Philadelphians will recognize their hometown in ‘Detonator’

Lawrence Michael Levine is "Sully" in the movie.
Lawrence Michael Levine is “Sully” in the movie.

 

The central theme of “Detonator” is fairly universal: Leaving behind a wild and carefree past for the responsibilities of family and career. But for Philadelphians, the settings of the new film will feel even closer to home. That untamed youth is shot against the backdrop of punk house shows in West Philly, while adulthood is depicted in the green backyards of Flourtown.

“Detonator” takes place over the course of one night, as Sully (played by the co-directors’ Columbia classmate Lawrence Michael Levine) reunites with his former bandmate and is drawn back into the punk underground that he’d left behind for 9-to-5 domesticity in the suburbs. Wednesday’s screening at the Ambler Theater, at which one of the directors, Keir Politz, will be on hand, will serve as a preview for the film’s official east coast premiere in New York City later this month. It previously screened as a sneak preview at last year’s Philadelphia Film Festival before making its world premiere earlier this year at California’s Cinequest Film Festival.

The film was co-directed by Politz, a native of Philly’s Lawncrest section, and Damon Maulucci. The two met while both were grad students at Columbia University, though Politz has since moved back to Manayunk. He saw the local punk scene as the perfect landscape for the story the filmmakers were out to tell.

“I’d always been drawn to the excitement and rawness and youthfulness of punk music,” Politz says. “It fit as a great contrast to things that my partner and I are experiencing in our own creative lives: Trying to reconcile these past, more romantic notions of yourself with the reality of having to pay a mortgage and have a family.”

Politz, who now teaches screenwriting at Penn, didn’t want to film the familiar sights that usually indicate “Philadelphia” on screen. He cites Elaine May’s 1976 film “Mikey and Nicky” as an inspiration. “A lot of people wouldn’t know that was shot in Philadelphia because they never show any landmarks,” he says, “but to me it’s unmistakable. She succeeded in capturing something truthful and authentic about this city. I wanted to do something that doesn’t gloss the city, but that also doesn’t overly sentimentalize the grit of it.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…