Alia Shawkat, Natasha Lyonne, Adam Green, and the genie Francesco Clemente
This Spring Adam Green—brilliantly oddball solo star, painter/sculptor, and formerly one half of The Moldy Peaches—will release his latest ambitious project: a feature length film titled Adam Green's Aladdin (which VICE first reported on way back when he was still drumming up funding). Keen to find out what the hell Green was up to, Noisey visited the Brooklyn movie set for several days back in the sticky summer of 2014. We had no idea we were about to walk into an insanely awesome, papier-mâché world of crazy. Green was in the midst of shooting a pretty bananas selection of scenes which variously involved actors Macaulay Culkin, Natasha Lyonne, and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Developement), musicians like Regina Spektor and Andrew VanWyngarden from MGMT, and even acclaimed Italian artist Francesco Clemente. And that's just the beginning of the lengthy cast list comprised of Green's buddies from the film, music, and art worlds, all of whom came together to make his long-incubated vision a technicolor, super surreal reality. Let's just say it's a huge step on from the 2011 iPhone-shot, brain-bending ketamine movie The Wrong Ferrari (which also featured Culkin).
Adam Green's Aladdin is not simply a standalone film—Green has composed the entire soundtrack, which will be released as an album and extensively toured, plus he's curating a host of international art shows where you'll be able to submerge yourself in his otherwordly sets. Seriously he constructed and painted everything—from the tables, to the throne, to the guillotine, to the camel. It's nuts! First up is an exhibit Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland on January 22nd. (Click here for more information.)
Of course this being an Adam Green production, it's not some flaccid remake of the classic Aladdin tale. Really, it's best described in his own words, which he does below. Here's what he had to say about the project, plus we're premiering the very first teaser for the movie along with exclusive stills, so you can see for yourself.
"Ciao Paesanos, It’s your old folk-singing friend Adam Green! If you’ve wondered why you haven’t seen me around lately snorting rails in your local bathroom stalls, it’s because I’ve been working on the creative project of a lifetime called Adam Green’s Aladdin.
"It’s my own version of Aladdin wherein the lamp is a 3D printer, the princess is a decadent socialite like a Kardashian, and the planet gets a sex change. It’s a feature film, it’s a soundtrack album, it’s a massive NYC community art-project, and it’s going to be a world tour that will begin in spring of this year!
"The movie is set entirely inside a papier-mâché world. Filmed in a massive Brooklyn warehouse, we constructed a papier-mâché painted universe where real actors could act as if they were inside a real-life cartoon. The goal was to make a sort of Wizard of Oz out of cardboard. We constructed 500 props and 30 rooms all out of phone books, newspapers, glue, and house-paint. n a way it felt like we were constructing an analogue version of the internet.
"There’s a lot of incredible actors and musicians that you will recognize in the film. It stars Macaulay Culkin, Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is the New Black), Bip Ling, and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development). The great painter Francesco Clemente plays the Genie. As well, you will see many NYC musicians including Devendra Banhart, Andrew Van Wyngarden, Rodrigo Amarante, Regina Spektor, Zoe Kravitz, and Har Mar Superstar all acting in this movie!
"In the upcoming months I’ll be getting you guys more info about when the Aladdin album is gonna come out, how you can see this damn movie, and when I will be coming to your town on the Aladdin tour. And I wanted to formally announce the project today by sharing with you guys a little 60 second announcement with some clips from the movie so you can start to see what is going on inside my brain these days!! I’m so excited for 2016 and to put this out! Thanks 4 reading x AG"
Macaulay and Alia
Alia, Adam, and Natasha
Adam and Bip Ling
Luke Rathborne (in the chair), Jack Dishel (in orange)
Some notable cast members!
Har Mar Superstar
Andrew VanWyngarden (MGMT)
Zoe Kravitz (Lolawolf)
Rodrigo Amarante (Little Joy)
Binki Shapiro (Little Joy)
Toby Goodshank (Moldy Peaches)
Alix Brown (Bass Bosco Del Rey)
Chris Egan (Drummer Solange, Blood Orange)
Macaulay Culkin (Pizza Underground)
Parker Kindred (Drummer Jeff Buckley, Joan As Policewoman)
Matt Hitt (Drowners)
Michael Cummings (Skaters)
Penn Badgely (MXTHR)
Devon Church (Exit Music)
Lyla Vander (Bad Girlfriend)
Jack Dishel (Only Son, Moldy Peaches)
For pics search #adamgreensaladdin on Instagram and for more details about the project in general click here.