Sunday, November 8, 2009


Peter Parlegreco is a very talented young filmmaker and animator about whom you soon will be hearing a lot. And that’s not just because I’m gonna be tootin’ his horn for him. He’s got the goods, with nary a trace of bads. You can see what I mean by watching the splendid Late Music sampler video he created.

Fresh out of animation school, Peter is making a handsome noise worldwide with his senior project, a captivating animated piece called “Rescued.” It’s a wild little film, kind of a sideways slice of Yellow Submarine meets Krazy Kat. It awoke napping memories of indelible dreams that tickled my weirdo bone as my psyche was teething when I was a toddler. It’s not wholly nightmarish but it is startlingly stark and colorfully playful and, like I said before, captivating. There will be parts of you that won’t ever quite be the same again once you’ve invested the 8 or so minutes. Watch it. If you dare.

And please listen. I humbly add that the racket you’ll hear in “Rescued” was provided by my very own Nun Bett-R Productions. I collaborated with my gifted chum Chris Bolger and we went to task, employing my studio Baldwin organ, a 1984 Roland Juno 106 synthesizer, Chris’ beloved Celtic Star Irish Bouzouki, his Schecter 8-string bass, a Danelectro baritone guitar, a Breedlove 12-string guitar, the Casio SK-1, Mattel’s Magical Musical Thing, a piano banjo and a Pearl concert tom that found its way to my basement from an adjunct drum kit on the ‘07 Who tour. The drinks of choice during this endeavor were Redbreast and Johnny Walker Black. Straight.

We worked in a shroud of secrecy, never allowing the animator to hear what the heck we were doing until it was done. I guess he trusted us. Then we all met at Johnny’s Tavern in Clifton, NJ one dark night in November 2008 and slipped Peter the disc that contained our concoction. A quaff or two later, we shook hands bid each other “good luck.” The next day, the phone rang and Peter spoke in quavering tones, confessing that his spirit tingled when he matched up the sound to the film. A good job, in other words. We did our best because he gave us his best.

Parlegreco speaks: “”Rescued” took over a year to produce, from conception to finished movie. Nine months were spent hunched over a light-box, drawing the thousands of pieces of animation that make up the 8-minute film. I wanted to create something that felt handcrafted, yet at the same time maintained a very simplistic visual style.”

In March of ’09, Bolger, my wife Donna and I joined Mr. Parlegreco, his lovely bride Kethley and her mom Carolyn to catch “Rescued” on a screen that was considerably larger than our PC and Mac monitors when the film ran at the Duo Theater on East 4th Street in NYC during the 5th NYC Downtown Short Film Festival: Audience Choice Screenings. It was a gas! And here’s the kicker: this was the very room where a young Vito Corleone first encountered “The Black Hand” in the famous operetta scene in “The Godfather 2”

From Melbourne to LA, from London to Carbondale, prestigious film festivals are grabbing up “Rescued.” But one need only click away from wherever in the world they may be to see it. The link can be found below.

If you should run into the unassuming Parlegreco at the Park Tavern in East Rutherford or Charlie Blood’s in Garfield (both in New Jersey), hand him a hearty “atta boy” for his accomplishments, past, present and yet to come. And buy him an ice cold Yuengling so you can say you did so when you knew him when.

Here’s where you could also have seen “Rescued”

• Melbourne International Animation Festival, Australia (Melbourne)

• 31st Big Muddy Film Festival, Illinois (Carbondale)

• 4th Kent Film Festival, Connecticut (Kent)

• Kent Summer Film Series: Featuring the Winners from 2009, Connecticut (Kent)

• Australian International Animation Festival, Australia (This is part of a traveling show, which began in Wagga Wagga, Australia)

• London International Animation Festival, England

• Sydney International Animation festival, Australia