What is about music that gets us so worked up? We will line up for hours to see it live, we’ll save for weeks to buy it, and we’ll try to get autographs from the people who write and play it. We support our favorite bands passionately and we will drive hundreds of miles for a good gig in a grungy bar.
Music is something different to everyone. But it’s ingrained in every culture. There’s got to be a reason for that, right? Music just has something that “gets to us” much like the film “HATED” got to me when I saw it.
“HATED” – by the The Royal We films, is currently making the rounds on the independent film festival circuit. This is a film that finds its way to that passion that people feel about music. Penned by Maria Lorenzo, this is a story of the music industry told from the point-of-view of a young woman who is doing marketing for an upstart punk rock band.
Of course, there’s much more to it than that. Veronica, played by Genevieve (Cortese) Padalecki, is intelligent, energetic, curious and adventurous – and in addition to being a believer in The Enemies of Jaromir’s music – she’s doing the band’s PR and acting as their manager. She’s working her ass off and she’s getting the band noticed. She’s making photocopies and calling media, packaging up recordings and sending them out. There’s an authenticity to the way Genevieve Padalecki plays out her role as Veronica. I’d venture to guess; she too, is a music lover and may have been to more than her fair share of gigs.
The film takes us on a journey through that tumultuous time when a band is finally noticed by the big industry “machine”. New PR is brought on board, the band feels the pressure and stress of having to promote and talk up their music. They are faced with making decisions that affect their future while possibly hurting their friends and supporters. All the decisions, the roads taken, and many convoluted relationships play out over the course of the film in the most haunting way.
Veronica is at the center of the film. The relationship she has with band members is stretched to the limit as they struggle with their loyalty to her and their need to be recognized. Her story is the band’s story; her viewpoint is a remarkable vehicle for showing us what the trip is like. Through her eyes we see how amazing the band can be. We see the belief and passion it takes for a band and their supporters to get noticed and, sadly, we also see the unfortunate turn events can take.
The Enemies isn’t a re-creation of a specific band. This on-screen band is a mosaic of bands writer Maria Lorenzo worked with over the years. The casting is spot on for these roles. Matthew Hutchinson, Augustus Prew, Chris Riggi and Ryan Donowho are the actors behind The Enemies. There are some serious acting chops in this group and it will be great to see some more of their work.
Matthew Hutchinson has a firm footing in the music side of things. The lead singer of band “Our Mountain” has hit a bit of limelight himself recently. The New York/Australian band members have been getting that industry notice themselves and seem headed for some big times.
And maybe that’s why “HATED” hits so hard. Lorenzo’s script came from her time working PR for a variety of bands. John Doe (Founding member of “X”, “Ten Inch Hero“) plays the industry pro who tries to steal The Enemies away from their grassroots beginnings. Punk Mistress, Ari Up (1962-2010) of “The Slits” makes an appearance as herself and as far as I’m concerned she’s music royalty.
This isn’t a typical biopic. In fact, it’s quite atypical. The soundtrack is abrasive, in-your-face and catchy. There are some remarkably creative and original camera angles and fast-paced editing propels the story forward without bogging it down in narrative. Beyond the story it tells the film is entertaining.
“HATED” is getting noticed on the international film festival circuit. In the past year the film has received, nominations, awards and a lot of praise. The film is a cohesive production held together by director – Lee Madsen. Madsen is definitely someone to keep an eye on.
Behind the scenes, Producer Kirsten Wagner is busy promoting the film and passing on her passion for the project. When I congratulated her on the film’s recognition at festivals she was quick to defer to her colleagues. “Everyone worked so hard on this film so it’s really nice to get the just rewards,” says Wagner. “And the fact that it [HATED] doesn’t sell out and wrap it up in a pretty bow and all, that makes people respond.”
This film is about truth and while that may not always be pretty it’s certainly worth knowing. See this film if you’re able to catch it.
Offshoot Film Festival 2012
• Best Narrative Film
Reel Independent Film Extravaganza 2012
• Best Support Actress: Ellen Woglom
Phenom Film Fest 2012
• Best Actress: Genevieve (Cortese) Padalecki
WilliFest (Williamsburg International Film Festival) 2011
• Best Cinematographer: Peter Zeitlinger
• Best Director: Lee Madsen
• Best Actress: Genevieve (Cortese) Padalecki
• Outstanding Screenplay: Maria Lorenzo
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, “HATED” is a selection in the “Women’s Indie Film Festival” and is schedule to show on November 2nd, 2012 at The Actor’s Company Theater in West Hollywood.
If you want to keep up with “HATED” then check out their page on facebook.