Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Comedy Imbued with the Spirt of Jay Leggett

When Jay Leggett died suddenly on the Wisconsin deer-hunting trail in the fall of 2013, actor Adam Devine praised him as "the best teacher I ever had." On Thursday, June 4th, Leggett's legacy as a comedy guru will be on display once more thanks to a screening of Flim: The Movie at Lawrence University in Appleton.

Shot mockumentary-style, Flim pairs director-star Raffaello Degruttola with Wisconsin native Dan Davies and a mainly British supporting cast. The fully improvised comedy, about a Bollywood filmmaker pursuing his dream of American success, took four years to complete. It was posted to Vimeo VOD May 20th and will open in limited release Friday following the Appleton screening.

From a recent write-up on Wisconsin website WhooNEW:

Davies got invited to be involved while shooting the 2012 supernatural Western West of Thunder in California. That’s where he met Degruttola. The two actors both had significant experience in improvisational performance and realized they also had a mentor in common.
"Unbeknownst to each other during filming, we shared an improv mentor-friend-coach in In Living Color‘s Jay Leggett. Raff studied under him in LA, and I did a theater project in Stevens Point in which he came to coach and teach his techniques.

Like so many independent projects, Flim started out as a short. At that early stage, Degruttola sometimes pitched his project as "This Is Spinal Tap meets Slumdog Millionaire."

Davies will be at the Thursday screening, while Degruttola is planning to beam in for the Q&A via Skype. No doubt both will have a funny anecdote or two about Leggett, who was part of the In Living Color cast for a season.

[Contro Vento Films]


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