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Watch: EXCLUSIVE TRAILER of Alex Karpovsky's 'Red Flag,' LAFF Premiere June 15

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood June 13, 2012 at 6:45PM

Yet another indie multi-tasker is New York actor Alex Karpovsky, who does not sit down between gigs, of which he has many. His fifth feature "Red Flag"--not to be confused with his psychological thriller "Rubberneck," which debuted at Tribeca in April-- premieres at the LA Film Festival on June 15. (Watch our exclusive trailer below.)

In 2008, my film WOODPECKER, a black tragicomedy which focuses on a peculiar pair of birdwatchers searching for an elusive woodpecker in the backwaters of Arkansas, premiered at SXSW.  The film went on a little festival run, and then we partnered up with a small distributor.

As fate would have it, a few years later I was offered an opportunity to tour the film for two weeks throughout the South, where it would play at college campuses, community theaters and art houses from North Carolina to Louisiana. They would provide me with a rental car and I would be presenting the film and participating in Q&As along the tour.   

Two thoughts gave me pause -  first, the unsettling isolation and anxiety that comes with driving 4-6 hours alone each day. The other thought revolved around the fact that a few weeks earlier I had been dumped by my girlfriend and was far from recovered. The prospect of being in a car for two weeks, munching on tormenting memories, staying at poorly lit sadness-drenched highway motels... the loneliness of it all was simply terrifying.

And so, in an attempt to justify these countless hours of travel and to dodge the sweeping loneliness, I decided to try and make a small film during the tour with a few friends. Surprisingly, it worked – and far better than I could have ever dreamed, as this was genuinely the most fun I’ve ever had working on anything in my life.

Inspired by "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and Michael Winterbottom’s THE TOUR, where protagonists comedically portray tweaked versions of their real selves, our small cast and crew embarked upon the semi-fictional story of a destitute, heartbroken and hopelessly solipsistic filmmaker on a real Southern tour of his film. Guided by a 30 page outline, the tour’s rambling itinerary, and the unwavering faith in my actors and camera/soundman (we had a one person crew), we shot the film across six states in 13 days with a weekend of reshoots later, interweaving narrative threads into real settings.

 RED FLAG is my fifth feature, its story nurtures several key semi-autobiographical elements, and its hero shares many fundamental similarities with me - perhaps none greater than a swollen susceptibility to the overarching fear of loneliness.


Red Flag - Trailer from Adam Gins on Vimeo.

This article is related to: Video, Trailers, Independents, Los Angeles Film Festival, Festivals, Festivals

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.