TYPE: Narrative Feature
Adoring Katie is framed by Vladimir Nabokov's classic Lolita, and centers around a novelist who is sent by his fiancée to stay on her family's vineyard in California, where he becomes entranced with his underage soon-to-be niece, Katie. The script explores the struggle of a desire that doesn’t fit the social norm, with a dark but humorous tone.
Adoring Katie centers around a novelist, Christopher, who’s fiancee sends him to stay on her family’s vineyard in Central California to finish up his latest novel after his mumbling habit ruins a business party. Once there he becomes entranced with his underaged, soon-to-be-niece, Katie. He begins to suspect Katie is playing with his sanity when she suggests he read Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita.
The age gap is considerable between Christopher and Katie, yet both find their connection intense and intimate. Meanwhile, his connection with his own fiancée leaves much to be desired. Despite his feelings for Katie, Christopher resists her obvious advances. Embarrassed after a vulnerable moment, Katie finds an opportunity to make him jealous when an old crush from high school, Todd, comes home from college for the summer. Christopher takes the bait and quickly admits his attraction to Katie, along with his fear of what that makes him.
With little supervision and a large vineyard to roam free in together, they quickly forget the outside world and their “real life” obligation. Just as they are getting comfortable with each other, Caroline unexpectedly arrives early, ready to fill the role as “cool aunt” causing the emotions of all involved to become even more complicated.
All at once dramatic and funny, Christopher’s story is remarkably entertaining and ethically fascinating. Can we, rather, should we empathize with Christopher while he marches down his inevitably doomed path? Is Katie a victim or as much to blame for the inappropriate relationship that forms? These characters operate in grey areas where their emotions take charge and force them to make honest decisions about who and what they are. I want to present these complex characters with no judgements. I want to tell the story in such a way that allows the audience to decide what is right, what is wrong, and if that even matters.
The beauty of the script is how natural and real it feels, and that is something I want to bleed through every aspect of the film. Performances will be understated and grounded. Comedy won’t be forced, but will come from the very real awkward tension of the situations. Ironic humor will come from punctuating the film with moments from Lolita. From closeups of specific text to hearing Christopher actually read specific passages, watching his life become Humbert Humbert’s will be a joy. The shadow of Lolita would be difficult to run from, so embracing it as a source of irony in the story will be a fun ‘novelistic’ approach.
Through the use of naturalistic cinematography and a warm color palette, the film will be both intimate and tense reflecting Christopher’s budding and inappropriate relationship with Katie. An ethereal impressionistic approach would be used during flashbacks and dream sequences to illustrate Christopher’s tortured and fractured mind. Backlit, warm, inviting images will allow the audience to get comfortable with Christopher and Katie. In contrast, scenes with Christopher and Caroline will feel cold and removed. You will feel safe and secure with Christopher and Katie even though the relationship that plays on screen becomes complicated, chaotic, and dangerous.
The story is told from Christopher's point of view, so the cinematography and the pacing will support Christopher's performance and arc. As Christopher becomes unhinged and succumbs to Katie's sexuality, the film itself will become a bit unhinged. The shots will become more fluid and tighter, the edits a bit more jarring, like a fever dream.
The use of location will also be vital to the telling of this story. Christopher and Caroline's relationship is on the rocks, and I want their apartment to be closed, cold, and artificially lit. Christopher is stuck physically and mentally, and I want that space that they share to express that by being foreboding and uninviting. The film will open up when Christopher journeys to California and to the vineyards. Open, airy, and sun drenched, the vineyards will offer an immediate change for Christopher. It frees him, allowing him to open up and connect with Katie both emotionally and artistically.
The film will be intimate, immediate, and free of judgment for the characters in it.
--Nardeep Khurmi (Director)
There are no key crew provided
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