Imagine this: You're running around Central Park on your lunch break when you catch a glimpse of candy pink silk out of the corner of your eye. Slowing your pace, you take out your AirPods and go over to investigate, only to find a man, bare-chested in a ruffly dress and a Sunday service hat, sitting in a fold out chair and singing to the turtles, all while feeding them some Oscar Meyer weiners with a stick. It is, undoubtedly, a sight to behold.
The latest installment in Matt Starr's whimsical anthology documenting the lives of fascinating fictional New Yorkers, Lunch Time is a short film starring Nick Laughlin as a Mary Poppins-esque character, who uses his lunch breaks to revel in his love of Hello, Dolly! and feed mystery meats to the Central Park turtles.
"I had this image in my head of a man in a dress, fishing in Central Park for 2 years and needed to see it," as Starr explained. "I'd visit Central Park everyday looking for this man but never found him so I had to make it myself."
Succumbing to this vision, the NYC artist went on to write, produce and direct the short, enlisting Laughlin as the main character, because he knew that "Nick used to go fishing, wears beautiful dresses and can sing."
"So he was the perfect person," Starr added.
As such, the product is a delightfully odd peep into the life of a kind and curious figure, who is as irreverent as he is idiosyncratic, much like the people in Starr's other shorts. Because as collaborator Anthony Caronna put it, Lunch Time paints a picture of a "sweet and incredibly wholesome" personality that gives the Central Park pigeon-feeders a run for their money.
“It’s just everything I want and everything I need in a short," Caronna continued. "I love them. It feels like Matt has made this wildly wholesome film for adult children."
Watch Lunch Time, below.
Direction, production, writing and editing: Matt Starr
Cinematography: Henry Zaballos
Original score: Connor Duffy
Costuming: Nick Laughlin
Titles: Zack Roif
Photo courtesy of Matt Starr