Lather Rinse Repeat (2014)

When it reigns, it pours! Inspired by David Foster Wallace’s The Water and my Women and Ethnic Studies classes.

Directed by: Rob Bowen
Written by: Rob Bowen
Starring: Erica Erickson, Desiree Myers, Michael Lee, Kacie Vance, Michelle Dawn Sharpe, and Mark Lutinski.
Original Score Composed by Adam Hooper

Awards/Recognition

- Recipient of 15th Annual Rosa Parks Scholarship from UCCS – Feb. 2015
- Winner of Best Live Action Comedy in 15th Annual UCCS Student Short Film Festival – May 2015

Director’s Notes

Lather was a project of particular passion for me. After reigniting my life’s social justice advocacy voice, I really had a desire to start melding my two loves and voices together as my studies in school are aimed at doing. However, where in school I am directing a large amount of focus to making documentary films, I really wanted to play with the idea of making a narrative film with these messages and concepts being presented and explored.

Much like I have sought to do with my podcast (nearly in its eighth year of living loudly on the virtual airwaves), I wanted to present the ideas and concepts through a lens of comedy to help soften them and allow for easier consumption. To help take some of the abrasive edge that wanted to permeate and explode through the messages and dialog of the film as I penned it. So the film, while it takes something of a humorous approach to doing so, is really a commentary and deconstruction of the patriarchal oppression that runs rampant through all facets of our society.

Borrowing on David Foster Wallace’s concept of the water, I wanted to use the film to swim through the water and shine as much light on it as possible, while still constructing a narrative that on the surface worked beyond the metaphor feeding and informing it from underneath. Though, without the aid of the metaphor and understanding it, I wanted the surface narrative to leave the viewer with questions so they could perhaps begin an exploration that would lead them to the fuller, deeper picture the film seeks to paint. Questions like, “why is that one guy playing all these different characters?” and “what’s up with the guy in the robe and the overnight scenes?”, that would cause them to perhaps look at the film beyond just what sits on top.

This film was a bit of a struggle to get done, and was actually shot over a span of like four months. This was the first film that we had done which was not all shot and completed in a single day. Instead it would be pieced together when we had the time and the space to shoot it in. This would require the actors to be able to maintain their characters and reconnect with them after several gaps, which they did flawlessly. Even to the point of a brilliant moment of continuity saving that Erica managed to pull off for us during the shoot. Because she’s just that awesome!

Speaking of the actors, both Erica and Desiree brought such layers and depth to their characters, ones that I had not even imagined as I wrote them. While I envisioned a much more camp and perhaps even naive reading of the characters, both Erica and Des delivered such richness and realness to the roles, that I was floored. Their exasperation gave the characters an air of strength and perseverance that naivety on their part would have completely diminished. It wasn’t so much an awareness I wanted the characters to lack (only the male characters which Michael pulled off phenomenally), but more of an unscathed idealism that I perhaps privilegedly wanted them to carry. Erica and Desiree interpreted them much differently, so I just sat back and let them roll with it. Both to my own and the film’s poignant delight.

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