Monday, August 22, 2011

Sisters Ready to GORK Out in Iowa

The lineage of GORK!, a documentary screening Saturday August 27th at the Landlocked Film Festival in Iowa City, really is quite unique. The stars of the film are mentally challenged adopted dynamo Adam Terrill and his older stepsister Autumn, who created an earlier one-woman show about their relationship. But the film is directed by yet another female sister in this Iowa family, Devon.

The stage show was first performed in Los Angeles in November of 2002. It went on to win a prize at the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival, where a New York Times reviewer aptly described Adam-as-embodied-by-Autumn as a chubbier version of Napoleon Dynamite.

That's perhaps the best way to think of GORK! It's a real-life, lovingly crafted version of Napoleon Dynamite. In keeping with the spirit of that film, Devon and co. have injected politically incorrect humor into the narrative, urging viewers to laugh with and at Adam. He loves it; it's OK. Even though it all has to do with a complex mix of ADHD, autism, and mental retardation:


The movie won an Audience Award in late June at the Interrobang Film Festival in Des Moines. Devon and Autumn began filming in 2001 and collaborated on the project with Andrew Ecker, an Emmy nominated editor whose credits include reality shows The Bachelor and The Apprentice. The film also focuses on the very real struggles faced by the parents of such a child. From the Director's Statement:
GORK! also portrays two parents who have been beaten down by a flawed system of care that they resent and yet rely upon, raising important issues about how we treat people with disabilities AND their families. The tone of GORK! is frank, intimate and quirky, with comedy and drama coming from authentic voices (profanity included) of a not-so-ordinary American family.

Devon is currently based in LA and has worked with the Gantz brothers on their series Taxicab Confessions and Pleasure for Sale, a look at prostitution that aired in 2008 on the Sundance Channel. The title of the film comes from Adam's fondness for blithely and happily "going for it," a.k.a. "gorking out."


No comments:

Post a Comment