7 Year Zig Zag

Green’s story begins in New York City in the late 1970s, where he is trying to get a production based on his screenplay “The Doomsayer” off the ground. When he is unable to interest anyone in the Big Apple to back the story about a homeless man who realizes the world will end in seven days, Green decides to head out to Hollywood. As he drives across the country, Green starts to come up with a plan to raise the money, by creating a second film which would meld the swing music of the 1930s with the then-current disco nightclub trend, entitled “Next Step.” While he would find little interest in either idea in Los Angeles, Green would soon find himself in London, leading a neo-swing band (also called Next Step), which finds some success on both sides of the Atlantic. However, the fame is short-lived, and Green finds himself back in California, with no prospects, no career and no money for his dream projects.

Intermingled within the main story are branches into his various other lives, including the son of a father who would always be there with a wide variety of support, and the man who had many lovers but always longed for the one that got away, as well as extended sequences done up as a kind-of living storyboard, where Green semi-fictionalizes parts of his story where he and a group of friends try to create The Zig Zag Club as a live test of the Next Step idea.

To be certain, Richard Green has created an enchanting and unique way of telling a story. That he makes his insignificant but ultimately triumphant story as compelling as he does through a myriad of techniques is a credit to his vision as a filmmaker and his ability as a writer to create that many rhymes. I just wish I could have cared more about the Richard Green it was all about. But I can forgive him somewhat for the sheer tenacity it obviously took for him to get this film made. Naturally, with a film that has such a unique vision, no distributor large or small picked “7 Year Zig Zag” up for release. Green is releasing the film himself through his Had To Be Made Films.

Overall, I give “7 Year Zig Zag” an A+ for effort and a B for execution. Not for every tastes, but definitely for would-be filmmakers looking for alternative ways to tell their own stories.

Rating: B
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