Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 28 January 2011 00:00
Being known far and wide throughout New York as the Massapequa Movie Man is not enough for filmmaker John Carpenter. Not when there is the civilized world to win. And that is what is taking place with Carpenter’s 2002 silent film, Late to Lunch. The film, released in 2002, still has legs to it, as attested by the formation of John Carpenter Fan Clubs in both Italy and Denmark.
As with works of art destined for longevity, Late to Lunch has taken on a life of its own. In 2002, Debbie Markowitz of the Nassau County Film Office entered the film into their International Film Expo, where it won rave reviews and numerous theatrical bookings and lectures for the Movie Man, all of which looks to be a precursor to his current standing in Massapequa.
With the film catching on, Carpenter then sought out Alpha Video, a DVD production company run by another independent filmmaker, Steve Kaplan who soon included Late to Lunch on a DVD entitled, Silent Comedy Classics, one that featured silent film comedies from such legends as Charlie Chaplin and Charley Chase. Carpenter, needless to say, was delighted to be included with such giants, none the least being that such men inspired the younger Carpenter to engage in the world of cinematography.
Late to Lunch has proven so successful that on the strength of the film, Carpenter now has a fan club in Italy presided over by one Debora Perricone and in Denmark by Rita Marr.
Late to Lunch is the culmination a life spent in film. Motivated by his father, Bert to show old movies in his house and mass a collection of America’s visual entertainment history, Carpenter, while still a grade school lad, was soon making movies with his friends. Having learned filmmaking by watching and studying and finally, mastering the classics of American film, Carpenter ventured further in perfecting his home-made movies. After college, WHERE, there wasn’t a person on campus that hadn’t heard of or seen a comedy or screwball musical movie written, produced, directed and starring the future Movie Man. During his college days, Carpenter decided to take the plunge and do something that he claims “no other fledgling filmmaker would have the nerve to try doing.” That is, Carpenter would raise a budget to recreate a silent comedy as accurate and authentic as if it had been made in the late 1920s.
Fate soon intervened and Carpenter found himself recovering from a serious automobile accident that took place here in Massapequa. That accident would inspire another Carpenter film, Smelling Like A Rose. In the meantime, Carpenter and his father put the finishing touches on a film that was sitting unedited in the family basement. In 2002, Late to Lunch was completed, embarking on a journey that is still ongoing.