“Greed is more gullible than innocence.” – Mason Cooley
So, how many things do you have in your house that you really don’t need? Does that make you greedy? No, because you probably don’t excessively or obsessively acquire things at the expense of your own well-being or someone else’s. However, there are many people who do. At any given hour you can turn on reality tv and watch hoarders, “tartlettes”, and misers flaunt their self-obsessed gullibility – the “I Gotta Have It” urge at its most extreme. And the most wonderful example of how your life could quickly go down the toilet if you let Greed take over your emotions. It also marks a borderline many of us hover around, because let’s face it, we’ve all spent money stupidly at least once (or ten times) in our life. And that’s why I think “Greed” has drawn a big charge out of HELL’s audiences thus far.
It’s hard to define greed solely in terms of money, because it applies to so many areas of life. But we decided to focus on the “bling-factor” for this short, because it’s the one we’ve all been tempted by, and is the most recognizable metaphor of the sin.
“Greed” stars my long-time creative collaborator, Diana DeLaCruz (Silent Nick & Nora, Surrendering, Pandora’s Box) as the obsessed woman in this story. I don’t want to give too much away about this short, because it has the biggest surprise in all of HELL, but the bling is not necessarily the point here, it’s the lack responsibility behind it.
When we were creating this character we looked to classical examples of greed and the Empress Dowager Cixi popped up. It is said, that in 1893 she embezzled funds from her own navy to reconstruct the base of a marble boat, to host parties on. Not exactly a responsible use of national resources. Our wardrobe and make-up artist, Wendy Hill, referenced photos of the Empress as inspiration for Diana’s look, building up around her neck and head – including 11 yards of gold chain. The costume was heavy and cumbersome and Diana had quite a few stunts to do in this short. (Have I mentioned how much I love my actresses?) The look is outrageous! I would even say over the top, but let’s face it, there are more than a few people carrying around miniature dogs in pink patent leather bags these days – so what’s a few extra yards of gold?
Or maybe therein lies the trouble – thinking “what’s the harm?” The sin of greed is not driven by passion, but by giving in. It’s a lazy sin. It’s easy, and usually happens in such small steps that you don’t realize what has taken hold of you until it’s too late. And I suppose another sin might be the joy we take in watching other’s succumb to it. Hence, most of TLC’s line-up…and well, even my “Greed” vignette. Did I mention it’s a comedy?
HELL has its official premiere screening at the Anthology Film Archives (Maya Deren Theater) in New York on October 9th.
To read about the other circles of HELL: CLICK HERE
To watch the official trailer for HELL: http://vimeo.com/69424343