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to the hills
 morning face
 Blue Lobster
the story of a failed artist and his therapist
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"best of the Northwest"
Rooftop Films, Brooklyn NY
"beautifully shot"
Lisa Gossels, Emmy-award winning Documentary Filmmaker
theatrical run
Kalakala Boat, Lk Union, Seattle WA
SOIL Art Gallery, Pill Hill, Seattle WA
Little Theatre, Capitol Hill, Seattle WA
Anthology Film Archives, New York NY
  see INSIDE - watch a scene   
**buy now      

REVIEW by Karla Esquivel, ran in Seattle's TABLET, October 2000
It's admirable to see a purely experimental film-feature conceived, cast, and shot in Seattle. It's even more terrific to see it garner support from the local Film Community. Well it was either that or people were there for the one-dollar micro-brews. In any case, Fritz Donnelly's film, THE BLUE LOBSTER has that support. Friends and strangers alike paid the seven dollar donation to help pay a fraction of the 100,000 dollar cost of the film's final cut.

The film is severely raw in that do-it-yourself way. It's what filmmaking is really about-a cooperative effort in it's truest sense, it's a process and Fritz will be the first to tell you that. As I walked into this little Seattle premier/fundraiser at the Soil Gallery, I learned that Fritz had just finished editing the film only hours before people started arriving to his show. What's more amazing is that even though he admitted to not having slept for days, he remained incredibly poised and lucid throughout the whole event. The film, shot in 16mm, is about an eccentric old sculptor and the trials and tribulations he's gone through being an artist.

Fritz--a mere twenty-something--financed his film by working in China for a few years. When he returned to Seattle he was able to rent various equipment from Wiggly World and The Northwest Film Forum with the twenty grand he'd saved.

Perhaps what makes Fritz's film so different from your average independent project is his compulsion to work without a script. This way, the actors have the creative opportunity to take the film in the narrative direction it needs to go and Fritz, meanwhile, can concentrate on pure cinematics. This was apparent in the film as the dialogue between the actors was so genuinely whimsical that it's hard to imagine anyone could have scripted it so well. There were also many nice cinematic touches like stop-motion animation and the incorporation of super-8 home movies and audio from WTO demonstrations. . .

THE BLUE LOBSTER gives one a very unique view of Seattle. The grainy black-and-white shots of The Pike Place Market generate a third-world feeling. In the dot-com oasis Seattle has become, it feels very humbling and secure. The market shots remind us that it is the true hub of the city; it's so gritty and real.

Scenes include: The Money Was There Then and Get a Job (which screened as separate documentaries in at Rooftop Films in Brooklyn NY), Motorcycle and Sidecar, Power to the People, The Blue Lobster, and more.

"you repeatedly knock on doors. . .at all hours of the day and night" (the Resident Manager)
"sissy bars, head back laughing: it's not me to work small" (the Artist, John Freeman)
"I know the dangers of transference but what about couner-transference?" (the Therapist, Henry Chamberlain)

Blue Lobster, shot on 16mm film and Super8 film
running timeabout 60 minutes
formatVHS tape
starringRoderick Johns. . . . as John Freeman
George Plank . . . . as Henry Chamberlain
One-eyed Johnny, Dave Tuewee, Boxer Bob . . . . as Themselves
Seth Ludman . . . . as Jumper
Shane Lidman, Fritz Donnelly, WTO protestors . . . . as Other Voices
written, produced, edited, directed byFritz Donnelly
musical score byEyal Marcovici and Eric Oschorn
original music byBob Hurst with Bennie Maupin et al.
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order Blue Lobster by mail, send $38 check to Fritz Donnelly, PO BOX 199, New York NY 10276
email Fritz

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