Monday, April 14, 2008

philly film fest - what we do is secret

At the beginning of the film festival, I had no intention of going to see What We Do is Secret. When it was suggested, I was ambivalent and expecting it to sell out, figured that I didn't really need to see it. Saturday came around and when it wasn't sold out and I had plans to be in the city later anyway, I decided that part of what the film festival is about is to see movies you wouldn't normally see. All I can say is that I would have been upset and kicking myself if I didn't see this film. For me, it was easily the best of what I had seen so far.

What We Do is Secret is the dramatized, biographical film about Darby Crash (played phenomenally by Shane West) and his late 70's punk band The Germs. The film uses a mix of interviews, live performances and everyday life to tell Crash's story. The movie benefited from input from band members - Pat Smear was on the set for 80 - 90% of the filming according to the director. It is a hauntingly realistic view of Crash's life from his teens to his death in his early twenties.

The seriousness of the film is intense. There are light moments, but usually they last only a few seconds. The one notable exception is a band interview at KROQ in LA. The scene is light, laugh out loud funny and most remarkably, actually what happened. The transcript from the interview was used for the movie. During the Q&A after the film, the director, Rodger Grossman, noted that he had to fight tooth and nail to include this scene in the movie.

Funding for the film was limited; according to Grossman, it took over ten years to secure funding and when they finally nailed it down, they filmed 80% of the movie in 15 days. It's a shame it took so long to tell this story, but it's great that it was finally told.

What We Do is Secret
Ritz East
Philadelphia Film Festival

1 comment:

patrick said...

If you are interested in seeing What we do is Secret it will be playing at the Ritz at the Bourse.

400 Ranstead Street
(On Fourth Street between Market and Chestnut)
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 925-7900

Check it out.