Michael Bergeron
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Travis Ammons presents Suicide Notes

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Travis Ammons has made a name for himself in both local theater and cinema as a DIY director and actor. Ammons helmed a deliciously bizarre black comedy in 2013 titled Suicide Notes, a tale of ambition, ticket sales and, yes, suicide.

Suicide Notes revolves around a play that ends in the death of the main character, for real, on the stage in front of the audience. Obviously it’s a play that has a very short engagement.

travisA crazy producer, who incidentally goes around nude everywhere (tastefully and humorously shot from above the waist), agrees to take on the production and stages it with three showings, all of which features a different actor because, yup, the lead actor kills himself at the play’s climax. Ammons pulls off the improbable by making a compelling film that pays dividends.

Suffice it to say that each performance of the play unveils new pathways of creative nuance. Ammons shoots each play (and the rehearsal of same) in a cinematic manner that makes you concentrate on the meaning of what is happening. A person is taking their life. And yet there’s a constant series of scenes, mostly comic with tongue planted firmly in cheek, which explains why each person has achieved their present state.

Suicide Notes will unwind in an exclusive screening Monday night, 7 pm., January 25, at the Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park.

Currently Ammons is staging a production of A Streetcar Named Desire for Bayou City Theatrics in March at The Kaleidoscope (705 Main). Previous films directed by Ammons include The Cutting Room (2008) and The Great American Moon Rock Caper (2010). The latter film is based on an actual incident where low-level NASA employees stole moon rocks only to be arrested when they tried to sell them on the internet.

— Michael Bergeron.