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The world premiere of writer/director Harry Greenberger’s second feature film, FARAWAY EYES, happened on March 7, 2020, just before the festival in which it was booked postponed its second week until the following summer. Thank you COVID-19. The pandemic, though, forced that plan to fall through, cancelling Bay Area film festivals through the end of the year, and forcing festivals in 2021 to re-think how to reach their audiences.
Now, over a year later, the film, re-christened HERE AFTER, has finally been released to theaters and is streaming on Prime Video here.
Harry Greenberger was channeling a bad breakup into his script for HEREAFTER (aka FARAWAY EYES) when he met the woman who would change his perspective on love. The result is a film that sees dating as hell (literally), but also one that isn’t necessarily bleak. Well, not all bleak.
Actually, it’s a sweetly funny and astutely observed consideration about the meaning of life. It’s hero, Michael (Andrew Karl) is a struggling New York actor who is hit by a truck after a bad break-up. The biggest shock, though, is finding out that in order to move on, he has to find his soul mate among the other dead still hanging around on this plane of existence. The catch, he can only use conversation to win a potential soul mate, and the only thing the dead can experience are books and booze. He’s joined in this by Angelo (Michael Rispoli), an old friend, also deceased, who offers a warm welcome, but a very bad example of how to succeed.
When I spoke to Greenberger by phone on March 7, 2020, we talked his own journey that inspired the story; the creepy side of traditional rom-coms; and, how he brought a city of the living and the dead to the screen.
We moved on to differing definitions of success (and a tribute to Greenberger’s dad); what he’s learned from his varied background in the industry; and David Bowie as an ongoing motif in his films.
We finished up with an impromptu tribute to Stanley Kubrick in honor of the fact that we spoke on the anniversary of his passing.
The film co-stars Andi Karl, Nora Arnezeder, Michael Rispoli, Jeannie Berlin, Jackie Cruz, and Christina Ricci as Michael’s guide to the afterlife. Greenberger’ directed from his own script and his previous work includes STARING AT THE SUN