- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- Ukraine will compete in Sochi Paralympics despite Crimea conflict
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
Filmmaker returns to his ‘hood for Christmas movie
Burns‘ latest movie, “The Fitzgerald Family Christmas,” stems from Perry’s suggestion that Burns revisit the Irish-American experience central to his earliest works, “The Brothers McMullen” and “She’s the One,” from the mid-1990s.
The film, opening in limited release in theaters Friday and available from iTunes and video on demand, features Burns as the oldest sibling in a family abandoned two decades ago by dad Big Jim Fitzgerald (Ed Lauter).
The wayward parent’s desire to return home during the holidays is a shock for his grown children, each of whom is facing challenges, and provokes a torrent of bitterness from his wife (Anita Gillette).
A native of Queens, N.Y., Burns had resisted mining his Irish-American heritage again partly because he feared being seen as a “one-trick pony.”
“And my life had changed so dramatically since those first two films that I wanted to explore my new life,” he said. “I also think I was worried whether I could write about that place and those characters with the same authenticity as when I lived there.”
Burns, married to model and activist Christy Turlington and the father of two, found he’d remained connected with his home turf and those who people it.
“I never had to give a second thought to, `How do they think, where do they drink,’” said Burns.
For the record, Burns said “bigger plot points” aren’t pulled from real life _ “I would like to have a much better Christmas experience than the Fitzgeralds had to suffer through” _ although he draws from environment and family conversations. He even filmed in the neighborhood where he grew up.
The movie’s distribution represents another reversal for Burns, who’s taken to putting his work online instead of in theaters, a welcome option for independent films lacking an expensive marketing push.
“If we blow them away, we hit the `burbs. If not, we’ll play in a handful of markets,” Burns said, philosophically. (The film is rated R for a handful of expletives.)
Keeping one foot in the past, he just started writing a sequel to “The Brothers McMullen” and hopes to begin production on it in 2014. But next up is something entirely new, a dozen short online films that ultimately will be woven into a single one.
“When all 12 chapters are done, we’ll pull them from the Web, recut and play with them and maybe even play with the ending,” Burns said. The project, titled “Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall,” follows the relationship of a middle-aged couple.
Although Burns has been distributing his work online since he released “Purple Violets” on iTunes in 2007, it’s Louis C.K.’s successful online sale of his 2011 comedy special, “Live at the Beacon Theater,” that is behind the especially bold approach.
“If it’s inspired by anything, it’s inspired by Louis C.K.,” Burns said.
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- IRS to turn over Lerner emails in tea party targeting probe
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- CPAC 2014: Huckabee says government impeding religious liberty
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again