Monday, October 24, 2016

Silver Lake writer makes her directorial debut with a movie about a bored mom and a stripper

When it came time to find the setting and cast for her new film, “Afternoon Delight,” writer and producer Jill Soloway of Silver Lake did not have to go very far. The film, which is about a bored mom who takes a young stripper under her wing and brings her home to work as her nanny, is not only filmed in Silver Lake but actress Kathryn Hahn, who plays the lead role as Rachel, also calls the neighborhood home.  In fact, the two women and their families live a short distance apart; their kids attended the classes at the Silver Lake Jewish Community Center.

The independent film serves as Soloway’s debut as a director. She wrote the script and also searched the neighborhood for locales. The New York Times said Silver Lake is an obvious location for a story about the creative class:

It is fitting, then, that Ms. Soloway did make that movie, “Afternoon Delight,” here and around her neighborhood, starring her friends and furniture. That’s her dining room table and chairs on screen, and the art collection her husband chose. Scenes were filmed at their son’s school. Looking for locations, she was hyper-personal. “I went around and put notes in people’s mailboxes,” she said, “like, ‘I’m shooting my first feature in Silver Lake, if you’d like to have your house used, there’s $10,000 for you.’ ” She shot four minutes away from her own home.

“Afternoon Delight,” which own the Best Director award at Sundance, opens Friday in limited release.

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  1. This film is really embarrassing. Talk about stereotypes! Wow.

    Not all (or even most) sexworkers these days have troubled pasts. Many are highly educated, and opt to choose to strip or escort because it brings in a lot of money without a bunch of hours. Not only that, but they make their own schedule, are their own boss, and can work as much or as little as they want. As a sexworker, you can also travel whenever you want to, and if you have kids, you create your job around your kids. How many women can do that who aren’t sexworkers? Almost none.

    Also, there is no way in hell most strippers would give up dancing in order to nanny. Women strip for the money and the flexibility. The glitz and the glamor can be fun. And anyway, why wouldn’t they nanny in the day time and strip at night?

    • Julia, have you seen the film? I don’t think you’re in a position to make armchair judgement about the way the stripper character is portrayed if you haven’t. Just because a feature contains a sex worker as a main character, doesn’t mean it’s automatically going to go all morality-police on that lifestyle. Not every sex worker has a happy, fulfilled life; I concede there are successful, happy sex workers (I have friends who make their living this way) — but many are also exploited, suffer from addiction or mental illness, or are extremely poor. Don’t shame this filmmaker for choosing to represent that side of “the business” as opposed to the sunshine and rainbows aspect of it.

      Instead of shaming the subject of Ms. Soloway’s film, perhaps you should consider these facts instead: In 2012, 9% of the top 250 films were directed by women and 14% of these films were written by women. In 2011, women made up just 5% of the directors in Hollywood. Out of these 250 films, 38% employed one or no women in roles such as producer, director, writer, editor or cinematographer.

      I think it’s awesome that a female filmmaker — let alone a female filmmaker from my neighborhood! — is gaining critical attention for a movie that’s also about women. I have my BFA in screenwriting from the #1 film school in the country, but ultimately gave up on pursuing a career in film because of the struggles I faced simply by being a woman trying to enter “a man’s world.” You wouldn’t believe how many times I was told by agents and managers that I would only have a career writing romantic comedies, because no one wants to option a serious drama/dramedy about “real” women. The attention Mr. Soloway is getting is pretty rare, whether you realize it or not. From your name, I assume you are a woman as well — so let’s support our fellow ladies who are making great strides in male-dominated industries instead of finding ways to tear them down.

      • Well-written response to the first post, and I don’t mean to nitpick, but you referred to Ms. Soloway as “Mr. Soloway.” Kinda ironic, considering the content of your post.

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