Sweetheart Roland is a folktale from the Erzgebirge— a mountainous region of eastern Germany and western Czech Republic. The brothers Grimm first recorded the story, but its oral history is much older.
I've transported this tale of magic, jealousy and murder from one mining community to another— the Appalachian Mountains provide the setting for this film.
We're working in the silent medium with an original musical score. The acting is gestural, theatrical and decidedly pre-Method. I'm inspired by the work of German expressionist filmmakers as well as by the gothic musical tradition of Appalachia. Bertolt Brecht's verfremdungseffekt informs this work, especially as it is realized by director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Visually, this film makes ample use of light; I refer to Boticelli's light-saturated figural work as well as Egon Schiele's æsthetic of the body and use of negative space.
We are filming on location in and around Knoxville, Tennessee, the silent film capital of America. Our producer, Kelly Shipe, is a proud member of the Screen Actor's Guild, which will qualify Sweetheart Roland for inclusion on IMDB and other associated benefits. We intend to enter several film festivals worldwide and plan on premiering with a live musical performance of the score.
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