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In His Own Words: Joshua Leonard Shares a Scene From His Directorial Debut "The Lie"

By Joshua Leonard | Indiewire November 17, 2011 at 12:33PM

Below indie stalwart Joshua Leonard ("The Blair Witch Project") shares a scene from his first solo directing credit "The Lie." Based on a T.C. Boyle short story that first appeared in the New Yorker, "The Lie" centers on a man who tells a lie to get out of work that inadvertently changes his life. Screen Media opens the film in limited release this Friday, November 18. Here we find Lonnie and Tank, best friends from their college days, both now far too old to be doing bong hits in a Winnebago in the middle of a workday. In all fairness to Tank, the Winnebago is his home, and he’s gone to great lengths to protect his bohemian lifestyle. Therefore, a case could be made that he is not actually shirking any responsibility, because, in fact, he has none. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Lonnie. He has a wife, a job, and has recently become a father… and despite all better judgment, has decided to play hooky from work to do some recording with his old bro (and bandmate). He claims he just needs ‘to take a break from his life’ (and who can’t relate to that?)…. but the way Lonnie goes about this is truly horrendous. And over the course of the film, he’ll be forced to take responsibility for an unforgivable gaffe.
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Sundance Review | Joshua Leonard's "The Lie" Suffers From Uneven Tone
Screen Media Joshua Leonard's "The Lie"

Below indie stalwart Joshua Leonard ("The Blair Witch Project") shares a scene from his first solo directing credit "The Lie." Based on a T.C. Boyle short story that first appeared in the New Yorker, "The Lie" centers on a man who tells a lie to get out of work that inadvertently changes his life. Screen Media opens the film in limited release this Friday, November 18.

Here we find Lonnie and Tank, best friends from their college days, both now far too old to be doing bong hits in a Winnebago in the middle of a workday. In all fairness to Tank, the Winnebago is his home, and he’s gone to great lengths to protect his bohemian lifestyle. Therefore, a case could be made that he is not actually shirking any responsibility, because, in fact, he has none. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Lonnie. He has a wife, a job, and has recently become a father… and despite all better judgment, has decided to play hooky from work to do some recording with his old bro (and bandmate). He claims he just needs ‘to take a break from his life’ (and who can’t relate to that?)…. but the way Lonnie goes about this is truly horrendous. And over the course of the film, he’ll be forced to take responsibility for an unforgivable gaffe.


When Lonnie gets the munchies and asks Tank about eating some of his ‘Face Food’, he’s referring to the raw materials that Tank plans to use for his startup organic facial care line -- “A beauty product you can literally eat”. Tank’s reticence to let Lonnie eat ‘even half an avocado’ is due to the fact that he’s been struggling to find equity investors to bankroll his company, and avocados are quite expensive.

Whereas "The Lie" as written in the original source material (T.C. Boyle’s brilliant eponymous short story, first published in the New Yorker in 2009) refers to the BIG lie that Lonnie tells, which becomes the inciting incident to the plot, "The Lie" also represents the many brands of half-truths that our characters have fallen prey to. The film posits that it’s often the seemingly minor omissions, which, over the course of time, can poison a relationship and lead to the more damaging overt lies like the one Lonnie tells.

In this scene, however, it’s Tank who is omitting truth -- as pertains to the girl’s underwear Lonnie sees on his floor. We won’t find out why until the end of the film, but it ultimately shows that even the most free-spirited among us, often have something to hide.

This article is related to: The Lie, Sundance Film Festival, Joshua Leonard, Video: In Their Own Words, Features






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