Michael Bergeron
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A Little Death

A Little Death
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An exploration of the secret fetish lifestyle of several Australian couple is mined for comic gold in the sex farce A Little Death. “Relationships are like garage sales. It looks great from a distance, but the closer you get you realize it’s just a bunch of stuff you don’t need,” says one of the characters in A Little Death.

Free Press Houston spoke to Josh Lawson the film’s multi-hyphenate director/writer/actor lasts March at SXSW where the film won the audience Narrative Spotlight Award. A Little Death is the type of film that would never be made by a Hollywood studio. “I certainly tried to make it in the States,” says Larson. Although he hails from Queensland, Australia, Larson appeared as an actor in more than a few mainstream movies like Anchorman 2, The Campaign and Free Birds. Lawson started as a child actor, and has been seen in a wide variety of films as well as Australian television shows.

“The first draft I wrote in the States. I had just moved here and set up shop. People who read it thought it was so funny. ‘I loved it, but there’s no way.’ Because if this goes bad, if you don’t handle the subject matter just right it’ll blow up in your face,” says Lawson.maxresdefault

“It was a tough sell, it took me about six years to finally get the money for it. One of the stories has a rape fantasy. That made people nervous on the page. These are love stories. These are modern twisted romances.”

A Little Death the title slyly refers to the lapse of conscious awareness after orgasm. In the late 16th century the English had the term fainting fit. And Shakespeare refers to “dying in your lap.” A big influence on Larson is Woody Allen’s Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask. That’s a film that had Gene Wilder having an affair with a sheep. “And yet it was done in a way where you couldn’t be offended. The comedy was so obvious.

“Allen’s influence on my work is obvious. Just the way I write dialogue driven scenes,” says Lawson.

This photo provided by courtesy of Magnolia Pictures shows Erin James in the film, "The Little Death," a Magnolia Pictures release.(Magnolia Pictures via AP)

Some of the situations involved nasty phone calls, a crying fetish, kinky role-playing, and a femme who only finds comfort when her husband suffers. “She’s not trying to be mean to him, she’s trying to connect to him,” says Lawson. “You can get away with so much if it’s coming from a place of love.” Some of the psychological terms that float through A Little Death include somnophilia and dacryphilia. Hey, you have the internet; you can look that shit up.

A Little Death plays in an exclusive engagement Monday, September 14 at 9:30 pm. at the Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park.

— Michael Bergeron