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Particles of Truth (2002) is a drama by Matter Productions, filmed in New York City and Williamsburg Brooklyn in late July and August of 2002. Jennifer Elster wrote, directed and produced this film. She also plays the female lead, Lilli Black, opposite Gale Harold as Morrison Wiley. A detailed synopsis is available at the film's Official Website.


Jeremy Walker + Associates, Inc. is a Public Relations firm that represented several films - including PARTICLES OF TRUTH - at the TriBeCa Film Festival. They had some very positive things to say about the film and the woman who is the driving force behind it: "It is often said that films made on location here can reflect the true energy of the city, but rarely have we seen this done with such an artistic eye as that of Jennifer Elster, who makes her feature debut with PARTICLES OF TRUTH. Starring Elster and the terrific actor Gale Harold, best known for his portrayal of sexual predator Brian on Showtime's QUEER AS FOLK, the film follows a very eventful 48 hours in the life of a painter on the eve of both her first big gallery show and, perhaps, the first honest relationship of her life. On the way, PARTICLES OF TRUTH takes us from downtown to uptown and back again, weaving a narrative about love, family, trust and ultimately facing one's self. Making as she did bold choices with color, music, composition and characterization, we were not surprised to learn that Elster has made a living as one of New York's top stylists for countless photo shoots and music videos. PARTICLES OF TRUTH is as beautiful to look at as it is emotionally honest."


Particles of TruthThe Tallgrass Film Festival site has a great write-up about the movie in the Program Schedule section: This remarkable independent feature, shot in and around Manhattan's Tribeca district, chronicles the lives of eight connected New Yorkers over an intensely emotional 48-hour period as they deal with self-doubt, emotional dishonesty, familial ties, and the potential for love. The central figure is Lilli Black (Jennifer Elster), a skeptical young artist gearing up for the opening night of her first major exhibition. Struggling to move beyond her painful family history, she finds herself forced to confront her dying father and pursued by a reclusive, obsessive-compulsive young writer (Gale Harold of Queer as Folk) who works out of his SUV, carting around a heavy load of his own family baggage. The film's extended cast of characters also includes a middle-aged man dealing with career anxiety, an emotionally fragile wife facing the possibility of cancer, and a fanatically religious roommate desperate for love. What distinguishes Particles of Truth is the skill and grace with which writer-director-producer Elster cuts between disparate (but intersecting) narratives lines, providing layer upon layer of telling detail and startling insight as the pieces of her emotional puzzle fall into place. This thematic whirlwind provides an ideal example of the power of film to document the human condition and inspire audiences to look beyond the surface. Spilling over with stunning high-definition digital cinematography and uniformly excellent performances, Particles of Truth announces the emergence of a major new talent. "This is an intense emotional roller coaster with standout performances," says Film Threat. "The images of Particles of Truth are so sharp and cut so deep, it's as if Elster made them with a scalpel," says The Los Angeles Times.


Jennifer Elster was kind enough to share some information with me about the film, and about Gale's role in the production. She said, "Gale is really great in this film -- a character you've never seen him play. It's very exciting." When I asked for a brief synopsis of the film, she told me that it is about life, love and the fear of failing. "P.O.T. is about two people, Morrison and Lilli, who are trying to become someone in spite of where they're from. Morrison is an obsessive, compulsive guy who falls in love with, and wants to rescue Lilli." One of the film's co-producers, Terry Leonard, also had only good things to say about Gale and his professionalism. "Gale was a real nice guy and great actor," he said.

Storyboards
Image: Past and Present - Storyboards for Particles of Truth
Copyright © Owner: Matter Productions NYC, karenyan
Click here for a larger image.


Background:

In 2001, Jennifer Elster wrote, directed and produced the indie films "Dirty" (a horrific Lynchian dreamscape referencing anxiety around the death of the main character's father), "Ill Will" (where two maladjusted individuals cross paths on a NYC subway ride and banter for control) and "Proudflesh," which examines the lives of eight different individuals, taking the viewer on a bizarre journey into their addictions to youth, fears, drugs, lying, religion, sex, useless conversations, and psychosis, leading to a unanimous facing the truth" climax. These works are considered "shorts" in film genre, and appear to be precursors to P.O.T. given the parallels in their respective storylines.

Dirty (2001) featured J.M. Helfer, Timothy Rowe, Francine Myles, Robert Myles, Brenda Schonaut, Jane Shonaut and Steve Schonaut. Ill Will (2001) featured Richard Wilkinson as "Will" opposite J.M. Helfer as "Fang" (who also played the 'girl' in Dirty).


Notes on the Cast:

Veteran actors Larry Pine and Leslie Lyles play Mr. and Mrs. Wiley, Morrison's parents. Both have extensive film and television credits to their names. Larry Pine has done a number of feature films, including last year's Mr. Smith Gets a Hustler, Maid in Manhattan, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Shipping NewsOz. Leslie Lyles appeared in "Man on the Moon", Lisa Picard Is Famous and most recently, Trouble in Paradise, among others. She is often seen on the NBC series Law & Order.

Taj Crown, who plays Gapu, was also in the Ben Stiler film Zoolander. He has appeared in over 100 stage plays including MacBeth and a variety of comedic parodies... but his day job is being a New York City Fire Department Paramedic!

Mark Margolis, shown in the photo below, plays Lilli's grandfather.

Grandpa Black
Image: Costume designer/stylist with actor Mark Margolis as "Grandpa Black"
Copyright © Owner: Matter Productions NYC, Shelly Federman, karenyan
Click here for a larger image.



Proud Flesh


Proudflesh:

The Independent Feature Project (IFP) accepted "Proudflesh" in its lineup for the 23rd Annual IFP Market in 2001. The gathering of indie writers, producers, directors, and domestic and international buyers took place from September 30 to October 5 in New York City; screenings were held at the Angelika Film Center. The 2001 Market lineup included more projects in development and those seeking completion funding.

Becking/Elster
Michelle Becking and director Jennifer Elster's
Proud Flesh goes on a bizarre journey of eight
characters' addictions to youth, fears, drugs, lying,
religion, sex, useless conversations and psychosis.

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