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Camp

Film poster
Directed by Todd Graff
Produced by Danny DeVito
Pamela Koffler
Katie Roumel
Michael Shamberg
Stacey Sher
Christine Vachon
Jonathan Weisgal
Written by Todd Graff
Starring Anna Kendrick
Daniel Letterle
Joanna Chilcoat
Robin de Jesus
Tiffany Taylor
Don Dixon
Sasha Allen
Music by Stephen Trask
Jon Lind (song "I Believe in Us")
Victoria Williams (song "Century Plant")
Cinematography Kip Bogdahn
Editing by Myron I. Kerstein
Distributed by IFC Films
Release date(s) 2003
Running time 114 minutes
Country  United States
Language English

Camp is a 2003 independent film, written and directed by Todd Graff, about an upstate New York performing arts summer camp. The film is based on Graff's own experiences at a similar camp called Stagedoor Manor. The film was released in 2003 by IFC Films.

Contents

Plot

Camp focuses on the formation of a love triangle between campers Vlad, Ellen, and Michael. Michael and Ellen have been to the camp before; Vlad is a first-timer. Vlad is one of the few male campers who identifies as heterosexual, he's more interested in roots-rock style music than Broadway show tunes, and he's interested in sports. Vlad ends up rooming with Michael, a gay youth who – after being gay bashed for wearing a dress to his junior prom – is estranged from his parents. Michael quickly develops a crush on Vlad, who enjoys the attention but doesn't reciprocate the emotion. Vlad, initially "seeing" Jill, ends up instead involved with Ellen after they're cast in a play together.

Throughout the summer, the campers put on productions of various plays and musicals, including Midnight Sun, Buried Child, Dreamgirls, Promises, Promises, Romeo and Juliet, Fiddler on the Roof, Follies and Company. Bert Hanley comes to the camp as a special guest counselor. Bert wrote one hit musical, The Children's Crusade, but was never able to repeat that success. As a result, he has developed a drinking problem.

Jill, a prima donna, picks up a devoted follower in the person of Fritzi. Initially borderline psychopathic, in an All About Eve-style move Fritzi slips Woolite into Jill's Snapple, sabotaging her appearance in Company and stepping into her role.

Also featured is Jenna, an overweight girl whose father has had her jaws wired shut to induce her to lose weight.

Michael reaches out to his parents, inviting them to see him play Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. When he sees they haven't come for the show, he launches into Maria's final speech from West Side Story and flees the stage. Vlad comforts him and Michael's feelings for him deepen.

After the campers throw Michael a drag-themed birthday party, head counselor Glen, concerned that the kids won't develop normally, restricts rehearsals to three hours per day. Bert convinces him to relent, noting that while the campers are "freaks," the more they try to make them "normal" the more isolated they will feel.

Following an alcohol-fueled tantrum from Bert, Vlad goes to Bert's room to confront him. There he finds a number of songs Bert wrote following The Children's Crusade in a number of styles. Vlad convinces the other campers to do a revue of Bert's songs for the camp's annual benefit. During the first rehearsal, Bert walks into them singing the uplifting "Century Plant". At first upset, Bert quickly is touched by the campers and joins the rehearsal enthusiastically and agrees to direct the benefit.

Michael, increasingly frustrated with his unrequited crush on Vlad, has sex with Dee, Ellen's roommate. He tells Vlad, who doesn't believe him and goes to ask Dee. She tells him that Michael talked about Vlad most of the time. Dee teasingly questions Vlad's sexuality and to prove he's straight he kisses her. They start making out, but Ellen walks in on them.

As Vlad, Michael, Ellen, and Dee get ready for the benefit, Vlad's girlfriend Julie shows up, exasperating the other three. The feud between Jill and Fritzi continues, with Fritzi sabotaging Jill's makeup and Jill attacking Fritzi and breaking several bones. Bert and Glen turn to Jenna to perform. They cut her jaws loose and she sings "Here's Where I Stand". Her parents are in the audience; her father hears the lyrics and understands the message to him, silently acknowledging that he will accept her as she is.

Following the benefit, Vlad tries to make amends with Michael, offering himself sexually. Michael turns him down. Vlad admits to being an "attention junkie" and teases Michael playfully and Michael forgives him.

Ellen happens upon them and learns that Julie broke up with Vlad. She forgives him also and agrees to go out with them when they all return home.

The film contains a cameo appearance by Broadway composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who plays himself.

Cast

Primary Cast [1]

  • Actor/Actress - Character
  • Daniel Letterle – Vlad Baumann - The heart throb of Camp Ovation. As a first year camper and the "straight boy" of the group, Vlad creates a love stir among his fellow male and female campers with his good looks, singing, and acting talents.
  • Joanna Chilcoat – Ellen Lucas - An innocent girl who never really had a boyfriend, but falls for Vlad the moment she met him.
  • Robin de Jesus – Michael Flores - A gay man with no relationship with his parents. He falls for Vlad, creating a sticky love triangle between Vlad, Ellen and Michael. We are first introduced to Michael as he is being beaten for dressing in drag at his junior prom.
  • Tiffany Taylor – Jenna Malloran - An overweight returning camper who is only at Camp Ovation because she agreed with her parents to have her jaw wired shut. Jenna ends up stealing the show at the end of the film when her fellow campers and staff decided to cut the wires and give her a solo in the final performance.
  • Alana Allen – Jill Simmons - An aspiring actress who thinks she runs the camp and deserves everything she gets, or doesn't get. Jill tries to get to Vlad, but Vlad wants nothing to do with her, causing Jill to create drama.
  • Anna Kendrick – Fritzi Wagner - A shy and lonely camper who is a follower. Jill takes her in and Fritzi becomes Jill's slave for the summer, until Fritzi gets smart and sabotaged Jill's big number and takes over as the under study.

Other Appearances By-

  • Steven Cutts – Shaun
  • Sasha Allen – Dee
  • Vince Rimoldi – Spitzer
  • Kahiry Bess – Petie
  • Don Dixon - Bert
  • Robert Orosco - Emil
  • Stephen DiMenna - Glen
  • Omar Edwards - Alston
  • Camilla Millican Samuelson - Hillary
  • Julie Kleiner - Lisa
  • Dequina Moore - Dequina
  • Brittany Pollack - Brittany
  • Tracee Beazer - Tracee
  • Tony Melson - Tony
  • Patrick Cubbedge - Patrick
  • Mario Concepcion - Mario
  • Ryan Fitzgerald - Ryan
  • Caitlin Van Zandt - Ilana
  • Luke Stanhope - Buddy Miller
  • Melanna Gray - Shaun and Petie's Mom
  • Eddie Clark - Mr. Malloran (Jenna's Father)
  • Leslie Frye - Mrs. Malloran (Jenna's Mother)
  • Brad Simmons - Pianist
  • Sean Hanley - Husband
  • Jill Ann Goldhand - Wife (as Jill Goldhand)
  • David Perlow - Ben Lucas (Ellen's Brother)
  • Egle Petraityte - Julie (Vlad's Girlfriend)
  • Bylly Fagen - Photographer
  • Steven Brinberg - Barbra
  • Stephen Sondheim - Himself

Nominations

Camp received nominations for the following awards [2]

  • 2004, Nominated for Artiors Award for Best Casting for Feature Film, Independent, Bernard Telsey
  • 2004, Nominated for Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actress, Anna Kendrick
  • 2004, Nominated for Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance, Anna Kendrick
  • 2004, Nominated for Golden Satellite Award for Best Original Score, Stephen Trask, and Best Original Song,, Bob Telson and Lee Breuer (For the song “How Shall I See You Through My Tears”)
  • 2003, Nominated for Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic at the Sundance Film Fetival, Todd Graff

Soundtrack

Track # Title Written By
1 "How Shall I See You Through My Tears" Robert Telson and Lee Breuer
2 "Best Escape" Jimmy O'Neill
3 "Losing My Mind" Stephen Sondheim
4 "The Size of a Cow" Malcom Treece, Martin Gilks, Miles Hunt, Robert Jones, Martin Bell and Paul Clifford
5 "Wild Horses" Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
6 "Skyway" Paul Westerberg
7 "I'm Still Here" Stephen Sondheim
8 "Last Son on Blue Tape" Gary Lightbody
9 "Turkey Lurkey Time" Burt Bacharach and Hal David
10 "Praying Mantis" Don Dixon and Phyllis Glasgow
11 "Imagining You'" David Evens and Winnie Holzman
12 "With You I Do" Chris Perry and Adam Alexander
13 "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger
14 "I Believe in Us" Phil Goldston, Jon Lind and Wendy Waldman
15 "The Ladies Who Lunch" Stephen Sondheim
16 "Greensleeves" Stephen Trask
17 "Moving on Up" Paul Heard and Mike Pickering
18 "I Sing For You" Michael Gore and Lynn Ahrens
19 "Generation Landslide" Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Alice Cooper, Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith
20 "Century Plant" Victoria Williams
21 "On/Off" Gary Lightbody, Mark McClelland, and John Quinn
22 "Right On Be Free" Chuck Griffin
23 "The Kitchen Sink (Petie's Top)" Tim Weil
24 "Here's Where I Stand" Michael Gore and Lynn Ahrens
25 "Desire" Tristan Avakian, Sam Slavick, Sterling Campbell, and John Naslas
26 "Round Are Way" Noel Gallagher
27 "The Want of a Nail" Todd Rundgren

Box Office

In the opening weekend, the film made $54,294. It came in ranking at #45, showing at only 3 theaters in the United States and averaging $18,098.[3] The films widest release took place in the UK where it showed in 116 theaters. It ended up showing for 84 days/12 weeks and closed on October 16, 2003. It has grossed $1,629,862 since 2003. The film also hit several top 100 charts for films in numerous categories. It is number 83 in the genre of gay/lesbian independent films[4], 78 for Yearly PG-13 Movies for 2003 [5], and ranked 198 for the year 2003[6].

Critical Reception

"Camp" has received mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes the film was rated at 62% (on Rotten Tomatoes a movie must receive 60% positive feedback to be considered not "rotten"). There was a total of 99 votes totaled, 61 of them were considered "fresh" while 38 were considered "rotten". The average rating was 5.9/10.[7]. Margaret A. McGurk of The Cincinnati Enquirer says "Like the prodigies on screen, Camp powers through its imperfections, with irresistible results." [8] James Sullivan of the San Francisco Chronicle said in his review titled "Camp", "There is lots of music and a genuine showstopper when Jenna sings "Here's Where I Stand" with such emotion that even her hardheaded dad gets the message." [9 ].

Production

The film was produced by Jersey Films, IFC Productions, John Wells Productions, Killer Films, and Laughlin Park Pictures. All production took place in New York, New York, United States.[10]

References

External links

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