Title: SPRUCE & DANTE
Set in New Orleans, a landlord is tired of lying about how safe the neighborhood is when always asked - 'is it safe?' Ranting on his neighbor's porch about the uncertainty of everyday life, events take a strange turn as the landlord confronts another prospective 'tenant.'
This short was filmed on my street in New Orleans. I only had to walk a mere 100 yards from my house for most of the filming. A director's dream.
I was inspired by an Alan Watts book I read years ago, The Wisdom of Insecurity. In the film I am exploring the illusion of being safe and secure. New Orleans has more murders per capita than any other city in America. The question of what street is safe from crime is uppermost in the mind of many newcomers.
The Landlord, wants his life to make sense, and through the Mysterious Entity character he sees that "there is an eternal order and an external life behind the uncertain and momentary experience of life-and-death" (quoted phrase from Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity).
Taking a cue from Dante's Virgil, the Mysterious Entity guides Mr. Al's across the street at Spruce & Dante, a real-world River Hades. With an apple in hand, the Landlord travels to the next level safe from evil spirits.
Side note: Some folks have reminded me of the movie, Marathon Man where the phrase, "Is it Safe" was used repeatedly by Laurence Olivier's character. I saw the movie when it came out - I did not think of it when I was writing this script, but I am sure the phrase was deeply embedded in my subconscious, just above my left molar.