A group of urban women defy expectations with their after-hours hobby when their book club morphs into something a little bit more satisfying.
Writer/director/co-producer: Kate Yorga
Co-producer: Sarah Siddons
I grew up watching Westerns and always identified with the cowboy riding off into the sunset – not with the little woman left behind keeping the home fire burning.
I was re-watching Fight Club and realized, “Yeah, men are doers and fighters while women are coached to be talkers, like in book clubs.”
At the time I was not in a book club and thought, “I’d want my book club to be more like Fight Club.”
Where Fight Club had men in a dark and violent environment, Book Club was purposefully shot in contrast as competitively upbeat using warm, golden lighting, a cozy living room and the ladies in pastel attire.
This was done as both the antithesis of Fight Club and as a symbolic nod to the women being buoyant and positive about doing something strong and physical in their own secret world.
Another film that informed what I wanted for Book Club is Mr. & Mrs. Smith, with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as married assassins who have been hired to do a hit on each other.
While they do actually beat each other up, with Ms. Jolie giving as good as she gets, the film doesn’t stray into the territory of wife brutality. Part of it is the great choice of music and its lyrics, a terrific bubbly old funk song called Express Yourself.
The comedy is also mined by some of the physicality being hidden or more imagined, i.e. when Mr. Pitt viciously kicks Ms. Jolie, she is behind a couch so the audience only sees his leg movements, until she counters with a kick to his groin. Winner: Ms. Jolie!
The fighting in Book Club was shot in a similar way, so it was about the swings, items being broken, tumbles and the aftermath – after all, our imaginations are often greater than reality.
The terrific acting and great score by composer William Kingswood knocked it out of the park.
I am now part of a fabulous book club and we haven’t resorted to fisticuffs … yet.
About Kate Yorga
Kate’s love of film goes back to a childhood raised on a ranch in rural Saskatchewan watching black-and-white classics on late-night television or seeing films at the local Dreamland Theatre. The first film she ever saw? The Wizard of Oz at the age of four.
Her films have screened at various film festivals including: Palm Springs International ShortFest (CA), WIFT-T Annual Short Film Showcase (ON), Holly Shorts Film Festival (CA), Hill Country Film Festival (TX), Action on Film International Film Festival (CA) and the Toronto Independent Film Festival (ON).
Film gives Kate a chance to marry her three loves – words, pictures and music – to write and direct stories for screens big and small.
Book Club, an action/comedy short film satire of Fight Club, was her directorial debut.
Her second film, When It Is Dark, is a dramatic short live-action/animation work of magical realism exploring the afterlife. She also was also a second unit director on the David Cronenberg: Evolution – Body/Mind/Change multi-platform video.
Her dramtic live-action script First Gear was one of only eight selected for the 2014 Women on Screen Short Screenplay Incubator.
She has worked as an actor, production assistant, locations coordinator, prop assistant, distribution trafficker, producer at a film-funding agency and programmer for an international film festival.