:

JULIA RASK
Producer

Little did Rask know from her start at Morrow-Heus Productions that decades later she would be producing Barry Morrow’s directorial debut in Italy. After years of development and a never-say-die attitude, she and Morrow teamed to raise funds outside the normal Hollywood channels to bring the independent feature Smitten!  to audiences worldwide.


Also, here are some spoilers.  Warning:  This site is quite detailed about the plot.  Don't read if you don't want to find out quite a bit of the plot.
ABOUT Smitten!


Smitten! is a fanciful romp and more – a fable, a caper, and four romances rolled into one.  It begins when Tyler Hutton, a novice New York fashion exec, flies to Milan, Italy, in hopes of closing a deal and impressing his boss, his estranged father.  Instead, Tyler is kidnapped and driven into the mountains by three bumbling Mafioso – Aldo, Bambo, & Cetto – to be held for ransom.  They manage to get themselves lost, though, and spend the night in an abandoned cottage in a village that is under a spell.  Upon awakening, each benighted man falls in love with the first living soul to meet his eyes… Smitten!

With only love on their minds, Tyler and his captors abandon the kidnapping scheme in order to remain in the tiny village and pursue their hearts’ desires.  For Aldo, that’s the homely spinster Fedelia; for Bambo, it’s the handsome Roxxo; and for Cetto, it’s the purest love of all, Nuta, a beautiful brown-eyed cow.  Tyler, meanwhile, has the most formidable task, for he is fated to pursue Rosalia, the raven-haired village beauty with a sharp tongue.


[. . . ]

Source:  http://www.smitten-film.com/about/









Is that a horse or cow in the background of the 2nd pic (from  the top)?






[UHQ] New stills from “Smitten!”









[UHQ] Darren Criss with the cast and crew of “Smitten!”








New still from “Smitten!” | Source






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55default Re: Smitten! on Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:50 am

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From dcriss-archive:


Star Tribune wrote:
Minnesota's Oscar-winning writer of 'Rain Man' comes home to unveil his directing debut

April 26, 2018


Giving the romantic fable “Smitten!” its world premiere Friday at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival brings it to the final destination of a long, winding round trip. And a homecoming back to its starting point.

An impish updating of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” filmed in Italy, the film stars “Glee’s” Darren Criss as a fashion exec who is kidnapped in Milan, hidden in a small Alpine village that is under a romantic spell and becomes an extremely happy hostage in the company of the local beauty.

The film is the feature directing debut for Oscar-winning screenwriter Barry Morrow, who also wrote the script.   Born in Austin, Minn., and raised in St. Paul, the St. Olaf alumnus has maintained close local friendships throughout four decades in Hollywood. Several of those old friends, having successful careers of their own, helped provide funding for the independent film.

“We did pitch this to the studios, but they were looking for home runs, not singles. We ultimately went to outside the Hollywood system and went to our friends,” said Morrow’s Minneapolis-born producing partner Julia Rask, an associate producer of TV’s “The Mindy Project.” Others from the Twin Cities with theatrical and musical backgrounds provided their talents.

With key financial and creative contributions to the film coming from the area, a local debut screening was a given.



[. . . ]

While “Smitten!” is scheduled for later regional debuts in Italy, “in the meantime we’re premiering it in our hometown, which we’re really proud of,” said Rask.

“This movie is kind of Minnesota-financed and Minnesota-made, which is kind of amazing. We really feel there’s a lot of that Midwestern heart in it,” she said.

[. . .]


Morrow, 69, wrote the script based on an Italian newspaper’s obituary of a woman who “died and left a small fortune to, of all things, a cottage where, as a young maiden, she made love for the first and last time” with a handsome soldier at the beginning of World War I. The bequest funds the small town’s annual “festival of love.”

“I was smitten with the idea of turning this into a movie somehow,” Morrow said.

[. . . ]

He developed the story by giving it a note of magic realism, which is a common feature of his work.


Please visit the site to read the entire article and to give the article a number of "clicks."  Source: 
http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-s-oscar-winning-writer-of-rain-man-comes-home-to-unveil-his-directing-debut/480958661/




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56default Re: Smitten! on Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:24 pm

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Hope we get some info about how well Smitten! was received at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival today.  :happy face


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57default Re: Smitten! on Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:16 am

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This is nice, on the Hollywood Reporter site.

'Smitten!' Trailer

4/25/2018 - by  THR Staff  
Starring Darren Criss. Directed by Barry Morrow.

Link:  https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/video/smitten-trailer-1105814











From Darren Criss Army:



Warning!  Spoilers!
MPR News wrote:
After a long career, 'Rain Man' creator wanted to make a movie about love

April 27, 2018


Twin Cities native Barry Morrow says he made his new movie at just the right time.

"Because I am old, and I have spent my whole career writing weepy dramas," he said. "And I wanted to leave my career on a different note."

He also wanted to do a film about something he learned over the years:

"Which is, essentially, love is all there is!" he said. "And so I wanted to write something sweet and light, and an homage to this concept that everyone needs, deserves, and has a heck of a time finding love and holding onto it."

The result is "Smitten!"

[. . . ]


Now, after decades in Hollywood, Morrow has turned to directing to produce his romantic comedy. "Smitten!" gets its world premiere Friday night at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.

He found his inspiration for the film in Italy. While
on vacation, a friend told him about an obituary he'd read. It was for a woman who had met the love of her life in a remote mountain village on the day before he shipped off to World War I. She never saw him again. She never married. Decades later, she left money in her will for a festival in the village to celebrate love.

"The tragedy was, the lawyer ran off with the money," said Morrow. "And after that a kind of depression descended on this place, and I realized I could complete somebody's death wish."

Morrow wrote a script. But life intervened, and he had to set it aside for 20 years. Then the universe realigned, and Morrow found himself back in northern Italy, sitting for the first time in the director's chair shooting "Smitten."

The story is about a cursed village where no one has fallen in love for decades. Then an old man sets a counter-curse. It causes all those who sleep in a certain barn to fall head-over-heels in love with the first living thing they see when they wake up.

The first people in the barn are three Mafiosi who have kidnapped a young American named Tyler. When he tries to escape, bound and hooded, he crashes into a cart owned by Rosalia, who runs the village cantina.

"Who are you? she demands. "Why do you torment me? Idiota!" She slaps him.

"Ow! No, please help me," he cries. "I'm a prisoner. I am an escaped hostage. Please help me!"

"Help you?" she sneers. "Look what you have done! I say look!"

She pulls off the hood, and look he does. He is instantly smitten; she is still not impressed and stomps off.

Meanwhile, back at the barn, the gangsters are similarly enamored with an elderly woman, a young man and a passing cow. They spend the rest of the film trying to work it all out.

"It's very much like 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,'" said Morrow. "I tried out for 'Midsummer Night's Dream' in college and didn't make it. So I guess I am getting my revenge some 50 years later."

[. . . ]


Morrow will introduce "Smitten!" at its world premiere Friday night at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. That show, and a matinee Saturday, are sold out, but there will be limited rush tickets available at the door.

"Look, there are really important films in this festival," said Morrow. "Ones that make you think, that may change your mind about the world. And our movie isn't that.

"Our movie is a really radical movie, now that I think of it, because it's an old-fashioned film in a way. I like to say it's an analog film in a digital age."

After the Minnesota show, "Smitten!" will screen in Rome — and then Morrow will attend a special showing in that little village and maybe fulfill a wish for a festival to celebrate love.
Source:  https://www.mprnews.org/story/2018/04/27/after-long-career-he-wanted-to-make-movie-about-love


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58default Re: Smitten! on Wed May 02, 2018 12:42 am

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From Darren Criss Army:



Hope we get a release that hits a lot of places.  :happy face

Producer Julia Rask, on Facebook April 27, 2018:

For over two decades, Barry Morrow and I have been trying to bring a small Indie film set in the Italian Alps to the screen. With our producing partner, David Nichols, we shot he film in Italy with an amazing cast and crew. Starring Darren Criss and Madalina Ghenea, SMITTEN! is finally making it’s premiere tomorrow evening at the Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival. We couldn’t be happier to be premiering in our hometown.

Thanks to all who supported in MN, CA and to all of our Italian compatriots who we will see July 4th & 7th we we premier in Bressanone (in the Dolomiti) and then a Roma!

More information to come on a release later in the fall. It’s a wonderful comedy about with a big heart…at it’s core it’s a film about love. We feel the world is ready for a gentle film about acceptance and the power of love!

Ciao ragazzi!

https://www.facebook.com/julia.rask.31/posts/10209679794951897

via Darren Criss Army





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59default Re: Smitten! on Wed May 23, 2018 2:10 pm

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This was so interesting to read.  Among the topics discussed:  The challenges of getting funding for an Indie film that bucks the most recent trend (another problem was the the majority of the cast was not American and not large stars, so American studios balked), homophobia in certain markets (they talked about their beliefs that the conservative movement in the U.S. has influenced China, resulting in China tightening their restrictions on content involving gay characters), how to get funding from untraditional sources, the physical challenges they faced where they filmed (weather), the positive audience reaction at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival) and of course, how wonderful Darren is (as an actor and as a person) and where Smitten! will be screened next.  The experience described about getting Smitten! made sounds like it really was a product of passion that these two folks (Morrow and Rask) had for the film, and how hard they worked to get the film done and shown without big money, without support from big studios.  Truly an Indie project and a labor of love. :happy face



From dcriss-archive:


I posted an excerpt.  Please go to the site to give the article a number of "clicks."  :happy face  The article also included discussion of how the most recent trend for Indie films is to aim for darker, edgier work and thus many studios decided to pass on this film.
The Celebrity Cafe wrote:
Director-Producer duo behind film fest flick 'Smitten!' [INTERVIEW]

May 21, 2018



Film festivals run year-round across the world and range in size, fame, themes, and so on. But no matter what, they all have a common purpose: each is an event that gives filmmakers a chance to showcase their work and drum up interest for a project, while giving film enthusiasts a chance to see a movie before it’s mainstream, or simply see artsier fare than usual. Often, it’s also a chance to meet with the people behind the film.

For instance, at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF), held recently in the Twin Cities, the core duo behind one festival offering, Smitten! –  quirky romantic comedy that although wasn’t one of the splashiest films going into the festival, became a fan-favorite, selling out its screenings and generating buzz afterward – attended the screenings for audience Q&As.

The duo, producer Julia Rask and writer-director Barry Morrow, both happen to be Minnesota natives and are regarded as hometown stars, but their credentials go well beyond the Midwest. Morrow wrote Rain Man, the 1988 Oscar winner for Best Picture, among other successful projects, and Rask’s roles have included producer on the late 90s show Early Edition and a producer on The Mindy Project.

Their collaborative effort Smitten! is an English-language film and stars Glee actor Darren Criss, but otherwise features mostly European actors and was shot in Alto Adige, a small area in Italy’s Sud Tyrol mountain region.

It follows the story of what happens when three crime boss henchmen, and the American businessman’s son whom they kidnap, are forced to stay in a cursed barn in a remote Italian village. The curse causes each to fall in love with the first living thing they see in the morning, and shenanigans ensue.

Morrow says the idea for the film came from a real-life obituary he read, about a woman whose experience with a small village left a lasting impact on the villagers’ attitudes and superstitions about love. The woman’s story didn’t end well and Morrow views Smitten! as a way, however limited, to change that and fulfill the woman’s dying wish.

[. . . ]

Motives and getting things going

TCC: I get the sense that independent films are most often heavy in tone, slow-burning. Smitten is very different from that – and from your previous work. Would you agree, and if so, what made you want to go that unusual route?

BM:
I think people make a film with commercial goals in mind and we’ve been told by distributors and others that it’s easy to sell… something dark and gruesome, and that would’ve never occurred to us. I’d done serious dramas all my life… so I think for me, it was an opportunity… to try something really very different from my body of work.

And also, I’m at an age where I’ve learned a few lessons about life, and one of them is we all hunger for the same thing, which is to be wanted, to be loved. And that’s an underlying theme of Rain Man, the underlying theme of Bill, the underlying theme of The Karen Carpenter Story – all the things I’ve been successful with have that at the heart of it, so why not turn it upside down and tell that same lesson through smiles and laughs rather than tears? It’s as simple as that… it was just a chance for me to show another side of my talent, if indeed there is one.

[. . . ]

BM: And back in the day when we first had the idea, we did go around to some production companies and studios just to see if we could get traction and we couldn’t. They didn’t want a little movie like this, it just didn’t fit into anybody’s wish list except ours. Rain Man, which is, this will be its 30th anniversary this year coming up, is a movie that was barely able to be made at the studios back in the late 80s and now, as you know, I couldn’t sell Rain Man to a studio. It would be an independent film. So, we got smart and said, “well, let’s try and go outside of the studio system and put this thing together with other resources.” So where to start? With our friends, basically...

JR: It became clear that nobody was going to do this in the traditional studio sense, so we then had to refigure all of our ideas and also learn a whole heck of a lot… it was like reinventing ourselves in a certain sense because we’d been studio and network people for our entire careers pretty much.

[. . . ]

A star to lead the way

TCC
: I’m surprised your studio connections weren’t enough to get it made that way – would it have mattered if you had had an all-American cast or setting?

JR
: Like if Chris Pratt decided he wanted to do… and we did it, but it wouldn’t have been true to Barry’s original vision of literally two Americans and all the rest Italians, or at the very least, Europeans. That also, though, presents real challenges for us as producers because the movie is on the back of really Darren Criss, so you have to find the right actor who’s up for the challenge of saying alright, “I’ll go to Italy, not knowing any of the supporting cast, and I’ll trust you, Barry, to show me the way,” because that is a huge risk that many, many actors won’t take, so kudos to Darren for that.

TCC: What was it like working with Darren?

BM
Darren is a consummate pro… so multitalented. He sings, he plays music, he’s done Broadway, one-man performances, and he’s just as smart as a whip. I have to say he needed very little from me. On the occasion I’m watching the monitor and just see that he’s missing the heart of a scene or a line reading, all I had to do was go into the, wherever we were shooting, his eyes would meet mine and he’d say, “I know, I know,” and he’d come back and do it again. I didn’t even have to use words with Darren, he was that good. The Italians on the other hand, there was a lot of hand-holding – language was an obstacle, even more so than I knew… often I was pantomiming at least the physical parts and the expressions, and I didn’t expect them to mimic me but they would – we communicated differently, put it that way.

JR
Darren is a dream actor to work with. He was always up for the challenge… He was just up for anything, and he bonded with the cast and crew immediately. The other thing about Darren, and I don’t use the term lightly, he’s a bit of a musical savant. He plays about 12 instruments and we had a lot of music, as you saw in the film… We were always playing music when we had a few minutes of spare time. What was great is Dan Chouinard, our local Minnesotan accordion and musical impresario, was there (as a musical consultant) and the two of them would just get together and just watch what each other was doing and play all these songs and that was so much fun. Like I said, we could not have had a better experience with our cast. It was wonderful and Darren was the big leader.

*Criss also was fluent in Italian (he studied in Tuscany for some time) though Rask and Morrow didn’t know that when they first brought him on and didn’t incorporate it into the film.

TCC: How did you land Criss?

JR
: One of the things he said in retrospect, is he knew from the first time he met us – and we met at like a very SoHo house in New York City because he was doing (the Broadway musical) “Hedwig (and the Angry Itch)” there. Barry and I just flew in for like literally a couple days to meet with him and woo him to come and do our little movie… and he said he knew from the moment he met us that we were good people and he was willing to take a journey with us. And he’s also got great – he grew up in San Francisco, but he went to college at Michigan and he’s got a lot of Midwestern sensibilities…

[. . .]

[We’re returning to the Alto Adige region on the 4th of July], and in the biggest theatre in the valley, we’re going back to show Smitten! so we’re really – that’s the Fourth of July – and then the 7th we’ll be in Rome, in the Campo de’ Fiori, which is the beautiful flower market, we’ll be screening it there. It’s going to be some idyllic screenings with our cast and crew and some press and Italian VIPs, so that will be a lot of fun.

[ . . .]

The ups and downs of making a movie

BM: Just one other thing in terms of challenge, we filmed in the valley, as you could see by the aerial shots, and surrounded by mountains. That meant daylight started later. The sun has to come up over that mountain and then it goes down early. We had frequent, almost daily thundershowers or rain showers… our locations were limited to 38 wooden buildings, but only about a fourth of which were habitable, so finding the locations for scenes, being able to shoot under the weather conditions and lighting conditions, all of that poses problems for the most experienced producing and directing team, so we were up to our necks in it but as Jules said, we always found a way to celebrate what we were doing, and believe me the Italian cast and crew were right there with us.

Smitten! debuts, audiences swoon

CC: The film seemed to be really well-received at the festival. How does that feel?

BM:
It feels like we stacked the deck because — a lot of people came because they knew us. We’re hometown kids, so we know that, but we’re hoping that it will play to the same sensibility regardless of the venue. Also, we know that this is not on anybody’s must-see list, until they get bored of the other fare. Like what happened with My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It just came at a time when people were looking for an alternative to what was being presented. We feel that Smitten! too will be what is called an evergreen film, there’s nothing to date it really… So, our hope is it will have legs and it will last for a long time. It won’t perhaps make a big, big splash but I think the ripples will go on for a long, long time. That’s my hope.

TCC: Why do you think it resonated so well with people?

JR:
I think part of it is it harkens back to a gentler time and a lot of the people I spoke to – we went out to dinner, the reaction of my friend’s daughter [she’s a college graduate, she’s about 23] was just the greatest thing ever because we, who knows if you’re gonna have the millennials and she just… loved it because she said well, first of all, I’m a fan of fairy tales and she just talked so beautifully about it and she totally got the whole thing and she just went with it. If people try to think too seriously about it, it maybe doesn’t work as well, but if you just go with it and you’re inside this special world, people really love it. And we’ve screened it for kids as young as seven [and as old as 101].

TCC: When you have such a good audience reaction – let’s say you get that feedback at future screenings – do you go back to studios and say, “look, people are liking it”?

JR:
You just have to see what happens. There’s no going back, there’s only going forward, so you know this one, we’re excited about what [the production company they recently landed a deal with] Film Movement’s going to do, also the fact that it is the 30th anniversary of Rain Man, and also to have Barry, who’s nearing his, well in his seventh decade I guess, so, to have that is a story in itself.

And now we can start telling some of these tales, but the independent film is hard to find distribution, so it took us a while getting here… and it just takes that time to find distribution if you don’t have it in the beginning.

[. . . ]

Looking back and words of wisdom

[. . . ]

TCC: What other advice do you have for people interested in breaking into the business?

BM:
First of all, you can write a great script from anywhere on the planet. You no longer have to go to Hollywood and get a waiter or waitress job to support being there, but eventually, you gotta make the trek out here and do what young people do, connect, network… But there’s no one-two-three program for success in Hollywood. Everyone I know came in through the back window or door left open, no one gets in through the front gate. There’s just too many guards, too many layers of bureaucracy and too many people who want that same break. So, you’ve got to make it happen, I can’t say what that is. If I knew, I would sell it on the Internet and be the richest man around.

[. . . ]

TCC: With your Rain Man success, and the response so far to Smitten!, do you usually know when something’s going to be a hit?

[ . . . ]

[discussion about Rain Man's success] . . . You can’t get bigger than Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. We knew we didn’t have that going into Smitten! so our expectations are certainly tempered by that, but like I said, I think Smitten! could just keep gathering moss.

JR: And then some.

BM
: That’s my hope… I just don’t do a movie and leave it behind. I do a movie and pack it in my suitcase and carry it forward. I’m hoping that Smitten! will keep rolling. It will give you a smile, I will guarantee that, that’s all I’m saying to people…

JRYou’ll leave the theater smiling, yeah. And we hope Darren’s fans will find it, as well… we feel this is perfect timing for this to come out, it’s a little escape. It’s a wonderful souffle of comedy and an escape.


Smitten! is expected to hit digital platforms this fall through Film Movement, with possible limited theatrical releases. To follow the film, go to www.smitten-film.com.
Source:  https://thecelebritycafe.com/2018/05/interview-director-producer-duo-behind-film-fest-flick-smitten/


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60default Re: Smitten! on Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:00 am

Poppy

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From dcriss-archive:


Smitten! was screened in Bressanone on July 4 and will be screened in Roma, July 7.  :happy face


officialmadalinaghenea: We are so happy to be back in magical Fane Alm. So excited to watch ‘Smitten’ for the first time tonight. 
Brixen Screening
The Brixen Forum
Via Roma, 9,
Bressanone BZ, Italy
‪Wednesday, July 4th at 19:30‬ going to Rome tomorrow for our 
Rome Screening 
Cinema Farnese
Piazza Campo de’ Fiori, 56,
Roma RM, Italy
‪Saturday, July 7th at 19:00‬
* Reception Afterwards * . Watch the trailer! It means so much to me because it’s all about love! A romantic fable set in Italy, directed by Oscar winner  #barrymorrow , with #darrencriss @darrencriss


















officialmadalinaghenea: We are so happy to be back in magical Fane Alm. So excited to watch ‘Smitten’ for the first time tonight. 
Brixen Screening
The Brixen Forum
Via Roma, 9,
Bressanone BZ, Italy
‪Wednesday, July 4th at 19:30‬ going to Rome tomorrow for our 
Rome Screening 
Cinema Farnese
Piazza Campo de’ Fiori, 56,
Roma RM, Italy
‪Saturday, July 7th at 19:00‬
* Reception Afterwards * . Watch the trailer! It means so much to me because it’s all about love! A romantic fable set in Italy, directed by Oscar winner  #barrymorrow , with #darrencriss @darrencriss















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