Nary sign of Kar­dashian in Sex Tape

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - COMICS & PUZ­ZLE - SEAN CLANCY

While it may sound sala­cious, Keith Black’s Celebrity Sex Tape is ac­tu­ally a rather whole­some af­fair.

The eight-minute-long short film from 2015, which screens to­day at The Joint in North Lit­tle Rock, finds Black in a des­per­ate at­tempt to get fa­mous by mak­ing a sex tape of him­self with a celebrity. The only prob­lem is find­ing a star pa­thetic enough to join him for a bit of on-cam­era coitus.

Filmed dur­ing the summer of 2014 in his home­town of Brook­lyn, the movie walks the line be­tween cringe-wor­thy and sweet hu­mor.

“I thought it would be funny to lam­poon” the cul­ture of celebrity sex tapes, says Black, who, when not mak­ing short films, has spent the past 20 years teach­ing high school math in Brook­lyn. “It was ripe for lam­poon­ing and I thought it would be funny to take this nerdy guy and have him fol­low in the foot­steps of Kim Kar­dashian and en­list a fa­mous co-star to kick-start his ca­reer.”

The main char­ac­ter, though, is woe­fully ille­quipped for such a foray, which back­fires com­pletely and therein lies the hu­mor.

“I also wanted to make it a cau­tion­ary tale,” Black says. “No one should ever com­pro­mise them­selves in their quest for suc­cess.”

De­spite his bungling and awk­ward­ness, Black’s char­ac­ter, while try­ing to see if Joan Rivers would co-star with him in his tape, meets Rachel, who may be the girl of his dreams.

Played by Ja­clyn Sokol, Rachel, like Keith, is search­ing for big­ger and bet­ter things and joins in his wacky scheme to re­cruit a sex tape celeb.

“We had in­cred­i­ble chem­istry,” Black says of work­ing with Sokol. “She’s a great col­lab­o­ra­tor, very cre­ative. She made the scenes bet­ter.”

Her work earned her a best ac­tress nom­i­na­tion from the Fly Film Fes­ti­val, where the movie was nom­i­nated for a best short film award.

The premise and pre­sen­ta­tion, right down to the jazzy sound­track, is straight out of the Woody Allen hand­book — whiny, neu­rotic guy finds love even af­ter mak­ing all the wrong moves.

The Allen com­par­i­son is apt, as Black is an un­abashed devo­tee of his fel­low New Yorker. He co-wrote and starred in the 2003 short

Get the Script to Woody Allen, which he says was based on the true story of him ac­tu­ally hand­ing Allen a script and which won best picture at the Long Is­land In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val.

Also, Sex Tape’s ed­i­tor is Ron Kal­ish, who worked as a sound ed­i­tor on Allen’s 1971 film Bananas and 1973’s

Sleeper.

“Woody is prob­a­bly the big­gest in­flu­ence on me,” says Black, who is a self­taught di­rec­tor and screen­writer.

Keith Black

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