HALF-COCKED

81 Minutes  1995

Tara Jane O’Neil is growing weary of her life at the Rocket House, a party pad filled with crashing slackers, artists, and rock bands. She works as a ticket taker at a movie theater and hangs out with a group of friends who are equally aimless. Her brother, Otis (Ian Svenonius) – the arrogant lead singer of a local rock group called the Guilloteens (played by other members of Svenonius’ band, The Make-Up) – smacks Tara in the face after a show for ‘fucking up his encore.’ Humiliated, Tara convinces her pals to hijack the Guilloteens’ van (still full of equipment) and form a band in order to stay out on the road.

FEATURING: Tara Jane O’Neil, Jeff Mueller, Jason Noble, Jon Cook, Cynthia Nelson, Ian Svenonious, Dave Pajo, James Canty, John Moses, The Grifters, Dave Shouse, Tripp Lamkins, Scott Taylor, Stan Gallimore, Jonathan Marx, Barbara Johnson

ABOUT THE FILM

 

Made in 1994 in Louisville, Nashville and Chattanooga, HALF-COCKED follows a group of kids who steal a van full of music equipment and pretend to be a band in order to stay on the road. The film features Ian Svenonius and members of Rodan and The Grifters, playing versions of themselves. With music by Unwound, Slant 6, Freakwater, Versus, Polvo, Smog, Helium and others. After completing the film Hawley and Galinsky took the film on tour showing it rock clubs across the US and Europe.

 

The film was largely funded by a small advance for a soundtrack that was released by Matador Records. Shot over 10 days in 3 different cities in Kentucky and Tennesse. Conceived as a document rather than a documentary, the fimmakers set out to document the Undergound Music scene that they were a part of. They wrote parts for friends who were in bands and had them basically play versions of themselves. The intent was to have each person change the script so that it felt like what they would say. Ian Svenonious showed his genius by changing his parts in extreme ways that expanded the scope of the film, and forced major changes to the script.

 

 

“It doesn’t seem too bold to say Half-Cocked is an Easy Rider for the 90’s and deserves as much attention.”-ERIC GLADSTONE, ALTERNATIVE PRESS

 

“Bracing in it’s dry humor and first hand accuracy” -VARIETY

 

“Hawley and Galinsky know how to make pictures shudder with feeling” – MANOHLA DARGIS

 

“Life among young bohos and would-be rockers gets a strikingly true-to-life treatment in the deadpan road movie “Half-Cocked.” Co-creators Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky are indie-rock scene veterans, experience that shows in every frame. While the no-budgeter may be too insiderish and understated for the Generation X masses, its wry comic veracity could score a bulls-eye with hip college auds.” – GODFREY CHESHIRE, VARIETY

 

“This raw and moody drama from 1994, by the husband-and-wife team of Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky (they co-wrote, she directed and edited, and he photographed, in appealingly grainy black-and-white), captures a moment of grungy charm, when independent art-rock scenes were new and resolutely local. A quintet living in a ramshackle house in Louisville gets a gig at a club, but the show turns sour when the vain, pretentious glam-punk Otis (Ian Svenonius) goes onstage and smacks Tara (Tara Jane O’Neil), the quintet’s spiritual leader—and his sister—for spoiling his encore. In revenge, Tara steals his van and equipment and drives the rest of the band to Chattanooga, where they scuffle along in fear and desperation. Though the aesthetic is rough-and-ready, Hawley is a sincere and sensitive storyteller who brings the characters to life with subtle, oblique touches that show who they are without saying too much about them. Casting highly regarded indie rockers and filling the soundtrack with their songs, Hawley movingly roots their music in a way of life as well as in the grimy urban landscapes they inhabit.” -RICHARD BRODY, NEW YORKER

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