By Herald de Paris Contributor's Bureau on March 28, 2014
By Anna Wilding
HOLLYWOOD (Herald de Paris) — Â A few weeks ago, I was hauled out of my movie complacency and saturation, thanks to a plethora of award season screeners, to an event hosted by the German Consul General of Los Angeles, a French-German comedy titled Go with Le Flo.
Go With Le Flo is an endearing and delightful romantic comedy, with elements of classic French farce thrown in for good measure.
The independent feature is written by Michael Glover and Mea Machrowiak, directed by Glover, produced by Robyn Rosenkrantz, and was filmed in Berlin. Michael and Robyn, the musical and creative duo behind Go with Le Flo, both of whom are reminiscent of hippier times, have been barnstorming around the world, mainly India and Europe, for close to two decades now. The couple have had the luxury of trying their hand at making four films to date but this, the fifth, is the first film that may have any real breakout potential, and the one that may come to the public’s attention in any meaningful or notable way.
The film, though not flawless, manages to retain it’s charm throughout. This is thanks to a touching and relatable story line, a romantic European setting, and witty performances by some of the cast – most notable of which is an almost star turn performance by supporting actress, Italian Roberta Bianchini, who anchors most of the film and keeps us watching. Lead actor, Denis Auburt,who plays the hapless love interest, Florian, really comes into his own as a physical actor when given enough rope to run with, and proves excellent at physical comedy, really showcasing his talent as performer, typical of classic French farce, or some classic British comedies such as early Monty Python and Mr. Bean. The rest of the cast were all charmingly predictable, but it was to Auburt and Bianchini that we really looked to, to keep engaged and intrigued.
Go with Le Flo opens its Premiere weekend in Los Angeles on April 11,12 and 13. The Premiere will feature a Bright Blue Gorilla concert, screening and reception. Go with Le Flo will run at the Downtown Independent April 11-24, 2014.
Tickets may be purchased online at http://gowithleflo.com.
I discussed the film with Robyn and Michael:
Anna Wilding: Go with the Flo is your fifth film and has potential to break out.Why and when did you start making films? You were originally a busking music troupe- what is the transition into film making.
Robyn Rosenkrantz: We started as Bright Blue Gorilla in 1990, when we quit our L.A. jobs, sold everything we had (except our guitars) and bought one-way tickets to Europe. Our dream was to travel and play music. We’ve always loved acting and movies as well. After Michael won some playwright contests, it was natural for him to write a script. We also realized we could tour with our films, just like we toured with our CDs.
Anna Wilding: Go With Le Flo was made where? and how did that influence the film and its story?
Michael Glover: We shot in Berlin. I’d originally written the script as a Los Angeles romantic comedy, but a friend of ours, director Michael Schultz (who directed the iconic “Car Wash”) said, off-the-cuff one day, “You ought to shoot in Berlin. Much easier to shoot low budget over there.” I took it to heart and we made some calls and the next thing you know we’re back in Berlin.
Anna Wilding: The film is in German and French â€“ how come?
Michael Glover: The script started in English but then Berlin came into the picture. After we found the location “Le Flo” – which is a real shop in Berlin – the idea of having a character that was half-German and half-French popped up. I co-wrote the final screenplay with Mea Machrowiak, who was great at capturing the spirit of the American slang I tend to write with.
Anna Wilding: Was it natural that Michael write and direct and Robyn produce,or did you guysÂ conscientiouslyÂ discuss it, going in?
Robyn Rosenkrantz: Michael’s a born writer and director, all self taught. And since I booked and promoted all our tours for Bright Blue Gorilla, the roles were quite organic. We make a good team, balance each other out. After making 5 movies together, doing over 3000 concerts together and being married almost 23 years we’ve really learned how to work well together and we’re still best friends!
Anna Wilding: Where did you get the cast in Berlin from?
Robyn Rosenkrantz: Casting was amazingly easy for Go with Le Flo. Once we cast Marina Senckel (who plays Jenny) from Berliner Ensemble, all her friends wanted to be in it too. So the actors literally flowed into our lives.
Anna Wilding: You have a wonderfully grounding and star performance from Roberta Bianchini who plays Tina in the film.
Michael Glover: Roberta is a wonderfully crazy woman who we’ve cast in 3 films. She’s a joy to work with. Roberta is coming to Los Angeles for the premiere weekend (April 11, 12, 13.) so please come out and say hello.
Anna Wilding: Denis Aubert, who plays the hapless romantic lead, Florian, was able to pull off some wonderful physical comedy at times? How did that work?
Michael Glover: Denis Aubert did a marvelous job as Florian. He and I worked a lot on the physicality of the comedy. I tend to emulate Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch in my pacing and physicality. I’ll usually show an actor what general rhythm of the moves I want and then we’ll rehearse it until it’s just right. If you want an example of what I’m talking about from Wilder, just take a look at how Jack Lemmon moves around the kitchen in “The Apartment” when he’s making spaghetti for Shirley MacLaine. Every move is perfect. They worked all that out. It wasn’t random.
Anna Wilding: The film usesÂ influencesÂ of French Farce,was this a conscious choice?
Michael Glover: There’s a sweetness and charm that you find in some classic French films that I wanted to capture. In fact, when rehearsing with the actor, Mathieu CharriÃ©re, we went over some scenes from “Les Enfants du Paradis” particularly the work of Pierre Brasseur, who is magnetically charming in that film. So, some of the French influence certainly rubbed off.
Anna Wilding : Are you still busking? You have been singing at each performance of the film? Is it necessary to busk at each performance of the film?
Michael Glover: We like to say hello to the crowd before the film and music is a nice way to do that. It’s not essential to the film experience but it makes the evening a special event.
Anna Wilding. For those who are unable to make the screening is Go with Le Flo going to be available on VOD?
Robyn Rosenkrantz: We just signed a wonderful Cable/VOD deal and will announce this April 10th on our website.For those outside the USA, they can watch Go with Le Flo online, exclusively during the L.A. cinema run April 11 – 24, 2014 on Vimeo. All info is at gowithleflo.com
About the film: Florian is half German, half French and owns a French delicatessen Berlin. The somewhat naive Florian, meets Camille, the daughter of a famous French director and it’s love at first sight. Florian plucks up courage to ask Camille to marry him, meanwhile Jenny, who is German and owns the bakery down the street, is in love with Florian.