The Truth About Jason Page, Filmmaker

About one year ago, I received a Christmas present, a DVD, from my friend Analiese Miller. It was a movie made by a colleague of hers in the acting business, filmmaker Jason Page. Ana is in the habit of sending me memorable Christmas presents, and that particular item was no exception. The film was On the Seventh Day, God Rocked and after watching it, I reviewed it quite positively.

Page’s first feature-length film was the comedy Newton’s Disease, in which Ana has a role, incidentally. Both Newton’s Disease and God Rocked, which are very different films, have received critical acclaim.

Even more recently, I received from Analiese a review copy of Page’s latest film, White Man’s World (trailer). This is a mockumentary staring Jason Page as his own altered ego, a filmmaker with an opinion of himself high enough to pass out from lack of oxygen. In the film, Page is stunned by the utter failure of his previous movie and comes on the idea that the way to become famous is to make a film about blacks. Or gays. Or somebody. Eventually, Page settles on Native Americans of the Duluth area, but encounters problem after problem, mainly owning to his own abysmal lack of understanding of native culture and society. He seeks teepees and finds condos. He wants to film loincloth-wearing red men spearing salmon in the wild but gets a guy with a PhD in conservation biology who fishes with a really nice graphite fishing rod when he’s not in the lab analyzing data. And so on.

So, Ana and I got talking and decided it would be a good idea if I interviewed Jason as part of my blogging about the film, and Jason, on hearing this, suggested that if I wanted to, I might interview him in character, as the Jason Page of White Man’s World. So I did. We met in a hotel room in Saint Paul. Ana was there. I intended to film the interview with my Flip, but the batteries ran out and I only got 23 seconds. My questions for Jason roughly followed the film’s plot. Where he could, he acted as a pompous ass. Where I could, I asked him leading questions. Where she could, Ana avoided LOLing from her nearby seat.

The result of the interview is this essay at Greg Laden’s Blog on Scienceblogs.com. If you read the essay, I’d like you to know that almost exactly fifty percent of what is stated or implied is accurate. The other fifty percent is not. For instance, there really were several police cars, lights flashing, driving across the median of Highway 100 at the Excelsior Ave exit, causing all the cars on the on-ramp to pull over (even though the cops were not driving down the on-ramp; they were going cross-country). However, it is NOT true that I drove my Humvee past all the cars that had pulled over. I’m not saying whether there were donuts involved in this police action or not. Someone really did kill the koi but the details and the implication of who did it are made up. And so on.

A few elements of the essay will be fully understood only by a reader who has seen God Rocked (that is the “singer” link) or White Man’s World, or who have been a fly on the wall at one time or another when Ana and I have been hanging out. So, watch both films and then buy Ana or me a beer at our favorite place on Eat Street to get all the details.

Jason’s biography and information about his films can be found here.

By the way, God Rocked is now available on Netflix. So watch it. I also strongly recommend getting anyone two, or three, of these films as a Christmas Gift!

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