Assistant Professor Vera Brunner-Sung's documentary short Character has been selected for the Sundance Film Festival. Shot with the help of Ohio State students, the film focuses on actor Mark Metcalf.
Metcalf made his reputation playing aggrieved authority figures, most famously in National Lampoon’s Animal House and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now in his 70s, he takes a critical look back on his life and career in this meditation on power, privilege, and the pleasures and perils of being a “type.”
In early 2018, I was writing my second feature and thinking a lot about actors. As someone with deep roots in documentary, I was curious: What is the relationship between their identity and their roles? How are they impacted by the limitations of those roles—and, by extension, the kinds of films that get produced? By chance, a friend introduced me to Mark. He was interested in the idea of a film, and we began a series of audio interviews. As I pored over the transcripts, a structure began to emerge; we brainstormed visual ideas together and shot for two days with a small crew. The result is a portrait that makes space for Mark to both analyze and inhabit his identities, that tries to imaginatively investigate the connection between art and life.--Brunner-Sung
The film is supported in part by the Film/Video Studio at the Wexner Center for the Arts and a Greater Columbus Arts Council grant.
There will be a campus screening of Character in spring semester.