The Block Island Times

Rhode Island-made film to premiere

Features islander Rich Tretheway
By Lars Trodson | Jan 22, 2014
Courtesy of: Scorpio Film Releasing Islander Rich Tretheway, at left, appears in a still from the new film, “Normal,” which is premiering on Jan. 26. With him is actor Michael Reed.

Scorpio Film Releasing, the prolific Rhode Island feature film production company, announces the premiere of its latest motion picture, “Normal,” which features Block Island resident Rich Tretheway. Tretheway has been a long-time collaborator of Richard Griffin, the founder of Scorpio.

The premiere of this feature-length thriller is on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 at Cinemaworld in Lincoln, R.I. It is the work of Griffin and award-winning playwright and screenwriter Lenny Schwartz.

Tretheway said he first got involved with Griffin in 2007. “I took a lead in a film called ‘Zombie Allegiance’ and Richard was the director of photography and that’s where I met him. After that film, I got a call from Richard saying that he had a crazy idea for a movie and the lead character was a woman named Mama Rizzo and he said, ‘I want you to play her,’ and I agreed. It sort of went on from there.”

“Since then, I’ve directed Rich in seven features, and three short films... and he always brings something fresh and unique to his characters,” said Griffin. “Not only that, he is extremely professional, hardworking and always comes to the set with a good attitude. I’m honored to continue our relationship with ‘Normal,’ where Rich delivers another bravura performance!”

Scorpio Film Releasing is fresh off its success with “Murder University,” a satirical homage to horror flicks of the 1980s. “Murder University” and other Scorpio properties enjoy national as well as international distribution. Griffin asserts that “Normal” is a departure for Scorpio; it is contemporary, and written more in the vein of a psychological thriller.

According to a press release, “Normal” is about Jim, a lonely, troubled young man who works as an apartment superintendent. Unfortunately, Jim keeps reliving his tortured past. Through a series of flashbacks, and interactions with his mysterious tenants, we not only learn of Jim’s dark secrets, but also what it means to be “normal.” The answers Jim finds in his journey shatter his perceptions of the past, as well as his fragile grip on reality.

Griffin and Schwartz hatched the idea for the film late one night. Schwartz, fueled by the grief, anger and pain of losing his father some time ago, wrote constantly for three months. “I couldn’t shake it when it was done” says Schwartz. “Part of me still can’t. Part of me still feels like I’m stuck in that movie script.” Griffin drew from his own pain and losses of the past to help shape the film.

Both Griffin and Schwartz are thrilled that local actors, now enjoying careers in Los Angeles, are leads in the film: Michael Reed and Sarah Nicklin. Many other talented local actors and filmmakers are part of the team as well, including Rhode Islanders Michael Thurber, Elyssa Baldassarri, Shannon Hartman, and Patrick Keeffe.

Tretheway said he acted when he was younger, but only got back into it in 2004. “I did a movie on Block Island (‘Island Bound’), because they couldn’t find anybody to play the local island guy,” said Tretheway, who has lived on Block Island since 1991. “I liked it and enjoyed it and since the then I’ve had plenty of work.”

Tretheway has been involved in 32 films in some capacity in the past decade. Principal photography on another Scorpio production, “Future Justice,” which features Tretheway, has just been completed.

“Normal” premieres at Cinemaworld in Lincoln RI on Jan. 26, 2014. There are two showings at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 each.

The trailer for Normal can be found here:

Comments (1)
Posted by: Barbara Temple | Jan 26, 2014 11:54

I very much enjoyed being an extra in the film, along with Pete Monje, who showed me the ropes of how to act in the background as though we were talking and ordering food without actually making noise.  Pete had done commercials when he was a kid, so he put me right at ease.  I wish Rich all the luck in the world!


Barbara Temple

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