VIRGINSpc2Neutral is the debut feature film (and it is indeed a film) from Asheville-based filmmaker Joe Chang. Gorgeously captured on old-school 16mm by the brilliant Greg Hudgins, Neutral is sort of like Asheville’s Slacker, but it’s sweeter, more whimsical, and reveals a sensibility all its own.

Chang is definitely a comer; he seems to have things going on his head that no one else does, that’s for sure. As a fellow filmmaker who’s had to sacrifice for storytelling, I most admire Joe’s drive and his courage for taking chances and not backing down from making films that aspire to be real art. He’s scary good. And, yes, the movie does feature the acting debut of yours truly, a walk-on cameo in a film that features over 70 small parts.

Neutral recently had its DVD release party (which I attended), and Joe showed clips from his film, and several bands played. Joe’s amazing band Single Engine Airplane was there, Jason Smith’s inimitable Night’s Bright Colors — see the post about them below — and a dynamic young combo called Kovacs and the Polar Bear, which reminds me of a young Wilco, blew everybody away. No hyperbole here; they fucking killed — look them up on Myspace, they’re terrific and have a great future ahead of them.

Joe showed some clips from an upcoming project called Days of War, Nights of Love. On his own website, he describes it thusly:

Days of War, Nights of Love is the working title of
Joe’s second feature, which he is currently writing.
It’s a surreal magical dreamy circus western
knight’s tale adventure vaudevillian story taking
place in it’s own little world with swords and
crossbows, horses and ostriches, kings and queens,
lotus flower children and traveling gypsies, tricked
out bounty hunters and crappy headphones, air balloons
and dentist chairs, instrument trees and rear
projections, jug bands and men with microphone faces,
and much more….

Joe Change, everybody … Check him out at his production company, Papercookie.net.

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