A note from Stella:

Generally speaking, Gabriel’s announced projects are funded and made. We get excited when those first announcements pop up and the excitement continues until the project is complete and we relish it on the screen, the stage, or the page. Sometimes, though, a project fizzles out. It’s rare, but it does happen, and this Allison Anders project is one of those rare times. So disappointing! A great idea and a great cast–but no go. C’est la vie!

In a May 21 posting at LAWeekly, Sarah Fenske interviews director Allison Anders. Anders has written and directed films (Gas, Food, Lodging; Grace of My Heart; Sugar Town) and television (Cold Case, The L-Word, Southland). Her film work has been almost exclusively independent.

The big news for us is: This summer she begins production on the film The Amorous Humphrey Plugg, which will star Gabriel Byrne, Patricia Clarkson, and Mandy Moore.

Anders’ work is famously rock & roll (with her daughter Tiffany, she started the Don’t Knock the Rock Film and Music Festival, now in its ninth year). And that’s why even she is amused by her Altadena address. “So Ozzie and Harriet,” she muses, and gives one of her loud laughs.

Her partner of six years, punk-rock icon Terry Graham, talked her into leaving the city. “Between the two of us, don’t we have enough bohemian cred that we can move to the suburbs?” he asked.

Now Altadena is inspiring her work. This summer, she’ll start production on a movie called The Amorous Humphrey Plugg, about two people having midlife crises — and she plans to film it right here in her house.

“I moved in here and got a slightly David Lynch-y vibe from the neighborhood,” she explains, and “ended up with this little drama that’s also kind of a comedy.”

Gabriel Byrne, Mandy Moore and Patricia Clarkson have signed on to star. “It’s gonna be great,” she promises.

Read more about Allison Anders at her IMDB page  and at Wikipedia.

“The Amorous Humphrey Plugg” is a song with lyrics by Scott Walker:

Hello Mr. Big Shot
Say, you’re looking smart
I’ve had a tiring day
I took the kids along to the park

You’ve become a stranger
Every night with the boys
Got a new suit
That old smile’s come back
And I kiss the children good night
And I slip away on the newly waxed floor

I’ve become a giant
I fill every street
I dwarf the rooftops
I hunchback the moon

Stars dance at my feet

Leave it all behind me
Screaming kids on my knee
And the telly swallowing me
And the neighbor shouting next door
And the subway trembling the roller-skate floor

I seek the buildings blazing with moonlight
In Channing Way
Their very eyes seem to suck you in with their laughter
They seem to say

You’re all right now
So stop a while behind our smile
In Channing Way

Oh to die of kisses

Ecstasies and charms
Pavements of poets will write that I died
In nine angel’s arms

And they all were smiling
Still seductive as sin in their eyes
The man I had been
No more hard luck stories to wear
Nothing left to give
Why the hell should I care

Ann knows my smile
and buries my shadow

In Channing Way

And with her cellophane sighs
Corrina the candle
Begs (Bades?) me to stay

You’re all right now
So stop a while behind our smile
In Channing Way

Many thanks to Janice for this great news!

Altadena, here we come!


  1. Kim Serrahn /Connell (@kimserrahn)

    Interesting! Well! At a loss for words…

  2. Well, I’m not–at a loss for words, that is. I LOVE Patricia Clarkson. She has made some amazing films over the last few years and I recall her work in “Elegy” with excitement! Allison Anders has written and directed some great work and I have high hopes for this new endeavor. Mid-life crises are always intriguing. I’ve had more than one myself. This should be FUN. If the film is truly inspired by the song, then who could ask for more? “Pavements of poets will write that I died In nine angel’s arms.” Oh yes.

  3. I love the title of the film. Another screening to watch adding to an ever growing list!

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