HD, 104 minutes
2011, Germany and USA
Written and Directed by Philip Duncan
Produced by Daniel Scheimberg and Thorsten Fleisch
Co-Produced by Christian Frosch and Kristina Konrad
Starring: Philip Duncan, Jule Torhorst, Marilena Netzker, Stefan Kolosko, Antje Schmiele, Jens Roth, Eva Ferox, Juliana Kissener, Katja Quinkler, Alexander Sternberg, Tobias Paulus
Doug Blankenship is a ne’er-do‐well folk artist who has lived in America in a pathetic state of self-imposed limbo for the past twenty years since leaving the Army and a girlfriend behind in Germany- Through a sudden stroke of luck, Doug meets a German film producer who is willing to bring him and his spiral notebook full of screenplays to Berlin. The film they eventually make together is called “Love Songs For Scumbags,” about a Neo-Nazi and his drug-addled wife attempting to regain custody of their child from Social Services. Scenes from this film “within the film” run concurrently with Doug‘s eventual slip into homelessness and mental illness. Meanwhile, a disturbed Sophie, Doug‘s long-lost 20 year-old daughter, (and budding performance artist) comes to Berlin in search of him.
Filmmaker Phillip Duncan uses elements of his own biography to create this imagined family history, this anti-biography as it were, of the life that should have been lived and the life that never will be. Using a variety of devices that range from soap opera, high opera, melodrama, sit-coms, classical German Theater, American mockumentaries, musicals, performance art, raunchy sex farces, film trailers, and New German Cinema, Duncan creates a truly Trans-Atlantic film, shot as if through a telescope, where the manners, methods and madness of American and Germany are either blended and laid over top one another to create a new pattern. A film full of situations and feelings both unfamiliar and strangely all too famiar.