VIFF: Feel-Bad Comedy LAWRENCE & HOLLOMAN With Ben Cotton & Daniel Arnold

The feel-bad comedy of the year.

Coming off Edmonton International Film Festival wins for Best Canadian Feature, Rising Star Award: Filmmmaking (Matthew Kowalchuk) and Rising Star Award: Acting (Ben Cotton), feel-bad comedy Lawrence & Hollowman debuted at the Vancouver International Film Festival last night to waves of laughter and some cringing at Lawrence’s escalating injuries.

Adapted from a play by Morris Panyche, Lawrence & Hollowman is a darkly funny, sometimes insane buddy comedy about Lawrence (Ben Cotton), a boundlessly-optimistic lewd-and-crude department store suit salesman for whom everything goes right – until he meets Holloman (Daniel Arnold), a suicidal credit collector and malcontent. Suddenly everything goes wrong for Lawrence. Very wrong indeed.

Production Still from Lawrence & Holloman

Daniel Arnold & Ben Cotton. Production Still from Lawrence & Holloman

Lawrence & Holloman the play is just the two actors on stage together, with each scene marking a new injury for Lawrence. Director Matthew Kowalchuk took their story on location — with added characters like Katherine Isabelle’s “lesbo” —  to make it work as his first feature film.

The director’s worst day on set? Turns out it wasn’t his cameo as a dumpster diver,  but a Lawrence dreamscape shot in the rain and the wind. Blue sky had to be added in post-production.

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Locals will recognize exteriors of the department store as the Hudson’s Bay downtown. Lawrence (Ben Cotton) practically skips down Seymour Street and into the Gotham Steak House bar, followed grudgingly by Holloman (Daniel Arnold).

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Creative team, cast and crew on stage at the RIO theatre.

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Catch the next screening at 3:45 p.m. on October 9th at the SFU Woodward’s theatre.  And watch for what one audience member called the “funniest gun shot since Pulp Fiction”.  Lawrence & Holoman earned runnerup status in VIFF’s  online #mustseeBC contest for BC filmmakers. 

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