4/15/10

A CITY ISLAND DELETED SCENE: THE "ACTING CLASS MONOLOGUES"



A large plot point in "City Island" (no spoiler, no worries) has to do with an acting class that Andy Garcia's character is attending and the assignment for the week, which is for the actors to think of their worst personal secret and turn it into a monologue for the class to hear. In due course, Andy does so. But so did the other acting students. So, in due course, I filmed monologues--mostly improvised by the actors--with the intention of showing bits of them strung together, leading up to Andy's big moment.

Guess what? IT ALL GOT CUT. All of it. The below edited "class monologues" sequence once again proves the futility of trying to anticipate what should be dropped from the script prior to shooting; I actually fought hard for all of the actors seen below to be hired, insisting that the sequence was of dire importance to the climax of the movie. Frankly, it didn't even make it past the first assembly--as soon as I saw it (and at that time the film was running well over two hours) I said goodbye, never to cast a backward glance.

Still, the actors involved all did lovely jobs. Matthew Arkin tells the wonderful story centering on the cross-dressing boy who's discovered by his farmhand father while in mid-Barbara Streisand impersonation. Louise Stratten in the blonde knockout who had an affair with her girlfriend. My sister, Eileen De Felitta, is the woman who finds herself without any secrets worth telling. And the great Marshall Efron is the man whose father shot his dog.

marshallefron Marshall has been in every feature I've made, save for my documentary. A brilliant, versatile humorist/actor/writer/social observer/voice over artist/childrens book author, you may remember him from a wonderful PBS program of the 1970's, "The Great American Dream Machine", on which he wrote and performed in a variety of topical, satirical and sometimes plain nonsensical sketches. I remember this show from my youth--and thus was delighted to meet Marshall in the mid 1990's and cast him in my first feature, "Cafe Society". Since then, a movie isn't complete for me unless Marshall turns up in it. He turns up in my movies "Two Family House" and "The Thing About My Folks". Alas, in "City Island' his speech has been cut. But he's on view as one of the acting students and, thanks to YouTube, is now on-line giving his speech as well.



Additionally, a handful of other Marshall Efron video's seem to be popping up on YT, so I've taken the liberty of posting one that appears to be recently made--a typically Marshall-esque send-up of the Food Network in which he creates a truly vile sounding meal and teaches you how to make it. In the comments section, I was surprised to read an angry viewer's comment that they actually made the entire meal and tasted it before realizing that the whole thing was a joke. Have we stopped thinking and simply begun responding to any sort of input that comes our way on-line? The answer would seem to be yes, which was probably Marshall's point in making the video in the first place. N'joy...





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6 comments:

  1. OMG!!!! I'm embarrassed to say that I finally got to see "City Island" tonite.It totally exceeded my expectations which were high to start with/ I'm happy to say that it was sold out at Manhasset so we jumped in the car and headed to Malverne where it was playing alittle later and by the time the movie started it was pretty packed too. Everyone left raving, including my husband who is a pretty hard sell!!!The only thing missing was my daughter Gina who almost got the part of Cheryl but I have to say the girl who played her was adorable(and Steven Strait was yummy to look at to say the least)Raymond, a big congrats, you really outdid yourself and really have a flair for showing the truth about families in movies,I'm still a big fan of your "FOLKS" movie too. Keep them coming and next time put my daughter in one..lol..

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  2. OMG!!!! I'm embarrassed to say that I finally got to see "City Island" tonite.It totally exceeded my expectations which were high to start with/ I'm happy to say that it was sold out at Manhasset so we jumped in the car and headed to Malverne where it was playing alittle later and by the time the movie started it was pretty packed too. Everyone left raving, including my husband who is a pretty hard sell!!!The only thing missing was my daughter Gina who almost got the part of Cheryl but I have to say the girl who played her was adorable(and Steven Strait was yummy to look at to say the least)Raymond, a big congrats, you really outdid yourself and really have a flair for showing the truth about families in movies,I'm still a big fan of your "FOLKS" movie too. Keep them coming and next time put my daughter in one..lol..

    April 17, 2010 10:06 PM

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  3. see loved it so much,I had to say it twice..lol....

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  4. So glad you liked the movie Maria--and three posts is always better than one! Tell your friends and thanks.

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  5. Congrats, Ray, for City Island. I enjoyed quite a lot. Good luck with your next projects. My mail address has again been hacked, so I use facebook. I also sent a message to your sister Eileen De Felitta.I have just read A Swift Death to Critics, Sea Trial, Audrey Rose, For Love of Audrey Rose, Golgotha Falls, Funeral March of the Marionettes, all books by your father. I have also seen some of his TV films such ZPG, The Night of the Scarecrow and the like.

    I read in the NIAF that your mom is Polish. Quite a surprise for me. Eileen certainly resembles her.

    Good luck with your new projects.
    Best regards to all of you, including a big hug for little Lorenzo Jacob De Felitta.

    Mr Mario Di Filitto Aramburu.
    Family Historian
    Argetina.

    P.S.: I am also in touch with some American relatives also related to the Di Filitto (De Felitta) family in USA thru our Montecorvino Rovella ancestors.

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  6. Ray: I am suggesting my other American relatives that they should see CITI ISLAND right away!
    Best regards to all of your dear ones. I have read that your film is making some good money. Hope more comes your way!

    Mr Mario Di Filitto Aramburu
    Family Historian
    Argentina

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