“GURUNISTA GAYHLE” delivers everything a fun, short, comedic film should. It’s original, funny, well written, craftily acted, deftly directed, and serves as a succinct showcase of the filmmakers’ considerable talents. Indy filmmaker, Keith Apland and actress Diane Hudock developed and cowrote the original screenplay.
The 9:08 minute film is an entertaining satire drawn from Ms. Hudock’s “day job” as a LA celebrity yoga practitioner. The lead character “GURUNISTA GAYHLE” is a self-delusional, full-blown Narcissist with some serious boundary issues. Let’s just say that she has a hands-on approach to her yoga classes.
It’s a credit to the script, that although her character is incredibly shallow and insensitive, we don’t lose interest in watching. She’s like an entertaining, yet very badly behaved monkey. Hard to pull off in a film this short, the transitions between scenes feel organic. One minute she’s expounding to an interviewer about what a yoga “Master” is. The next scene, she is in full-blown need of anger management. Mr. Apland and Ms. Hudock have created a memorable character, one that you watch with a kind of bemused horror.
As for the acting, Ms. Hudock is beguiling in the role. She is definitely in her element in a comedy. I would liken her performance to the quirkiness of Drew Barrymore and the edginess of Cameron Diaz. She is what I call beautiful but believable. It’s the kind of beauty that doesn’t alienate audiences, but pulls them into the story.
Previously, Ms. Hudock has appeared on the sketch comedy show, “Running with Scissors“ for Oxygen/Carsey Werner. Audiences of the cult hit “Coyote Ugly“ will remember Ms. Hudock’s spot on performance as an emasculating stand-up comedienne. She honed her acting chops at Sarah Lawrence College as well as the British Academy of Dramatic Arts. This is an actress I hope we’ll be seeing a lot more of.
There is also a nice cameo by actor Dennis Fitzpatrick as a cosmetic surgeon. His incredulous expression when Gayhle demands a D cup implant is priceless. À la Hitchcock, Mr. Apland delivers the goods in a cameo performance as a driver, as well as in a voice over role as the interviewer.
Mr. Apland has been making quite a name for himself as a “triple threat” writer/director/producer. His 2012 apocalyptic film, “The Last 8” broke out of the gate with a successful Kickstarter campaign, and took home the gold at the NW Short Film Festival, garnering Best Film, Best Drama, Best Director as well as Best Actor, breaking the Festival’s record for most awards won. The film was also an Honorable Mention this year at the prestigious Boston Science Fiction Film Festival.
Another screenplay also penned by Mr. Apland, “Bridgetown Minutes” took the Fourth Place of the coveted Los Angeles Page Awards. The film took home the Silver Prize at the Oregon Film Awards, received an Honorable Mention at the 2011 Los Angeles Film and Script Festival, and the thriller was also a 2011 Finalist at The Wildsound Feature Screenplay Competition, which had this to say about Mr. Apland’s work:
“An excellent ensemble piece with complex, genuinely sympathetic characters. Shows the plight of the homeless while still reminding us that they are complex human beings; some of the most intelligent lines come from these characters. One of the top new screenplays written in the world today. Mr. Apland is headed for a prosperous career…”
The Oregon Film Awards that this to say about “Bridgetown Minutes”:
“A wonderfully written story by an immensely talented new voice in screenwriting.”
With “GURUNISTA GAYHLE”, it seems a sure thing that Day 1000 Films, Mr. Apland’s Portland, Oregon production company, will be in business for a long while.
➤ A link to the film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwyWzeSVtQw&feature=youtu.be
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