An irreverent and comedic alt-history of the Lazy Susan (that spinning thing on the table at Chinese restaurants), and how one lazy lazy woman changed the restaurant industry forever.
Susan’s family restaurant is in trouble: a competing restaurant, Soup Station, moves in next door and, powered by its ingenious innovation (self-serve soup!) business is slow. How can their traditional Chinese restaurant compete? From this humble beginning, the legend of Susan is born.
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FULL REVIEW: https://www.shortoftheweek.com/2019/08/20/lazy-susan/
A Film by Terri Timely
“The summer’s most exciting cinematic piece of revisionist history has arrived (apologies Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)! Lazy Susan is the origin story we need right now. I don’t care to learn that, “actually, The Joker was a bullied young man before turning to supervillainy, so we should have sympathy for him”—NO! Give me a fabulist yarn about the invention of an under-appreciated but ubiquitous dining tool!
This tongue-in-cheek intro befits a film that never takes itself too seriously. In a lightning quick 4 and a half minutes, directing duo Terri Timely takes us back to the 90’s to contemplate the type of person whom might use “laziness” as a superpower.
At its core “Lazy Susan” is a family story about a Chinese American family that runs a large restaurant. Cliché dynamics are presented and turned up to 11, as a sibling rivalry takes center stage. Susan is lazy—like, unnaturally lazy—coming up with any excuse to refrain from movement. Annie, her overachieving sister, is a constantly whirring dervish of activity—you can imagine which daughter her mom prefers.
You can connect the dots from there, but I don’t mind divulging these minor spoilers, as really the film’s appeal is not in where it winds up going, but how it does it. Terri Timely really are excellent at several aspects of their craft—the duo, comprising of Ian Kibbey and Corey Creasey, are well-known visualists—their early experiments, “Synesthesia” and “Input/Output”, are iconic, with the latter honored as a Vimeo “Best of the Year” pick in 2015. The duo ventured into storytelling with its documentary short “Dollhouse” in 2016, a film we featured fresh off its successful screening at SXSW, and which I still think of as a nearly perfect example of the profile doc format for the way it cleverly incorporates humor via its edit, and they’ve gotten a ton of reps with their high-budget award-winning commercial work, which includes the celebrated Geico “unskippable” series.
“Lazy Susan” as the first narrative piece I’ve seen from them, and it is a delightful fusion of their trademark traits. Collaborating with Production Designer Ginger Tougas, the film is bright and vibrant, but heavy on earth colors, and vaguely nostalgic in its period design. It is also buoyed by whip-smart action, and humorous visual comedy, edited to its tightest essence. Spinning is a recurring motif throughout the film, from Susan in a chair, to turntables, and, while on the nose, it is a clever bit of foreshadowing and thematic interweaving that I find joyful.” – S/W Curator, Jason Sondhi
A Park Pictures Film
SUSAN- Monica Hong
ANNIE- Julia Morizawa
SUSAN’S MOM- Cathy Chang
TED WOOD- Bill Lee Brown
SUSAN’S DAD- Roger Lowe
SUSAN’S GRANDMA- Karen Yum
SUSAN’S COUSIN- Ian Suh
Production designer- Ginger Tougas
Director of Photography- Donovan Sell
VFX- Art Jail
Editor- Christjan Jordan
Music- Rob Keiswetter
Sound Design- Rich Bologna
Color- Clinton Homuth
Reproduced on this channel with the permission of its creators.