Category Archives: Film

Empty Houses [Official Music Video]

Official Press Release

Los Angeles singer/songwriter introduces the third music video from her debut CD, “Imaginary Biographies”

Los Angeles singer/songwriter Leerone once again elevates her artistry to rarefied new heights with her shudder-inducing new music video, Empty Houses. Conceived by Leerone and produced by LA videographer/animator Hank Friedmann—the same boy genius who oversaw Leerone’s 2008 video “Care For Some Whiskey?”—Empty Houses masterfully employs fantasy and gothic sensibilities in support of Leerone and Hank’s uncompromising creative ambitions.

The new video imagines Leerone as the sole attendee at an old woman’s funeral. Courtesy of Friedmann and his animated sorcery, viewers are transported away from the graveyard through the spirit-haunted halls of the deceased woman’s mansion, where Leerone glimpses scenes from the woman’s tragic life. These playback images prompt Leerone to reflect on her own life. Eerie, picturesque, and gorgeously realized, Empty Houses makes a poignant visual statement about fate, life, choices and possibilities.

Empty Houses is Leerone’s third foray into music video and short film. Her 2008 debut video “Care For Some Whiskey?” finds the singer sharing the spotlight with a cast of endearingly freakish Claymation friends. Leerone’s subsequent clip “To Fill the Void” was directed by Claire Carré (Brett Dennen, Sia, Rainer Maria), depicting Leerone as a wistful dishwasher at a roadside diner. In all, the three videos serve as a audio-visual complement to Leerone’s 2008 CD, “Imaginary Biographies.”

Leerone’s YouTube: http://www.YouTube.com/LeeroneMusic

Going back to the deli counter…

Caught a sneak preview of Darren Aronofsky’s, “The Wrestler,” starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood last night. A question & answer session followed the screening. The film is shot in a documentary style and features Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke), a professional wrestler who reached the pinnacle of his career in the late ’80s. Now, twenty years later, still wrestling and pushing the limits of his physical tolerance, he is forced into retirement after a near-fatal heart attack.

What I found most fascinating, as I could relate to it, was Randy’s struggle with his sense of purpose and identity outside the context of the ring. Randy starts working weekend shifts at a deli-counter. He begins to evaluate his life while considering the prospect of a rematch with his longtime nemesis, a comeback that could very well kill him. Simultaneously, Randy makes an effort to reconnect with his teenage daughter Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood) and to settle down with a local stripper Cassidy (Marisa Tomei).  As he attempts to walk the humble path, the ring still calls to him and his attempts to sustain any real or meaningful relationships or hold a 9-5 job fail (which might explain why he stayed in the ring for 20+ years?).

According to Aronofsky, “You meet wrestler after wrestler who sold out Madison Square Garden ten years ago, basically running on fumes today. They have no union, no pension and no insurance.”

Ultimately, Randy chooses the ring despite the risks involved, specifically death. He gives a brief closing speech before his big match suggesting to the crowd (and himself) that the ring and his adoring fans are the source of his happiness. However, having witnessed his emotional journey, it is clear that as a result of his choices, he is alone and being alone is a painful reality. Randy is reduced to his abilities inside the ring. While he tries to convince the roaring crowd of his satisfied state of well being, we feel the emptiness.