Monday, February 27, 2006

Tweek City Press Kit: Filmmaker Comments

Okay, I've clearly failed at my goal of the daily blog so my new goal is to simply come here when I have time and/or feel inspired. Right now I have not time so I'm going to make the first of several posts from my Press Kit...

Filmmaker Comments

Bill Jensen personifies the dark side of the American melting pot. In an effort to assimilate, he has trained himself to hate all that he is. He’s half-Latino but defiantly speaks no Spanish. He’s homophobic but might very well be gay. He hates religion but his mother was devoutly Catholic. He feels totally alienated from mainstream society but desperately yearns to belong. Ultimately, he finds the only way to survive is to embrace himself for all that he is and live truthfully in the present.

Fifteen years ago, I graduated from a small-town college and moved to San Francisco, hoping to find some of the late-60s magic that inspired so many of my heroes. I found an apartment with a couple friends looking directly over Haight Street and like so many twenty-somethings, I started looking for inspiration in the naked city.

I was distressed to find that the sixties ideal of “peace, love and understanding” had been replaced by the new reality of aggression, nihilism and detachment. Hallucinogenics, and the spirit of self-discovery those drugs represented to me, were long gone. The new drug was crystal methamphetamine and Haight Street was littered with speed casualties.

Upon moving into our flat, my roommates and I threw a couple parties. Gradually, it became one long party and my roommates (who had already dabbled in speed) started dealing. Before I knew it, our apartment was known as the speed zone. Personally, I treated crystal like a cup of coffee – take a hit and then go have fun. But I soon saw that moderate users were few and far between. Many people never stopped – they’d go days without sleep. The speed in combination with sleep deprivation left them in varying states of psychosis.

When I came home one night to find 50 strangers in my bedroom and my stereo gone, I decided it was time to move out. Six months later, the apartment had become a squatters den. A couple months after that, everyone was evicted. My friends began couch surfing on a wave of crystal meth.

I found new friends. A couple months would go by and then one of my old roommates would seek refuge in my flat. After convincing them it was safe to talk, I’d listen to their stories and then they’d crash on my couch, sometimes they wouldn’t stir for several days. On the surface, their stories seemed totally delusional but then I’d go out with them for a night and it would become clear that there were plenty of reasons to be paranoid when you’re moving in speed circles at 4am.


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