Robert Schwartzman has made his directing debut with the film “Dreamland.” The film follows musician Monty Fagan (Johnny Simmons) as his life begins to unravel while trying to chase his dream. The film was screened as part of the NY Film Critics Fall Series.
Monty lives with his girlfriend, her difficult mother, and their dog who spends all of its time in its cage. From the first scene of the film, you can see their rocky relationship, which happens to be done in an uncomfortable, but humorous way.
He dreams of opening his own piano bar, but does not have the ability to fund his project. Aside from his piano lessons, Monty gets the chance to work in a fancy hotel bar as the pianist. Things begin to take a turn when he meets Olivia, a very flirtatious older wealthy woman who also happens to be married. As the pair begin an affair, things begin to spiral out of control for him. Olivia decides to help Monty with making his dreams come true in the chance of him opening his piano bar including inspiring his future bar’s name, “Dreamland.”
Following the film, the audience had the opportunity to watch an interview with the director Robert Schwartzman conducted by the host of the evening, Dana Stevens. Robert Schwartzman is the frontman of the band, Rooney. He discussed his music and how he loves playing shows, it is the seductive part for him.
While taking a hiatus from his band, he wrote the script with a friend in LA, explaining how this is a new phase and part of his life creatively. In the future he hopes to continue bringing together music and film. When they came up with the idea for the film, he really liked the story of how Monty has big dreams but he is not quite able to reach the dreams he has. Even though it is diffuclt, he keeps pushing and working hard.
The film shows Monty in a relationship with an older woman, Olivia. Schwartzman discussed how there are so many times that women are objectivied and this film made it interesting by making him the objective of her desire.
The night ended with Dana Stevens, and NYFCS producer, Mark Ehrenkranz discussing the film with the audience.
To learn more about the NY Film Critics Series head here!