Red Flag

Red Flag

Jennifer Prediger, Onur Tukel and Caroline White star in RED FLAG, a film by Alex Karpovsky. Photo credit: Adam Ginsberg. Picture courtesy Tribeca Film. All rights reserved.

Red Flag

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Red Flag (2012/2013)

Opened: 02/22/2013 Limited

Limited02/22/2013
Lincoln Ctr/NYC02/22/2013 - 02/28/20137 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Rated: Unrated

Synopsis

In this close-to-the-bone existential 'meta-comedy', Alex Karpovsky plays an indie filmmaker named Alex Karpovsky. Dumped by a longtime girlfriend fed up with his refusal to marry, Alex takes to the road with an old pal for a misbegotten tour that will screen his film at college campuses and art house theaters. Pursued by an overly ardent groupie and his own demons, Alex sinks into a twisting constellation of fear, deception, and uncompromised humiliation. Unfurling across six southern states, RED FLAG is an observant, dry, self-effacing, and painfully funny meditation on commitment and the human ability (or inability) to change.

Director's Statement

In 2006, my film WOODPECKER, a black tragicomedy which focuses on a peculiar pair of birdwatchers searching for an elusive woodpecker in the backwaters of Arkansas, premiered at SXSW. The film went on a little festival run, and then we partnered up with a small distributor.

As fate would have it, a few years later I was offered an opportunity to tour the film for two weeks throughout the South, where it would play at college campuses, community theaters and art houses from North Carolina to Louisiana. They would provide me with a rental car and I would be presenting the film and participating in Q&As along the tour.

Two thoughts gave me pause - first, the unsettling isolation and anxiety that comes with driving 4-6 hours alone each day. The other thought revolved around the fact that a few weeks earlier I had been dumped by my girlfriend and was far from recovered. The prospect of being in a car for two weeks, munching on tormenting memories, staying at poorly lit sadness-drenched highway motels... the loneliness of it all was simply terrifying.

And so, in an attempt to justify these countless hours of travel and to dodge the sweeping loneliness, I decided to try and make a small film during the tour with a few friends. Surprisingly, it worked -- and far better than I could have ever dreamed, as this was genuinely the most fun I've ever had working on anything in my life.

Inspired by "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and Michael Winterbottom's THE TOUR, where protagonists comedically portray tweaked versions of their real selves, our small cast and crew embarked upon the semi-fictional story of a destitute, heartbroken and hopelessly solipsistic filmmaker on a real Southern tour of his film. Guided by a 30 page outline, the tour's rambling itinerary, and the unwavering faith in my actors and camera/soundman (we had a one person crew), we shot the film across six states in 13 days with a weekend of reshoots later, interweaving narrative threads into real settings.

RED FLAG is my fifth feature, it's story nurtures several key semi-autobiographical elements, and it's hero shares many fundamental similarities with me - perhaps none greater than a swollen susceptibility to the overarching fear of loneliness.

-- Alex Karpovsky

Cast and Crew Biographies

Alex Karpovsky (Director/Writer/Producer/Alex)

Alex Karpovsky is an actor, writer and director, best known as series regular Ray Ploshansky in the HBO comedy series "Girls".

Karpovsky's directorial feature debut, THE HOLE STORY, was completed in 2006. The critically acclaimed dark comedy screened at over 50 festivals, garnered numerous awards, and Filmmaker Magazine named Alex as one of its 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Karpovsky's follow-up features, WOODPECKER and TRUST US, THIS IS ALL MADE UP, premiered at the 2008 and 2009 South by Southwest Film Festivals, respectively. In 2012 Alex directed and starred in RUBBERNECK, a psychosexual thriller which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

As an actor, Karpovsky played the male lead in BEESWAX (2009 Berlinale); the voices of several Russian gangsters in the video game GRAND THEFT AUTO IV; Mean Man Mike in HARMONY AND ME (2009 New Directors/New Films Series); Paul Lucas in LOVERS OF HATE (2010 Sundance Film Festival); Vlad in BASS ACKWARDS (2010 Sundance Film Festival); Jed in TINY FURNITURE (2010 SXSW Film Festival); Paul in THE GROWNUPS, (2010 Cannes Film Festival); CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME (2011 Sundance Film Festival); Wally Combs in WUSS, (2011 SXSW Film Festival); Ian Gilmore in SLEEPWALK WITH ME (2012 Sundance Film Festival); and Nick Berger in SUPPORTING CHARACTERS (2012 Tribeca Film Fetsival). He will also appear as Marty Green in the upcoming Coen Brothers film, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS.

Onur Tukel (Henry)

Onur Tukel is a filmmaker, painter, illustrator and motion designer. He has written and directed five feature films, including DING-A-LING-LESS and RICHARD'S WEDDING. He co-wrote the story for Michael Tully's SEPTIEN, as well as played the part of Amos Rawlings. He also painted 65 paintings for the film. His first children's book Little Friends is being published by Marshall Cavendish in April of 2012.

Jennifer Prediger (River)

As a writer, video journalist and director, Jennifer uses a balance of research and humor to communicate big ideas to diverse audiences. Jennifer has reported from locales as far-flung as Burkina Faso, Denmark and Iceland. She has interviewed Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Tom Hanks, Tom Friedman and many interesting people without the name Tom. She has produced videos on Newsweek, Nerve, Babble, Current TV, Onion News Network, the Washington Post and Barely Political. Her videos have been featured on The Huffington Post, NY1, The Onion A.V. Club, Yahoo, MySpace, YouTube, Pitchfork, KIAH-TV in Houston, Texas and NY1. She's appeared as a commentator on The Today Show and NPR's All Things Considered. Jennifer is the creator and face of Grist.org's popular video advice series "Ask Umbra." As an actress, Jennifer plays a leading role in the feature film UNCLE KENT directed by Joe Swanberg, which premiered at Sundance 2011.

Adam Ginsberg (Camera/Sound/Editor)

Adam shot and edited the award winning short films GABE & GENE and WINTER LILACS. Most recently he shot the feature film MARVIN SETH AND STANLEY and the short film '92 ALONZO MOURNING SKYBOX ROOKIE CARD which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Michael Bowes (Co-Producer)

Mike Bowes has extensive experience as a Producer, Line Producer, Production Manager. Splitting his time between independent feature films (RUBBERNECK, THINK OF ME, THE MULBERRY TREE, SLIP & FALL, DON MCKAY) and PBS documentaries that feature dramatic reenactments (WE SHALL REMAIN, GOD IN AMERICA, BECOMING HELEN KELLER, MYSTERY OF MATTER) for series such as The American Experience, Frontline, and American Masters. Mike gets great joy from building productions that strike a balance between being pragmatic and lean while remaining creatively ambitious. He is co-founder of Central Productions, the Boston based film production support organization whose mission is to advance the emerging film community and to contribute alternative bodies of work within the culture of the moving image. While getting his B.A. at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he was the President of its Film Society and the organizer of the Five College Film Festival. Mike also served for seven years as the Board Chair of the Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA's nationally recognized repertory cinema.

Teddy Blanks (Composer)

Teddy is a singer-songwriter and performer whose debut solo EP, Complications, based on the writings of Atul Gawande and featuring six songs about strange diseases and medical trauma, was released in July 2009. He also provided the score for Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture. Previously, as lead singer of Richmond, VA synth-pop duo the Gaskets, he shared bills with a diverse group of artists, including Girl Talk, Camper Van Beethoven, Daniel Johnston, Violent Femmes, Mudhoney, and Weird Al Yankovic. As a partner at the Brooklyn-based graphic design studio CHIPS, he designed opening title sequences for such films as TINY FURNITURE, Whit STILLMAN'S DAMSELS IN DISTRESS, the Duplass Brother'S THE DO-DECA-PENTHAHALON, Katie Aselton's BLACK ROCK (Sundance 2012), Ry Russo-Young's NOBODY WALKS (Sundance 2012), and Todd Rohal's NATURE CALLS (SXSW 2012).

 

Trailer