"You (Plural)," A Film Adaptation of James Joyce’s "Ulysses," "Hamlet," and Homer’s "Odyssey," Launches on Kickstarter

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The You (Plural) feature film takes classic novels and adapts them to the modern world

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Novels, such as James Joyce’s "Ulysses," "Hamlet" and Homer’s "Odyssey," are classic works of literature that are loved by many. These famous stories have captivated many with their compelling plots, infamous lessons and powerful morals. Unfortunately, the power of these inspirational books is lost on high school students and younger generations. However, a new feature film on Kickstarter from "You (Plural)" is taking these beloved novels, and adapting them to become more relatable in today’s modern world.

"You (Plural)" is a feature film, pursuing crowdfunding on Kickstarter, which takes Joyce’s "Ulysses" as a primary source. The film also attends to Joyce’s inspirational sources for "Ulysses," "Hamlet" and "The Odyssey" and adapts them in a modern setting that revitalizes Joyce’s groundbreaking stream-of-consciousness technique, and brings to life Joyce’s many stylistic innovations. Whereas "Ulysses" is an homage to all arts before the 20th century, "You (Plural)" also pays homage to all literature, cinema, classical, jazz, and popular music and the fine arts of the 20th century.

This experimental film has one male and one female play every role simultaneously with more than 100 distinct characters. Ian Forester ("In Memoriam," "The Web," "Glint") will be playing the lead.

"You (Plural)" follows Will Burghardt (Stephen, Hamlet, Telemachos), Ulysses Bloom (Leopold, Claudius, Odysseus) and Marian Penelope Wright (Molly, Gertrude, Penelope) throughout one long summer day in Fresno, CA. Will, the adopted brother of Ulysses, must navigate between accepting his mother’s recent passing and tolerating insensitive roommates while stoking his nascent alcoholism. Ulysses and Marian, engaged five years ago but separated after their son, Rudy, died eleven days after he was born, left Fresno to pursue doctorates on opposite sides of the country. They haven’t spoken nor returned to their hometown until this day. Throughout the day, Ulysses meets a variety of characters he’d rather not, is involved in a high-speed chase, visits the grave of his son, is almost pulverized by a one-eyed man’s friend, watches his drunk adopted brother get knocked out by an Iraq veteran and finally has a showdown against the suitors at Elsinore.

Beyond adapting the three primary works, "You (Plural)" is as an homage to all the arts of the 20th century, citing more than 500 works. The film chronologically comments, alludes to and plays recordings of seminal pieces by Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Cage, Stockhausen, Glass and Golijov. The “Hades” section charts the evolution of German Expressionism to Film Noir to Gangster cinema primarily by recreating shot-for-shot scenes from more than twenty movies. In the “Oxen” chapter, "You (Plural)" sketches the entire history of dramatic cinema, alluding to more than seventy auteurs or well over two hundred films. The “Stendhal Syndrome” chapter visualizes works by artists from the futurist, surrealist, pop art, abstract expressionist movements, &c. “Wandering Rocks: The Campus Novel,” includes scenes from works by Virginia Woolf, John Barth, Don DeLillo, Philip Roth, and others. Besides quoting from ten other works by Shakespeare and every work by James Joyce, there are allusions and adaptations from works by Samuel Beckett, Thomas Pynchon, Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace, and many more.

David Vaipan makes his directorial feature-film debut with You (Plural). David is a 24 year old filmmaker who has written, directed, and edited more than 70 movies, or more than sixteen hours of completed projects, which have ranged from comedy and drama shorts to long-form social and political satire, documentaries and film essays, music videos ranging from hip-hop to avant-garde electroacoustic music, and experimental films influenced by international avant-garde cinema. Of one of his most recent films, the experimental Seizure (2011, 31min), award-winning filmmaker and author at Candlelight Stories, Alessandro Cima, wrote, “This is one of the most magnificent films I have seen in years … [a] relentless and fully-committed scream of artistic intent, desire, confusion, effort and love.” His work has been shown at art galleries in Chicago. David received his B.A. in English, magna cum laude, from California State University, Fresno and is currently working on his M.A. in literature at San Francisco State University.

Ian Forester is an award-winning director, actor, and producer who was principally involved in over 50 films and productions in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In 2009 director Stephen Cone (winner of Outfest's Grand Jury awards for Best Dramatic Feature and Best Screenplay) tapped Ian to play the lead in his feature film, In Memoriam. Roger Ebert praised Ian's performance, saying "Forester is particularly effective in finding the right notes for his sorrow, which is not personal but existential." In 2010 he played the lead in Michael John Garce’s play, The Web, which was featured in a cover story for American Theater magazine. In 2011 Ian premiered G.O.Ne (nee Glint), his solo adaptation of David Foster Wallace's short story “Good Old Neon,” to acclaim from critics and audiences alike. In 2012 Ian remounted the 80 minute monologue at The Actors' Gang as part of a Culver City Performing Arts Grant, and plans to perform it annually for the next 9 years. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and The School at Steppenwolf, and currently serves as the Co-Artistic Director of Needtheater.

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David Vaipan