I went to 68 Kill because of Matthew Grey Gubler.
I went back to 68 Kill because of AnnaLynne McCord.
Specifically something she said after the screening.
First I’ll say (and no spoilers here) this film is stupid fun. It looks like it’s going on a film fest tour so if it comes to your town go see it, at midnight if possible, it’s just that kind of show. The energy is raw and fast, there are great twists and turns. Just ride it.
There’s some great role reversals, a magnificent sing along scene, and if you’ve got a dark side,
oh, 68 Kill will.
Here’s a few things I got out of it.
Liza is a Lion, a wind storm of WHAT THE FUCK. AnnaLynne is on Fire, Wild eyed and manipulative AF, sliding between conniving, cajoling, gaslighting and straight up beautiful, crazy psycho with flashes of what her true self could be shining through at times which is also heartbreaking.
He asked me if I wanted a pic
with or without the Yellow Cab
hat. I was like, why not both?
and Gubler – he’s an interesting one. Plays the role perfectly. If you are a fan of this guy this film is going to do you right. I have (like about a jilliion million other people on the planet) always been drawn to his energy. It’s the kind you just want to….breathe in. I recognize it because my son has it. He’s the kind of person people are drawn to and want to take care of. But some other people are drawn to that energy because they hate it. Want to squelch it. Smash it. Twist it and manipulate it into something else. That’s why he’s a perfect Chip. But Gubler has this wonderful childlike wonder about him that just shines through. And he’s learned when to be slippery, and know when to pull in that childlike piece so people can’t grab it and take it for themselves. He has a sadness too, which I think is also part of his draw. Maybe because of that need for the slipperiness at all. That shield. Once watching him in something else I heard the song “Tears of a Clown” playing in my head. It’s a perfect description, happiness, joyfulness, but also a sadness that can’t be hidden. That’s the piece to him that is heartbreaking too, a little bit.
When people hug me or touch me I can feel things about them. Even just being near someone you are in their energy, and their information – which is around all of us all the time. It’s hard to explain but I’ll try to do it and I won’t get too personal, some things are just for me. But when MMG put his arm around me for the pic it was like there was no stopping point. I’ll explain – when I met Mike Tyson years ago at Realscreen when I touched him he felt like a rock. Literally. There was no give, until I spoke to him in his ear. Then he softened. Like a jelly. He turned to me and took my hand in his and took me over to introduce me to his wife. He smiled the most incredible smile. He is also like a little boy, I know everyone has their own feelings about Mike Tyson, but I always saw him a Ferdinand the Bull. Gentle in the center.
But with MMG, it was like there was no boundary of where he stopped. I was and wasn’t surprised. It was like sitting in pure joy. You know when you meet someone you have liked for a long time and it’s like, “oh man, I hope they aren’t a dick” so it like wrecks your image of them? Nope, that didn’t happen at all. It was a pleasure to meet him. His touch is soft. Happy. Joyful. Open. But he still has a part he doesn’t share, for a long time. And that’s good for a person like him.
AnnaLynne and I connected on a conversation around trauma. Immediately. ha ha like a tornado, in just like, 3 minutes, we were sharing really personal stuff with each other, because of some of what we’ve been through. Pain can be an instant link. Shes’s amazing. Rich is the word that comes to mind but not like money. Like…full. She’s got this million dollar smile and that mane – so impressive. But it’s also part of her armor. I know that well, I use that shield too. Stay at arm’s length, don’t get too close. But if I know you – and I KNOW you, even within seconds we are thick as thieves. And when she hugged me, and she really hugged me – I could feel the shield, but I could feel the love too. I could feel all the giving she has to give and share and help with. Help other’s who’ve been where she’s been with and that’s big. Bigger than her, bigger than me. It’s connection. I’m a CASA, and a Mental/Behavioral/Social Health + ACES advocate and I’ve done a lot of work for a long time – I can’t not do it, I simply call it the work. She does the work too. There’s a drive there that is unstoppable and unbreakable. She is a force. What she whispered in my ear made my heart catch in chest and then in my throat, because I’d never heard something like that from someone on the other side. It went down into me and all through me. I know that doesn’t make sense but it’s just for me. I’m thankful to AnnaLynne for that, that and an image she gave me that broke open a part of who I am and why I do what I do. Something that I am still processing. So thanks for that, AnnaLynne. We are sisters in the work.
Seeing this film gave me an opportunity I didn’t see coming that hit me like a freight train. Then watching it a second time, after talking with AnnaLynne before heading in, it hit me again, but at a different level. The third time I watched it (yes, 3 times in one week. batshit crazy I know) I saw it on a third level. The level that was for me. And I’m still unpacking it. Because trauma packs itself up tight, then adds to itself in layers. What I call stitches. It hides in the corners where it’s dark. Until something comes along to shake it loose, or rattle it out. In those times it will do the cruelest thing possible. It will sit in front of you on the floor, unwrapping itself, and because I see in pictures it looks like this blob thing wrapped in an oily, greasy wrinkled rag, about the size of a picnic blanket, but it’s no picnic. It’s a bloody red, black and blue ball that opens in throbbing bursts like some kind of fucked up punctured anemone smiling this crooked, rotten smile and asks,
“So what are you going to do with me now, bitch?”
So this time, after watching 68 Kill and talking to AnnaLynne, I’ll do the opposite of what trauma wants. Again. I won’t recoil in fear. I’ll kneel down next to it, reach out and pet it. I’ll whisper to it, “I’m going to use you. I’m going to shine a light on you. I’m going to flip our relationship, love, because you have given me everything I need.”
Seeing this film in such an intimate setting as SXSW (if SXSW can be considered intimate…) was a real gift. The cast and director/producer was there for a Q&A afterwards which was fun and was unexpected because I was at the second showing, not the premiere so it’s cool everyone stuck around for that night. AnnaLynne, Alisha and Trent stuck around for the 3rd. Because my memory is so poor I always have to take pictures and everyone was great, very sweet in obliging me.
I also met Alisha Boe who plays Violet – her energy was so hopeful and fresh…clean and new. She was just so clearly happy, open, when I hugged her I heard “unjaded”. Stay that way sweet Alisha, or at least let a part of yourself stay that way. You are a beauty and a dear. You do Violet right.
Sheila Band. What can I say? What THE FUCK. You would NEVER know the woman I met and spoke with was the same woman on the screen. That’s a crazy talent. I was like, how are you the same person I just watched?? But she KILLS as Monica. Some killer onscreen comedic moments with her, even though they are subtle. And ok, this woman is tiny in real life. But she gave me a big hug which was nice.
Ok, Hallie Grace Bradley – we had a super short conversation – in the ladies room ha ha ha, and she cracked me up the whole time. I couldn’t even tell you what we talked about because I was laughing the whole time. I’m actually kind of laughing thinking about her and her part in the movie and then her in real life. She’s really got a ton of talent and is just obviously having a great time. I feel like she has a lot of inside jokes with just herself.
She was with I think the director’s wife who took the pic, who was also hilarious.
I also met the director, Trent Haaga, who I think took both the pictures of me and MMG and of me and AnnaLynne. So thank you very much for that, Trent, ha ha. He told AnnaLynne, “Oh yea, she was here last night, huge MMG fan” – but I had to stop him because I wanted him to know I’d come back to see 68 Kill again, not for Gubler, but because of what AnnaLynne had said the night before about seeing Liza through the lens of trauma. In that moment the whole film flipped for me and I had to come back and see it through Liza’s lens. And after I watched it through her lens I went back a third time to watch it through mine. Because I’m a high visual processor I see everything. Every tiny facial movement, every shift in energy, every tiny drawn in breath, actions and reactions. There are LOTS of those in 68 Kill that you can easily miss the first time around. So if you are a fan of not only the FUCK YOU in your face thrill of 68 Kill but also the quieter, subtler underlying actions and reactions, see it again. Or hell, see it 3 times.
See what it unpacks in you.