From Cabbage Patch kids to Cannes
May 30, 2008
The last time actress and nascent filmmaker Alexandra Fulton performed at the Egyptian Theatre, she was a little girl. "I was a Cabbage Patch kid," she said. "I wasn’t very fabulous."
Since attending Park City High School, Fulton has acquired a certain degree of shine, if not fabulousness. She has lived in India, Russia and Boston, among other places. She earned her Masters in Fine Arts in theater from Harvard University and moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
Now, Fulton may be on her way home.
Her three-minute movie, "Omgasm," won praise and more than a few laughs at the Cannes Film Festival last week.
The next step for Fulton is to take her yoga-inspired satire on the road. She’s applying to the Palm Springs Film Festival and the Rhode Island International Film Festival. But there’s one festival that matters most to her. "If I don’t get into Sundance I’m going to be so mad," she said. "I AM Sundance. I’ve been sneaking into parties at Sundance since I could walk."
Fulton has acted in 20 or so short films, but "Omgasm" was the first movie in which she wrote, directed and starred. "When you get out into the real world, you play nurses and detectives," she said. "It’s great, and I don’t want to sound negative, but your creative impulses come from someone else. With Omgasm, I got to be the person to generate the creativity rather than waiting to be chosen."
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"Omgasm" is about a woman, played by Fulton, who fantasizes about a man in her yoga class. The film cuts between the yoga studio and an exotic Garden of Eden. In the real world, Fulton’s character, Daisy, is timid and inexperienced, but in the world of her desires, Daisy is as limber as a pretzel. She wraps and gyrates in meditative bliss around her all-blue beau, played by Adam Pena, who is painted to look like a Hindu god in the film. Together, Daisy and her man are like two eels learning Kama Sutra.
"It was funny on the set because his wife was right there and she’s nine months pregnant," Fulton said. "And I’m like squatting over her husband wearing nothing."
Viewers say one of the most impressive parts of the movie are the yoga poses. "She looks so beautiful and she’s so talented," Fulton’s mom, Diane Swaner, said. Swaner still lives in Park City, where she has worked as a teacher. "She’s been meditating since she was 12 years old." She is also credited with being an executive producer of the film.
"She paid some of my credit card bills so I wouldn’t get penalties," Fulton said.
Fulton attended Park City High School for her sophomore year and spent the next three years at a Hindu school in Fairfield, Iowa, studying Sanskrit and meditation.
"Omgasm" is dedicated to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who died in shortly before Fulton started making the film in March. "It’s maybe a little racy for him," she said. "But I’m sure he’d like it. It’s all love."
The Maharishi is credited with founding the Maharishi University of Management in Iowa and bringing a new brand of transcendental meditation to the United States. "All of this has been like this creative adventure," Fulton said. "It was this weird drive to create. It’s a way of showing everything that moves me. It’s a representation of me."
Fulton studied in India for six months after graduating from high school. Today, she uses the skills she learned to teach yoga. "It’s my day job," she said. "So when I made the movie it was on my brain. It was like I was channeling someone else."
The 20-year-old blonde didn’t have long to meditate on the project. She filmed it at the end of March. Two weeks later, she sent it to Cannes for review. "It happened really fast, too fast in my opinion," she said. "I didn’t study film. I studied acting, so it was all new to me."
Fulton had to scramble to put together an electronic press kit and other publicity necessities before leaving for France in mid-May. "Being there is absolutely amazing," she said. "You’re like sitting right by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Madonna. You just feel so much closer to your dreams."
"Omgasm" came into being after she and her friends decided to make three minute movies. "We had to make a non-nudity, non-pornographic pornography," she laughed.
The final product is sensual, Fulton said, but not explicit. She wears the golden accessories of a goddess and the scant clothing of a belly dancer. "I designed all the costumes," she said.
The group chose a beginning and ending shot for each filmmaker. Fulton had to figure out how to incorporate a measuring stick at the beginning of the film and a shot of men’s underwear at the end of the film. The result is a playful, funny piece, Fulton said, that earned her positive feedback at Cannes. "People really liked it," she said. "They laughed a lot."
Fulton said she is working on the script for a feature film. "It’s called the Fro," she said. "It’s a folk-rock opera based on original music. It sort of fits with my aesthetic."
She plans to apply for a spot in the Sundance Film Festival in September.
To watch the trailer, go to http://www.omgasmthemovie.com .
To learn more about Alexandra, go to alexandrafulton.com.