Harmony & Me -Not On 8.22.09 – NOT at The Monkey House

Just kidding! Too close to some other Festival screenings so it looks as though it might not happen here in town til the Fall?! We’ll let ya know if it pans out.

Happy to announce a little something different.

Late night on Saturday August 22nd, we’ll be screening a new movie called

HARMONY & ME

(a physical comedy about yearning)

by director Bob Byington

The Monkey House – 30 Main St. Winooski, VT – 11pm – $4

An ” Official selection of Los Angeles Film Festival 2009″,” Official Selection 2009 – Cinevegas Film Festival”, Official  selection of the  “New Directors/ New Films ’09 – MoMA & The Film Society of Lincoln Center”,  &  ” Official Selection – Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009″.

Harmony and Me
Bob Byington, USA, 2009; 75m

Bob Byington’s deadpan and hilarious slacker movie for the cell phone generation is straight out of that independent film capital, Austin, Texas, where a voluble young lyricist named Harmony refuses to let go of the heartbreak caused when his girlfriend became his ex. He remains stubbornly unhappy, perhaps for musical inspiration or perhaps that is just the way he is. Although his depression annoys his tough mom, Harmony’s friends, as oddball and eccentric as he, seem perfectly cool with his cultivation of misery.

Starring musician Justin Rice as motor mouth Harmony and Kevin Corrigan as his companion Carlos, Byington’s film presents a goofy portrait of a bright guy and his buddies (women included) running in place.

Brought to you by Graeme Flegenheimer & Angioplasty Media.

additional information about the flick can be found below.

about HARMONY AND ME
A lyric from Madonna’s seminal 1983 meditation on amor loco, “Borderline”—“Something in your eyes is making such a
fool of me”—is the epigraph for writer–director Bob Byington’s newest feature. The choice is worth mentioning for at least
two reasons: In retrospect, it makes us wonder whether our eponymous protagonist is, in fact, a fool as he crawls on his
hands and knees through a no man’s land of heartbreak, all but begging for the affection of a woman who at times seems
barely able to recall him; and, perhaps more importantly, it gets a catchy tune stuck in our heads right off the top. This
will happen more than once in harmony and me, as contributions from the Modern Lovers (“Government Center”), Bob
Schneider (“Changing Your Mind”), and breakout lead Justin Rice (the original score; “Shanghaied,” backed by his band,
Bishop Allen; and “Finishing Touches,” co-written with Byington) course through the story of a young man with his whole
life ahead of him wasting his time busking for spare change from his indifferent ex.
If Walter Pater is right that all art aspires to the condition of music and Dostoevsky or Wilde or Ovid or whoever is right
that at first, art imitates life, then life imitates art, then life will discover its very existence from art and Byington is right
in saying privately that he believes the meaning of life is found in how we handle sadness, it follows that harmony and
me is arguably the masterpiece of our species, if only because it embodies all of the above and more. Program staff at the
Sundance Institute must have reckoned as much when, in February of 2008, it picked the project from among 2,200-plus
others during that grant cycle as the sole recipient of its Annenberg Fellowship. Other accolades would come in quick succession,
including the film’s acceptance to the New Directors/New Films series, where it had its world premiere.
Harmony is a young artist who finds it difficult to summon much resolve and motivation in deciding how to overcome
his melancholia. Instead, he alternately bores and maddens his family, friends, and co–workers (portrayed by a brilliant
supporting cast that includes Kevin Corrigan, Pat Healy, Alex Karpovsky, Allison Latta, Jerm Pollet, and Keith Poulson—
themselves dealing with illness, death, and bad marriages—by telling and re-telling a tale of woe, rambling on about Jessica
(the beautifully understated Kristen Tucker) being a bear playing with his heart like a fish in her claws. “She hasn’t
finished the job,” he says, somewhat oblivious to the reality of the situation. The reality of the situation is that Jessica
has moved on; it’s Harmony who has work to do. Will he get to it before he’s buried in his own rubble? To see him sit at
the piano and conjure the devastating “Finishing Touches” or laugh while he learns “Changing Your Mind” with Schneider’s
sleazily endearing wedding singer is to hope he will. That he’ll figure out, like we all do at some point, the secret
to getting through things in one piece: Love is all right as far as it goes, but a good soundtrack and a sense of humor go a
lot further.
Harmony and Me
(a physical comedy about yearning)
PRODUCTION NOTES
harmony and me (a “heartbreak-in-progress”) was shot in Austin, Texas, in the Spring of 2008. Bishop Allen front man
Justin Rice had read the script in August of 2007 and agreed to play the title character. Other indie stalwarts (Kevin Corrigan,
Pat Healy) committed soon after. The movie was shot over three weeks using a very small crew, and employing a
documentary sensibility, which Byington had tested out in his film rso [registered sex offender], which premiered at
sxsw 2008, only two weeks before shooting began on harmony and me.
The Sundance Institute supported the project extensively, awarding an Annenberg Grant and assigning three advisors: Joan
Tewkesbury, Jim Taylor and John Gatins, who were all involved with the film from start to finish.
One of the aims of the film was to use learning and teaching music as a thematic element, and that built and built. Rice had
been practicing on a piano that didn’t have pedals and he was interested in learning how to work with them more, and he
also wanted to have more alacrity with his left hand. The crew had been over to Jerm Pollet’s house, and he had been writing
songs on the fly with Speed Levitch, and it seemed like a good idea to ask Pollet to be the piano teacher in the story—this
was not in the script, but it worked well in the movie.
Justin Rice, who got his start in the film business by working for Errol Morris, starred in Andrew Bujalski’s mutual appreciation
in 2005. His day job is lead singer for indie rock sensation Bishop Allen, whose new album “grrr” is out now.

about HARMONY AND ME

A lyric from Madonna’s seminal 1983 meditation on amor loco, “Borderline”—“Something in your eyes is making such a fool of me”—is the epigraph for writer–director Bob Byington’s newest feature. The choice is worth mentioning for at least two reasons:

In retrospect, it makes us wonder whether our eponymous protagonist is, in fact, a fool as he crawls on his hands and knees through a no man’s land of heartbreak, all but begging for the affection of a woman who at times seemsbarely able to recall him; and, perhaps more importantly, it gets a catchy tune stuck in our heads right off the top.

This will happen more than once in harmony and me, as contributions from the Modern Lovers (“Government Center”), Bob Schneider (“Changing Your Mind”), and breakout lead Justin Rice (the original score; “Shanghaied,” backed by his band,Bishop Allen; and “Finishing Touches,” co-written with Byington) course through the story of a young man with his whole life ahead of him wasting his time busking for spare change from his indifferent ex.

If Walter Pater is right that all art aspires to the condition of music and Dostoevsky or Wilde or Ovid or whoever is right that at first, art imitates life, then life imitates art, then life will discover its very existence from art and Byington is right in saying privately that he believes the meaning of life is found in how we handle sadness, it follows that harmony and me is arguably the masterpiece of our species, if only because it embodies all of the above and more.

Program staff at the Sundance Institute must have reckoned as much when, in February of 2008, it picked the project from among 2,200-plus others during that grant cycle as the sole recipient of its Annenberg Fellowship.

Other accolades would come in quick succession, including the film’s acceptance to the New Directors/New Films series, where it had its world premiere.

Harmony is a young artist who finds it difficult to summon much resolve and motivation in deciding how to overcome his melancholia. Instead, he alternately bores and maddens his family, friends, and co–workers (portrayed by a brilliant supporting cast that includes Kevin Corrigan, Pat Healy, Alex Karpovsky, Allison Latta, Jerm Pollet, and Keith Poulson— themselves dealing with illness, death, and bad marriages—by telling and re-telling a tale of woe, rambling on about Jessica (the beautifully understated Kristen Tucker) being a bear playing with his heart like a fish in her claws. “She hasn’t finished the job,” he says, somewhat oblivious to the reality of the situation. The reality of the situation is that Jessica has moved on; it’s Harmony who has work to do.

Will he get to it before he’s buried in his own rubble? To see him sit at the piano and conjure the devastating “Finishing Touches” or laugh while he learns “Changing Your Mind” with Schneider’s sleazily endearing wedding singer is to hope he will. That he’ll figure out, like we all do at some point, the secret to getting through things in one piece: Love is all right as far as it goes, but a good soundtrack and a sense of humor go a lot further.

Harmony and Me

(a physical comedy about yearning)

PRODUCTION NOTES

harmony and me (a “heartbreak-in-progress”) was shot in Austin, Texas, in the Spring of 2008. Bishop Allen front man Justin Rice had read the script in August of 2007 and agreed to play the title character. Other indie stalwarts (Kevin Corrigan, Pat Healy) committed soon after. The movie was shot over three weeks using a very small crew, and employing a documentary sensibility, which Byington had tested out in his film rso [registered sex offender], which premiered at sxsw 2008, only two weeks before shooting began on harmony and me. The Sundance Institute supported the project extensively, awarding an Annenberg Grant and assigning three advisors: Joan Tewkesbury, Jim Taylor and John Gatins, who were all involved with the film from start to finish. One of the aims of the film was to use learning and teaching music as a thematic element, and that built and built. Rice had been practicing on a piano that didn’t have pedals and he was interested in learning how to work with them more, and he also wanted to have more alacrity with his left hand. The crew had been over to Jerm Pollet’s house, and he had been writing songs on the fly with Speed Levitch, and it seemed like a good idea to ask Pollet to be the piano teacher in the story—this was not in the script, but it worked well in the movie. Justin Rice, who got his start in the film business by working for Errol Morris, starred in Andrew Bujalski’s Mutual Appreciationin 2005. His day job is lead singer for indie rock sensation Bishop Allen, whose new album “grrr” is out now.

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