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Test Screening - The Anniversary

By Rodney - March 28, 2009 - 18:20 America/Montreal

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing a Test Screening for John Campea’s The Anniversary. The venue we saw it at was upgraded from a friend’s living room to a small local theater called The Staircase which was a little rough around the edges, but just oozed with art house charm, and had an awesome cafe in the front.

We had about 20-25 people in attendance and we nuzzled in the cinema style seats to watch John lay it all out for us. He introduced the film, though most in attendance were well aware of what he was up to lately, and he warned us that audio levels might be rough, as well as some of the lighting issues. Corrections had yet to be applied, so we were forewarned that this is not the final product.

Manolis Zontanos was also in attendance and meeting him was a treat. I spotted him outside the theater, and we had yet to meet so I called out his name and made him feel like he had stalker fans. He should get used to it, this guy is a talented comedian.

Probably one of the funniest moments in the movie was an ad lib where Manolis and Jesse (Dan Callahan - College) are drinking and watching tv and the two of them discuss a number of topics mostly involving anal violations. Their chemistry was perfect and I could have watched 90 minutes of these two just riffing on each other.

In the long run, I think it was a good movie, and I liked it a lot. I won’t be giving it an “official” review, as I think I am too close to it and I don’t think I can remain subjective. I love seeing John’s work and I can feel his signature over the dialogue and the message.

Everyone in attendance seemed to like it as well, and it was worth the night out. I was really worried I would have to tell one of my oldest friends that his movie sucked.

Thankfully I didn’t have to do that.


  1. Matt K says:

    cant wait to see it myself

  2. HAZMAT says:

    Alright! Glad you liked it Rodney!

    Agh i want to see it

    Hopefully itll play in theaters in Florida…

  3. alfie says:


  4. Darren (Alpha) says:

    Alfie, that was hands down the best single-word post comment ever.

  5. Vito says:

    Go John! Congratulations!

  6. robertwolf says:

    I would love to see this flick. Living in Ireland sucks. Hopfully I can order it on DVD someday soon.

  7. Listak says:

    I would have been there if I wasn’t still stuck on set :(

  8. War-Journalist says:

    Yay! Glad to see John on his way. But now he can’t work here anymore, which is sad.

  9. The Best says:

    I can’t wait.

  10. Lars says:

    well, but it really sounds that way (that it sucked)… “I think it was a good movie” doesn’t sound like “damn, that movie was great”.. ahaha, but ya, did expect it would suck too.
    Oh and funny.. “lighting problems”.. correct in the post production.. hilarious, good luck with that :lol:

    • Rodney says:

      Lars, I am not talking about “that light was in the wrong place” problems. There are light and sound corrections that happen during post production.

      I’ve never made a movie, and even I know that much.

      And “good movie” means just that. Because I didn’t rave and pretend this was going to get an Oscar doesn’t mean it sucked.

      I have never been so narrow minded to discard any movie that isn’t the best movie ever. This movie wasn’t perfect, but it was a good movie and I enjoyed it a lot.

      Just like I said in the post.

    • Slushie Man says:

      Wow, since when did ‘It was a good movie’ mean the movie sucked? I must be getting behind in the times or something.

  11. probitionate says:

    I was at the test screening.
    It was an intriguing experience.
    When someone you’re familiar with does something like make a film, you gain a better appreciation for the effort required to bring it to fruition, no matter how ‘good’ the result ends up being.
    Sustaining an audience’s interest, creating a memorable experience of the course of 90-or so minutes is no mean feat. This film proves just how difficult it is.

    There are some absolutely hilarious moments in the film. (I’m the least self-conscious laugher in a cinema; if it’s funny, I howl. And yes, I howled.)
    And it’s really, really easy to see how the dialogue is John’s; it’s got his quite-erudite insight, his light touch…and yet there are some very, very thorny barbs in there: Not Recommended For The Squeamish or The Easily Offended. (Clearly not an issue for most of the people frequenting this site) What’s on the screen was, to my ears, very representative of John. (No, I don’t know him, but I’ve read and heard enough of his words to be able to recognize his signature.)
    So as far as the dialogue goes…I’m not here to review the film because I’m still waiting to provide feedback to John directly…I will say this:

    If you are a fan of Kevin Smith’s films…if you get all damp when his well-known characters launch into the best-constructed, most-evocative, usually-acerbic monologues imaginable…

    …then there are interludes in ‘The Anniversary’ that you will LOVE.

    And I think that’s enough from me for the time being. : )

    Congrats to John for doing what many only dream of doing. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  12. Dragonslayer says:

    Can’t wait to see it.

  13. AARON says:

    Awesome! Glad it was good

  14. Marrisa says:

    My friend brought me to screening. I loved it! It was funny and sweet and was the first comedy like this that I’ve ever seen that seemed to understand women. Can’t wait to see it again.

  15. Seth Rex says:

    Does this film plan to be released on DVD, theaters, or waht? If I like it, I’ll definitely pick it up on Blu-Ray.

    • John says:

      Hey Seth,

      I highly doubt that this movie (made for about 1% of what a normal feature film budget would be) will ever be released in local theaters. But who knows right?

      Our plan right now is to get the movie to distributors and see if one or more of them would like to pick the movie up. Other than that… look for it at film festivals.

    • Matt K says:


      slumdog was meant to be straight to dvd and it released in theatres unless im mistaken, and it even won best picture oscar right? so you really never no, but good luck

  16. shadess says:

    Hoping you’re able to get some dvd’s made and available for order for us international friends!

  17. Matt K says:


    what did u like most about directing your film?

  18. Batman says:

    John / Rodney - I would really like to see the movie. If there’s a way to get a copy on DVD, or see it in a theater, please let me know. Thanks!

  19. Kevin says:

    That sounds really promising, I’m a bit jealous, I hope you don’t mind I didn’t fly from Florida to see it, but I hope to see it soon. I love watching the movie unfinished, sometimes you can see more about what the director was thinking than in the final project.

  20. alfie says:

    i think a little trailer for us would be nice don;t you think folks?

    or maybe an exclusive sneak peak with a little bit of a scene posted here???

    • Rodney says:

      Not a bad idea. I will see if John wants to put something together.

    • John says:

      The problem is we don’t have a trailer. Trailers are not easy things to make… and since most people base their opinions on a movie on the trailer (not that they should or shouldn’t… but they do) we can’t just “slap something together”.

      I eventually want to get a professional who makes trailers to cut one for us… but I won’t be doing it myself.

      Although… we may post a scene from the movie up soon… we’ll see.

    • HAZMAT says:


      John I will fucking make you a trailer

      But it will have screamo music in it

      Or maybe just “My Will be Done” by Unearth

      I hope you dont mind my screamo music.

  21. ButterOnMyPopcorn says:

    I think it is your turn John to fuck a fruit if this film gets picked up.

  22. Freddy says:

    definitely in wish list…:)

  23. Ranting Man says:

    Can’t wait to watch and review the film for myself.

    Be glad to put some stills up on the site John when you release some.

  24. Nate says:

    Congrats, John, I look forward to seeing your film.

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