Film Fest Report: Art of Suicide on Lexington Avenue

Atlanta filmmakers Brent Brooks and Tim Honigman, whose Art of Suicide screens in the Asheville Film Festival, were passing out fliers at Disneyland last week for the Los Angeles Film Festival when they decided they needed a new approach.

“Personally, I don’t like to be the guy pushing fliers on people,” Honigman says. So they decided that publicizing a film based on the struggles of young artists needed, well, art.

So when they came to Asheville today, Brooks and Honigman set up a canvas on Lexington Avenue. A few hours later in it had various drawings, one very interesting looking bird and a cloud-like design added by Asheville resident Shelly Friesland, who happened to be walking by when she decided to put brush to canvas (in this picture, Friesland is at the canvas, Brooks is on the left and Honigman is on the right).

“The idea of this is just to let people add to the art as they go by,” Brooks told Xpress. “This move [the art on the street] didn’t play that well at Disneyland — people seem to be taking to it more here.”

The movie is based on a true story, Brooks said.

“A friend of mine took his life — he was part of a group of artists that had turned the old Playboy Club [in Atlanta] into artist’s lofts,” he said. “I was part of an improv comedy troupe that used that venue. People reacted to it really deeply; they were tatooing his name on their arm and talking about how selfish he was. I saw it from more of a bystander’s perspective, so this movie’s not a PSA about suicide.”

Instead, he said, “The people who’ve seen it are telling me that they’re not sad afterwards, but that they have a deeper perspective on this.”

“Art of Suicide” plays Friday from 2 to 3:45 p.m. at Diana Wortham Theatre. Tickets are $8 at the time of the show or $7 before. They’re available online here.

— David Forbes, staff writer

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