May 9, 2019
If you follow the Department of Tangents Blog, there’s a good chance you’ve seen some of Christina Raia’s work. I featured her delightful ghost story <a href="http://nickzaino.com/departmentoftangents/2017/10/23/daily-horror-film-fest-hello/" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><em>Hello</em></a> on October 23 of 2017, and another of her horror shorts, <a href="http://nickzaino.com/departmentoftangents/2017/11/20/2306/" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><em>Night In</em></a>, a month later. This past November, Raia debuted a different kind of film for her, a heist film called <a href="http://nickzaino.com/departmentoftangents/2018/11/20/short-film-christina-raias-enough/" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><em>Enough</em></a> with an ensemble cast. Raia says she loves to direct horror, and she’s got a new horror short called “Gaze” and a new horror/comedy feature called “Silent Night” in the works. But she also hates to be pigeonholed to any particular genre or style. Which is why on May 7, she released a feature-length family dramedy she directed called <a href="http://www.congestedcat.com/about-a-donkey" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><em>About A Donkey</em></a>, written by Kelsey Rauber. You can find it on <a href="https://vimeo.com/ondemand/aboutadonkey" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Vimeo</a> now, and look for it on Amazon Prime and Seed & Spark in June.
width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay;
<p><a href="https://vimeo.com/270094659">About a Donkey (Official Trailer)</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/congestedcat">CongestedCat Productions LLC</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
When matriarch Ann Owens announces to her husband Tim and three adult children, Celia, Burgh, and Annie, that she has been diagnosed with depression, no one is surprised. Ann has been keeping to herself for a while, and the kids treat the announcement with humor. What does surprise everyone is Tim’s announcement that he has bought a donkey, one with deep brown eyes, just because he’d always wanted one. And he thinks it’ll help. Mostly it will help Tim feel a bit more useful, having something to take care of now that his kids are grown up and he can’t figure out how to help them with their problems.
It’s a charming comedy, born out of a desire to quietly counter an increasingly combative and unkind social and political climate. I spoke with Raia about this film and her short films, what horror and comedy have in common, Jordan Peele’s work, and, of course, donkey wrangling. What good podcast doesn’t include a chunk about donkey wrangling?
You can find out more about her and her movies at <a href="http://www.congestedcat.com/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">congestedcat.com</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/Craia9" rel="noopener" target="_blank">find her on Twitter under @Craia9</a>. You can also <a href="https://twitter.com/CongestedCat" rel="noopener" target="_blank">find Congested Cat on Twitter under @CongestedCat</a>. And if you liked this or any other episode of the Department of Tangents Podcast, please subscribe and/or give us a positive rating on iTunes and Stitcher. This is one of the best ways to let other people know they should tune in and give us a try.
This week’s featured trackis "Tobiano Twirl" by next week’s interview guest, songwriter, guitarist, and full-time oncologist <a href="http://karenhaglof.com/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Karen Haglof</a>. Haglof has a great story to tell, starting in the Minneapolis music scene and moving to New York to join Band of Susans before leaving music to study medicine. About ten years ago, inspired by the documentary It Might Get Loud, she picked up her guitar again after a decade of it gathering dust and started making beautiful music in a variety of styles – heavy, bluesy, twangy, folky, indie angular. This week's conversation was <em>About a Donkey</em>, our song is about a horse, particularly one with a white and brown coloring. Or it’s about driving a racecar. Or both. You’ll have to tune in next week for the full story and more about the new album, <em>Tobiano</em>.