By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

RACHEL DRATCH, WENDY MONIZ AND TREVOR ST. JOHN TOPLINE THE CASTING ANNOUNCEMENT FOR PATRICK WANG’S SOPHOMORE FEATURE; THE GRIEF OF OTHERS

Filmmaker’s Second Feature Follows Critically Acclaimed In the Family

Companion iBook “Post Script: The Making of the Film, The Grief of Others”

Available Now on iTunes Coincides with Announcement

New York, NY – February 18, 2014 – Director Patrick Wang and Vanishing Angle today announced that Rachel Dratch, Wendy Moniz and Trevor St. John are among the cast members set for their upcoming feature film The Grief of Others.  Based on the acclaimed novel by Leah Hager Cohen (New York Times notable book, finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize), the film is set to commence production in April 2014 in Nyack, New York.  The Grief of Others is the sophomore effort from Patrick Wang whose first film is the critically acclaimed In the Family,which he wrote and directed. The Grief Of Others isproduced by Jim Cummings, Erich Lochner, Matt Miller and Ben Wiessner and based on a screenplay by Wang.

In addition to Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), Wendy Moniz (Betrayal, The Guardian), and Trevor St. John (One Life to Live, In the Family), additional key cast members includeOona Laurence, who won a Tony Award for her role as Matilda in Matilda the Musical, Jeremy Shinder who appeared in the international tour of The Addams Family, Sonya Harum who appeared in Gossip Girl and Blue Bloods, and Mike Faist who appeared on Broadway in Newsies.

“We could not be more thrilled to secure the strong cast that this project deserves,” commented director Patrick Wang.  “Leah Hager Cohen’s novel is a powerful story of how unexpected generosity and human connections help us navigate loss and grief. The tremendous talent and sensitivities of this cast will breathe life into these characters on the screen with the same gorgeous detail we find on the page.”

The Grief of Others is the much-anticipated second feature film from director Patrick Wang.  His first feature film In the Family was one of 2011’s most critically-acclaimed independent films, appearing on over 50 year end best-of lists and lauded by Roger Ebert as “an indie masterpiece”.  The film enjoyed an extensive theatrical run andwas also nominated for the 2012 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.

The Grief of Others follows the family of Ricky and John Ryrie who suffer a devastating loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth. Without words to express their grief, the parents try to return to their previous lives and struggle to regain a semblance of normalcy for themselves and their two children Paul and Biscuit.  Yet in the aftermath of the baby’s death, long-suppressed uncertainties about their relationship come roiling to the surface and a dreadful secret emerges with reverberations that reach far into their past and threaten their future.

Trevor St. John plays John Ryrie, Wendy Moniz plays Ricky Ryrie, and Oona Laurence and Jeremy Shinder play their children Biscuit and Paul.  Sonya Harum appears as Jessica Safransky and Mike Faist plays Gordie Joiner.  In a dramatic turn, Rachel Dratch appears as Madeleine Berkowitz, a colleague of John’s.

Readers will have the opportunity to watch the production of The Grief of Others unfold in a first of its kind interactive, multimedia iBook from director Patrick Wang and author David Chien entitled”Post Script: The Making of the Film, The Grief of Others”.  A unique, curated journey through the creative decision-making process, it is available now on the iTunes Bookstore (http://tinyurl.com/p2bmdap) and will be continuously updated as the film progresses.

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“When books become a thing, they can no longer be fine.

“Literary people get mad at Knausgård the same way they get mad at Jonathan Franzen, a writer who, if I’m being honest, might be fine. I’m rarely honest about Jonathan Franzen. He’s an extremely annoying manI have only read bits and pieces of his novels, and while I’ve stopped reading many novels even though they were pretty good or great, I have always stopped reading Jonathan Franzen’s novels because I thought they were aggressively boring and dumb and smug. But why do I think this? I didn’t read him when he was a new interesting writer who wrote a couple of weird books and then hit it big with ‘The Corrections,’ a moment in which I might have picked him up with curiosity and read with an open mind; I only noticed him once, after David Foster Wallace had died, he became the heir apparent for the Great American Novelist position, once he had had that thing with Oprah and started giving interviews in which he said all manner of dumb shit; I only noticed him well after I had been told he was An Important Writer.

“So I can’t and shouldn’t pretend that I am unmoved by the lazily-satisfied gentle arrogance he projects or when he is given license to project it by the has-the-whole-world-gone-crazy development of him being constantly crowned and re-crowned as Is He The Great American Writer. What I really object to is this, and if there’s anything to his writing beyond it, I can’t see it and can’t be bothered. Others read him and tell me he’s actually a good writer—people whose critical instincts I have learned to respect—so I feel sure that he’s probably a perfectly fine, that his books are fine, and that probably even his stupid goddamned bird essays are probably also fine.

“But it’s too late. He has become a thing; he can’t be fine.”
~ Aaron Bady

“You know how in postproduction you are supposed to color-correct the picture so everything is smooth and even? Jean-Luc wants the opposite. He wants the rupture. Color and then black and white, or different intensities of color. Or how in this film, sometimes you see the ratio of the frame change after the image begins. That happens when he records from his TV onto his old DVCAM analog machine, which is so old we can’t even find parts when it needs to be repaired. The TV takes time to recognize and adjust to the format on the DVD or the Blu-ray. Whether it’s 1:33 or 1:85. And one of the TVs he uses is slower than the other. He wants to keep all that. I could correct it, but he doesn’t want me to. See, here’s an image from War and Peace. He did the overlays of color—red, white, and blue—using an old analog video effects machine. That’s why you have the blur. When I tried to redo it in digital, I couldn’t. The edges were too sharp. And why the image jitters—I don’t know how he did that. Playing with the cable maybe. Handmade. He wants to see that. It’s a gift from his old machine.”
~ Fabrice Aragno