Women » Features

Foxy Merkins Pride Screening at BAM!

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Wednesday Jun 25, 2014

On the heels of a sold-out run at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival comes the New York City premiere of "The Foxy Merkins" on June 27 at BAMcinemaFest. The hilarious feature-length film takes a look at a world where lesbian hookers hang out in front of Talbots looking for kinky Republican women to turn tricks with.

The film comes from the genius mind of director/co-writer Madeleine Olnek, actor/co-writer Lisa Haas and actor/co-writer Jackie Monahan. The women were pleased to bring some visibility to the lesbian community through their work.

"We read a study that in film and television 85 percent of the protagonists are male. To tell a story with two female protagonists that also has been called hilarious in major publications is not only an achievement, it is extremely subversive," said Olnek. "This is a wonderful Gay Pride activity because it's a story about two lesbian hookers who are being propositioned by women all over the place. And who doesn't want to see that? This movie can get you laid! We've found this movie can even get straight people laid!"

From the people who brought you the cult hit "Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same," "The Foxy Merkins" follows Margaret, a down on her luck, asthmatic lesbian hooker-in-training, who meets Jo, a beautiful grifter from a wealthy family who is an expert on picking up women, even as she considers herself a card-carrying heterosexual. The duo hit the streets where they encounter bargain-hunting housewives, double-dealing conservative women and each other, in this raucous female buddy comedy.

The film also features cameos by many known downtown New York actors (Deb Margolin; Babs Davy of "The Five Lesbian Brothers"), as well as TV star Alex Karpovsky ("Girls"). Olnek and her team said that they had a great time working with actor Karpovski (from HBO's "Girls") who has two featured cameos in the film. He plays a shady merkin salesman with whom they shot a scene in a graveyard during a thunderstorm, saying, "Despite the weather, he was hilarious."

The film is chock full of these awkward, funny moments that beg you to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the wacky ride. The crew themselves can’t even agree on their personal best.

"Picking our favorite scenes would be like picking our favorite children. It’s a ’Sophie’s Choice’ we can’t morally make and live with ourselves," said Monahan. "But seriously, since this is a comedy where lesbian hookers are picked up by housewives and Republican woman we of course loved the pick-up scenes which occur throughout the entire movie and feature many wonderful actresses."

They said that after working on "The Foxy Merkins" for two years, shooting, re-shooting, editing, writing and screening it, they were totally delighted that it has had the success it has had, and were floored when it was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award after only two screenings.

"We were so amazed that our comic heroes Molly Shannon and John C. Reilly attended our premiere at Sundance," said Olnek. "Next week, in addition to our screening at BAM, it’s going to be screening at the Moscow International Film Festival since the artistic director of the festival saw the movie at Sundance. We hope that it will bring a little laughter over there for the people who are suffering so much."

Now in its sixth year, BAMcinemaFest introduces New York audiences to a wide-ranging lineup of innovative new films, including the work of emerging voices in American independent cinema and some of the world’s most acclaimed filmmakers. This year features the New York premiere of Richard Linklater’s masterpiece "Boyhood," as well as the New York premiere of the Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd comedy "They Came Together," directed by "Wet Hot American Summer"s David Wain.

In addition to their Pride screening at BAM, "The Foxy Merkins" is on the festival circuit this summer, at such esteemed festivals as Frameline and Outfest. Make sure you catch it while it’s in a theater near you!

"BAM calls this a ’raucous buddy comedy,’ but it’s also a film that really explores the power dynamic in friendships with lesbians, in a way that we rarely get to see on the big screen," said Haas. "Also it’s a perfect Pride activity, since it’s air-conditioned. How much prouder do you feel in air-conditioning?" There will also be a Q&A with the director and cast following the screening.

"The Foxy Merkins" will have its New York premiere at BAMcinemaFest 2014, at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 27 at BAM Rose Cinemas in Brooklyn. Tickets are $15 at www.BAM.org/BAMcinemaFest and at the door.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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