A podcast with Danny Buday, writer/director of Five Star Day

By Adam Lippe

Here’s a podcast with Danny Buday, the writer/director of Five Star Day. Now I’m totally aware that most people will not have heard of this film, Mr. Buday’s first. That’s because Five Star Day, as of November 4th, has received a limited theatrical release, as well as a simultaneous release on Facebook.

The movie itself is about a grad student, played by Cam Gigandet, who is to disprove the accuracy of astrology for his ethics class. He titles his paper, “A propaganda campaign of bullshit.” And within 24 hours of handing it in, despite it being his birthday and his horoscope saying that he’s supposed to have a “Five Star Day,” his life completely falls apart. So, his plan is to prove that astrology is bullshit by finding three other people who were born at the same Chicago hospital within a few minutes of him. He finds their addresses and flies from California to Chicago to meet Jena Malone, who plays a bartender with a young child and a troubled relationship with the father (Chris J. Johnson) of her daughter, who happens to be a junkie. Cam then moves on to a well adjusted nurse (Brooklyn Sudano), also living in Chicago, to ask her questions about her birthday that he experienced such a tough time. Finally, he talks to a lounge singer in Atlantic City (played by real-life singer Max Hartman, who gives the best performance in the film) about their shared birthdays, and what the lounge singer went through. Keep in mind that he’s never met or talked to these people before, so his arrival is going to be, at the minimum, a surprise.

Within our interview itself, there are some minor spoilers about Mr. Hartman’s character, but nothing that would ruin your enjoyment of the film. In the midst of the conversation, Danny and I discuss how wise it would be to hand in a paper with profanity in it when your professor (the great Nick Chinlund, unfortunately underused) has told you that you need an A just to pass the class, the questionable idea of just showing up on people’s doorstep, unannounced, and asking personal questions,  and whether the marginal believability of certain plot points turns the film into more of a romantic fantasy.

Download or stream the podcast below. Or you can subscribe on Itunes to the A Regrettable Moment of Sincerity feed.

 

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Now on DVD and Blu-Ray

Roadracers

By Adam Lippe

Whenever there’s a genre parody or ode to a specific era of films, such as Black Dynamite’s mocking of Blaxploitation films or Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the second half of Grindhouse, the danger is that the film might fall into the trap of either being condescending without any particular insight, or so faithful that it becomes the very flawed thing it is emulating.

Black Dynamite has nothing new to say about Blaxploitation films, it just does a decent job of copying what an inept [...]


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Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.