Absurd comedy from filmmaker “Big Gold Brick” starring Andy Garcia, Oscar Isaac, Megan Fox and Emory Cohen
A sad event for a close friend led filmmaker Brian Petsos to create the wonderfully absurd comedy, big golden brickwith Andy Garcia, Oscar Isaac, Megan Fox, Lucy Hale and Emory Cohen, available now on digital platforms.
“The initial inspiration is actually kind of sad, someone pretty close to me suffered a traumatic brain injury, and then some sort of healing, which took a while, was a crazy thing to watch,” revealed Petsos to Yahoo Canada. “Just the lows, a lot more lows than highs, was kind of the first thing that really inspired me to start writing the script.”
While we can be relieved Petsos’ friend has now recovered, it’s that old story about finding humor in difficult situations that reigns for big golden brick.
What is ‘Big Gold Brick’ about?
The film retrospectively tells the story of aspiring writer Samuel Liston (Emory Cohen) who is enlisted by Floyd Deveraux (Andy Garcia) to write his biography, after Samuel’s near-death experience in a car crash with Floyd .
As Samuel moves into Floyd’s suburban home, which he shares with his wife Jacqueline (Megan Fox) who is 25 years younger than him and a city attorney, his daughter Lily (Lucy Hale) whose alcohol and drug use have crushed her pursuit of a career as a violinist, and her son Edward (Leonidas Castrounis) who is described as having a “dangerous” combination of “incredible precocity and inveterate pessimism”.
There’s this family bond that formed between Samuel and Floyd, two seemingly very different people, especially with Floyd being a big believer in fate.
As Samuel tries to figure out Floyd’s life for this biography, which is far more secretive and bizarre than originally anticipated, particularly involving Oscar Isaac’s villainous character Anselm, Samuel also experiences his own hallucinations and flashbacks to his life. before the brain injury.
For Petsos, who has a background in improv comedy from famed SecondCity in Chicago, his “improv” skills are mostly used in his writing process, rather than on set, but he encourages actors to improvise in manufacturing terms “out of the box choice” in the space.
“It’s more about fostering the idea of acting and having people not want to cut themselves off as performers when they come up with ideas,” the filmmaker said.
“Absurdity is definitely a thing”
Another interesting aspect of Petsos’ film is the attention to not just what we see in each scene, but what we hear. The filmmaker revealed that it’s actually one of his most important components of big golden brick.
“Music could arguably be more inspirational than cinema to me,” he said, revealing that there were 31 licensed tracks in the film and nine pieces of original music. “Often before I can really finish [writing] a scene, I have to find the exact piece of music.
“You’re dealing with something like Beethoven, where there are so many versions of the same recording and they’re all rhythmically different, and all the undulations vary from version to version, I’ve probably spent close to 200 hours programming music while I was writing the script.”
While the trail of this story might seem a little bumpy, there’s definitely something to be said for the eerie, surreal perspective reminiscent of Wes Anderson. It might be creative for some, but nonetheless, a unique movie to watch, especially a unique approach to comedy.
“Absurdity is definitely a thing,” Petsos said. “Without sounding like some sort of cliché,…I find life to be absurd, if not daily, at least weekly, and so for me, absurdity in filmmaking is something that actually feels very natural to me.”
“I guess there will always be a bit of absurdity, a bit of surrealism, a bit of that in my stuff. I can’t really escape it completely, but where the dial is can change with the time.