Drug movies have not been in short supply, but none of the Hollywood films have touched on the contemporary subject of Oxycontin addiction. There’s now a low-budget, independent movie shot in and around Boston that does just that.
Based on the true-life story of John Hickey and his struggle through his addiction to the opioid Oxycontin, Oxy-Morons details the destruction Hickey experienced as well as that of those around him. The screenwriter would certainly have his facts straight as well, considering it was written by Hickey himself, who also stars in the film. Others behind the camera include director Robert Scali and executive producer and actor Damien DiPaola. Also making a silver screen appearance is UFC fighter and Maine resident Tim Sylvia.
Described as “an action-packed thriller that borders on horror,” Oxy-Morons is a close-up view of the terrible effects of the drug. It examines the extreme things that addition can cause and the decline that its users go through. There is definitely no glorification of drugs and the culture surrounding them in this intense low-budget film. Some of its shooting locations will be recognizable to Boston locals, such as Charlestown, MA and the North End, where its message has garnered support from the community.
Having wrapped filming in September, an 8-minute trailer has recently been released to the public, and it certainly has not been approved for all audiences. While the trailer is graphic, there is justification for the disturbing images and the message that they get across. The unusually long length is due to the fact that it was initially made to help the production company, Mood Swing Films, find a distributor for their indie flick.
Watch the trailer for Oxy-Morons here:
In a quaint quarter of Charlestown, Massachusetts, not far from legendary historical monuments like Bunker Hill and the U.S.S Constitution, lies a taste of western Europe. Barely visible from the narrow, tightly packed streets that date back to the beginnings of this country, a warm glow emanates from the windows of one of the colonial-style neighborhood buildings. Peering inside, passersbys would see a warm, welcoming room draped with lush red and gold tapestries, punctuated with woven carpets and dark wood furniture, embroidered pillows tucked carefully into secluded corners, dimly lit by ornate metallic chandeliers; this is Tangierino. A Moroccan chophouse and tapas bar whose rose-petal strewn tables and nightly belly-dancing shows are just a hint of the dramatic flavor this establishment is centered on.
Helmed by executive chef and owner Samad Naamad of Samad Naamad Entertainment, the creatively adventurous “visual and culinary artist” is also no stranger to the film world. His talents extend to filmmaking; acting, producing, and directing. He produced a film called Welcome to Hollywood in 2005, which was released internationally, and in 2007 he produced and starred in The Dream Shadow, which opened at the Brattle Theater in February of 2009. In 2008, he wrote, produced, and starred in Demon Shadow, which also happened to be his directorial debut. The prolific Moroccan turned Boston fixture formed the production company IRW (Imagination Rules the World), and is currently working on a prequel to Demon Shadow, which was a critical independent success. With a wildly popular restaurant enjoying over ten years of success, a thriving professional life peppered with interior design projects and nightlife events, and numerous triumphs in the film industry, Samad Naamad truly knows the meaning of pursuing your passions in life.
Tom Cruise‘s Untitled Wichita Project has recently been renamed Knight and Day. The action comedy screenplay, co-written by James Mangold and Scott Frank (Marley & Me, Minority Report), follows a fugitive couple–Cruise and Cameron Diaz–on a glamorous, yet deadly adventure around the globe. Cruise and Diaz will share the screen with Wilton, CT native Paul Dano in the role of an eccentric genius behind a revolutionary technology.
Directed by Mangold (Walk the Line; Girl, Interrupted), the film production was spotted on the streets of Charlestown and South Boston just last weekend. Previous filming locations include the Worcester airport, Bridgewater and Somerville. While there has been talk of production in Woburn, sources reveal that the Commerce Way outpost is merely a storage station rather than a film set.
According to an October 13 press release, Knight and Day will also film in less local locales, including Austria, Spain, and the tropics. The Twentieth Century Fox/ New Regency co-production is scheduled to hit theaters on July 2, 2010.
The Town isn’t the only film in town. On September 6, the Boston Herald Inside Track reported that Oxymorons is now filming in Charlestown. Based on the life of reformed Oxycotin drug lord John Hickey, the film will chronicle everything from the legend’s jail time to his conflicts with rival dealers.
“It’s about the dirty reality of drugs,” said executive producer and actor Damien DiPaola to the Herald. He explained that unlike many silver-screen trips, Oxymorons doesn’t glorify the drug trade.
The low-budget indie flick is reportedly enjoying a growing fund and fan base as locals that support the film’s message offer some financial footing or favors. Charlestown Against Drugs, St. Catherine’s Church, and the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Department are just a few of the local establishments throwing their support behind Oxymorons.
Moral of the story: Stop making drug deals and start making movie deals.
Cambridge cutie Ben Affleck just wrapped up a week of shooting for his made-in-Massachusetts flick The Town. According to the Boston Herald Inside Track, principal shooting began in Charlestown on August 31. Affleck, Gossip Girl Blake Lively, and Jeremy Renner of “The Unusuals” were on location at the Bunker Hill Monument shooting a barbecue scene at a triple-decker home.
The Town—based on Massachusetts native Chuck Hogan’s heist novel Prince of Thieves—is Affleck’s second directorial effort after Gone Baby Gone. The screenplay, adapted by Peter Craig and Affleck, follows a group of blue-collar Charlestown locals as they rob a Kenmore Square bank. According to a September 1 post on Hollywood in the Hub, Kingston local Chris Cooper of The Company Men is in negotiations to play Affleck’s father in the film.
Catch The Town before it hits theaters at a filming location near you.
Ben Affleck has been a busy Beantown boy lately. Just as he wraps production on The Company Men, co-starring Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones, Affleck is already preparing for his next film, The Town. Based on the Chuck Hogan novel, Prince of Thieves, the film will take place in Charlestown, MA and will be written and directed by Affleck, as well as feature his acting talents. Currently in pre-production, a casting call has already been held in the area in search of authentic folks with thick Boston accents to play everything from wives to crooks to cops. The film, which is slated for release in 2010, will follow Affleck’s character as a thief who finds himself entangled in the middle of love-triangle with a bank teller and an FBI agent. Charlestown will not only be the main filming location for the movie, but will actually be the setting for the story as well. While details of the film are still scant since its so early in development, as the summer progresses, Boston is sure to see film crews begin their work all around town.
You can subscribe to HollywoodEastConnection.com by e-mail address to receive news and upates directly in your inbox. Simply enter your e-mail below and click Sign Up!