Amy Glazer, a true homegrown talent who grew up with fellow Beach High alums Mickey Rourke and writer/producer brother Mitch Glazer (The Recruit, Great Expectations, Scrooged), remembers the "old bubbies and zehties along Washington Avenue pushing their way through the Thrifty market" when Miami Beach was "a bucolic, magical playground."
Her new film, Seducing Charlie Barker
, based on The Scene
, a stage play written by Theresa Rebeck, will screen at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival tonight.
Follow the jump for our interview with Glazer.
New Times: What was it like growing up in Miami?
Amy Glazer: My two best friends were Mitchell Kaplan (founder of Books & Books
and the Miami Book Fair
) and Deborah Gordon (a renowned professor and leading scientist at Stanford University) and they're still my best friends today. We went to the Leroy D. Feinberg Elementary School, Ida M. Fisher Junior High School, and Miami Beach Senior High School.
My brother, Mitch Glazer, was friends with Mickey Rourke
. My mother, Zelda Glazer, was a star English teacher...My father, who still lives in Miami, Coconut Grove to be more exact, was a consulting electrical engineer in the heyday of Miami Beach and designed the lighting and mechanical engineering for every major hotel along Collins Avenue, most notably Morris Lapidus's Fontainbleu
What are must-dos for you when you come back to visit?
I usually stay at Grove Isle to be close by my father and friends...but if the truth be told, I'm still in love with South Beach. It's where my roots and my heart live... but it's gotten pretty wild these days. I miss the empty beaches. I remember hanging out on Lincoln Road Mall and eating hot dogs steamed in beer at Lums, going to the Carib movie theater with two live parrots in each entryway and with Mitchell Kaplan and our group of friends. We were the only young people on the tram in those days, the rest were my grandparents and their friends.
Lincoln Road is always a perennial favorite for people watching and the Café at Books & Books is a must. We always mange to scout out the little Cuban family restaurants with Versailles being the penultimate Cubano experience.
Tell us about your new film, Seducing Charlie Barker.
I guess you'd call it a modern day morality tale. A middle-aged man, a talented classically trained actor, goes to a party and meets a young, seemingly insipid, blonde beauty. He free falls. It's a satirical and sad look at celebrity and the entertainment industry and what happens to a culture that values meaninglessness over meaning. It turns on itself in a more surprising way, but the audience is completely invested because they know (sometimes from personal experience) where this is going and they can't stop the trainwreck that is Charlie Barker's life.
What's your advice to indie filmmakers?
Well, Winston Churchill said it but I'll repeat it; never, never, never, never give up. So many people told us this couldn't be done with our very limited budget, that I didn't have enough prep time, it was a play not a film, audiences would lose interest, etc. We smiled, nodded and then my fabulous, tenacious producer, Lynn Webb, and I would take the next step forward. Lo and behold, the film got made and audiences are responding favorably. The other piece of advice I have is to think out-of-the-box; the only reality is what exists in the frame. We "cheated" the locale of San Francisco for New York and one apartment became four... the magic and power of guerrilla filmmaking is truly leveling the field for indie filmmakers. When somebody said no, we said yes.
What can audiences expect from the movie?
A lot of very bad behavior!
Seducing Charlie Barker will screen tonight at 7:15 p.m. at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Ft. Lauderdale) as part of FLiFF. Glazer will attend the screening and the post-screening party at 9 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriott (440 Seabreeze Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale). Tickets for both the film and the party cost $30 and $25 for FLiFF members. Tickets to only the screening cost $10 for general admission, $8 for seniors and students, and $6 for FLiFF members. Visit fliff.com.