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Art film to screen in Tacoma

Filmmaker Isaac Olsen's new film packs a punch

ICH HUNGER: German expressionist art film in Tacoma! Photo courtesy of Facebook

Take an international cast, a rolling landscape in Flint, Mich., the thundering music of Red Hex and the twisted, talented mind of Isaac Olsen and you have German expressionist art film, Ich Hunger.

"I've always wanted to do something a lot more abstract and experimental," says Olsen, who has also directed the film noir Quiet Shoes and is in the process of completing Strictly Sacred: the Girl Trouble documentary.

The film - shot in black and white with splashes of color - is in German with English subtitles. The plot concerns a murderous creature boy who terrorizes the farming township of Frondenberg, Germany and an inspector, Stephen Heckel, who travels from Frankfurt to hunt him down.

Olsen tells me Ich Hunger had been on the back burner for about four years. He says it was kind of a fluke that filming took place.

"I'd say the making of the movie is maybe more interesting than the film," laughs Olsen. "I was supposed to be on a break from filmmaking and art - but while in Flint, Michigan, I met all these international kids while working in a kitchen and they were all into it, including a German, Dane, a Persian American and a South African.  Nobody knew this film was being shot, and we did it in our off time.  The property included a vast forest, a river and rolling grassy fields. It was an ideal location."

The filming and acting is all minimal, culminating in a high-impact 70-minute movie.

"I didn't have any resources out there - just a camera and a tripod," says Olsen. "The movie doesn't reflect the way in which it was made, which was me and a camera in the forest with a German and Danish guy running around in the snow. All main scenes were filmed in Flint for the year that I was there."

Back in Tacoma, Olsen became involved with Spaceworks and received an old abandoned bank building where he worked for a few months on all the special effects - "like puppets and fish tanks and things."

"It was awesome," says Olsen. "All the special effects were completely practical. It was piece meal."

Ich Hunger will screen twice Wednesday, Feb. 27 at The Grand Cinema. Both screenings include an informal meet and greet with Olsen.

"This is the only art film to come out of Tacoma," he says. "That's something people can flock to."

THE GRAND CINEMA, WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27, 8:30 AND 10:30 P.M., $10, 606 S. FAWCETT AVE., TACOMA, 253.593.4474

LINK: Rev. Adam McKinney reviews Ich Hunger

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