I just finished watching this throwback to 70’s film making. Blondes in the Jungle, it was a fun little comedy. The running time was a little over 40 minutes, and it was filmed in Honduras. Given, my big sister did 2 years there on a retreat, I learned a lot about the culture thru her diaries. This film though, paints a different picture about this culture. The scenery is beautiful and the humor is not ha ha funny, but more like a nod and smirk where you think that was a smart moment and goofy. Some of the camera angles were annoying. But, as a whole those dislikes were what 4 percent of this film. The 96 percent I liked was daring and fun. I loved the music and the characters. 3 Teenagers buy drugs, try to harm nature and just create some absurdity. There is no denying that watching this film, is like a crystal ball you just see something special, that is going to make their dent in films. Warner Hertzog is proud.
Now we are going to talk to the visionaries behind this drugged out fun comedy. Lev Kalman and Whitney Horn.
1.tell our fans about Blondes in the Jungle?
BLONDES IN THE JUNGLE is a comedy set in the 1980s that questions the possibility and value of travel for adventure. The idea is basically to restage “The hunt for the Fountain of Youth” like it’s a trip to The Body Shop.
2.What kind of budget, time frame did you guys have to work with?
We filmed for a total of three weeks in a Honduran national park, plus a few days in NYC. Start to finish, the movie took almost 3 years to produce. Our budget was 25 thousand dollars.
3.Why Honduras? When America thinks of this area of the world,let’s be honest this is not what they think of? ( I mean no offense to anyone, or insult..but this is considered by many a very poverty stricken place)
On a practical level, we had some friends and relations there, so that made the trips easier to plan. Plus we could walk out of our cabins and be filming near this beautiful jungle river in less than 10 minutes. On top of that everyone there was wonderful.
Honduras’ history underlies a lot of what’s going on in the film. Like how Honduras was caught between Nicaragua and the US in the terrible 1980s cocaine conflicts. Or its ties to the Mayan empire and archaeology.
4.How has the festival circuit been to your film? Have you attended any shows yet and sat in the crowd, and if so how was the reaction?
We’d made a bunch of short films before BLONDES that we never seriously submitted to festivals because we were skeptical about them. But a lot of them are great! We premiered at the Chicago Underground Film Festival and won the big prize there. Then we got to go to International Festival Rotterdam, which introduced us to a group of filmmakers and programmers working along similar lines to us. BLONDES has traveled to Europe, Canada, Australia and all over the US. We haven’t gotten to travel to all the festivals where it’s played, which is a bummer. But where we have we’ve been surprised how well all sorts of audiences receive it. When we were making the movie, we only really thought we’d enjoy it — like the one joke about ‘mayonnaise’? We were sure it’d bomb, but its usually the first big laugh the movie gets.
5.What is next on the agenda?
This year, we’ve begun production on our first feature length film, L FOR LEISURE. It’s a comedy set in the early 1990s about graduate students going on vacations and playing leisure sports. It’s like a high-minded Caddyshack.
6.How can fans who don’t do festivals but are interested in your film see this film?
Our festival tour is winding down now and we’re figuring out a way to make sure BLONDES stays available. One strong possibility is streaming it on MUBI.com. If you’re interested, you should definitely go here and click ‘I Want to Watch This!’
7.I have to ask this question, this film seems like a take on old school 70 comedy foreign romps. was that your inspiration, and I know it was set in the 80’s?
We love lots of foreign films of the 60s/70s: Eric Rohmer’s Moral Tales cycle, the Warhol/Morrissey monster movies (actually all of Warhol’s movies) and soft core like Inga and Emmanuelle. Those movies highly influenced the look and humor of BLONDES IN THE JUNGLE.