A film by
Contact: Dan Sallitt (718) 852-5998
CAST (In order of appearance)
Mimi: Edith Meeks
Michael: Dylan McCormick
Tommy: Peter Joseph
Bartender in NYC: Patricia Villari
Cathy (woman at bar): Sabrina Seidner
Charlotte: Coree Spencer
Mark: Dan Sallitt
Laura: Diane Goldner
Charles: TK Crowley
Hiker in Pa. park: Joseph “Doc” Talipan
Woman in car: Betty Sallitt
Yard sale man: Danny Decker
Bartender in Pa.: Chriss Eichman
Joan (college administator): Renee Bucciarelli
Jeff: James Vidos
Sam: Bennett Golden
Director-Writer: Dan Sallitt
Producers: Alex Morrison and Bill Gerstel
Associate Producer: Robin Burchill
Cinematographer: David S. Park
Editor: Robin Burchill
Assistant Director: Alex Morrison
Gaffer: W. Frank Stubblefield
Sound: Andy Edelman
Makeup/Hair: Claus Lulla
Script Supervisor: Jared Levine
Assistant Camera: Duraid Munajim
Boom Operator: John Egan
Art Directors: Chriss Eichman and Lee Ann Rorex
Costumes: Pat Koschak and Katy Zuker
Assistant Editor: Michael Gitlin
Grip/Electric: Corey Gardos, Matthew Ford, Brent Morrale, Nancy Baric, Joseph “Doc” Talipan, and Christopher Elston
Assistant to the Producers: Linda Glasser
Craft Services: Betty Sallitt and Pat Koschak
Still Photography: Christopher Tiroli
Production Assistants: Grantlin Perkins and Mike Sherman
Film Stock: Eastman Kodak
Dailies: Guffanti Film Labs
Post-Production Sound: Harvestworks
Negative Cutter: Immaculate Matching, Inc.
Title Design: Jessica Shatan
Running time: 90 minutes
Shot in 16 mm
"A tough, artful exploration of marriage, friendship and sex that completely respects its audience, HONEYMOON has real content, and that is what is lacking in most independent films today. It's the only independent film by a new director that I've seen—and I see a lot of films by new directors—that has kept me thinking about it. I'd like to see it again."—Bill Krohn, American correspondent, Cahiers du cinema
"Not many movies are willing or able to hack their way through the tangled, complicated emotional territory of Dan Sallitt's HONEYMOON. This funny, harrowing, lucid movie is so mature about sex and human relations that it puts to shame the bulk of what passes for 'adult' entertainment in American cinema. In its deceptively simple way, HONEYMOON pulls off something quite difficult—namely, the illumination of the divide between expectations and reality in the lives of ordinary people."—Kent Jones, programmer, the Film Society of Lincoln Center
“The dialogue is absolutely wonderful, brilliant, discreet, moving.
This man, Dan Sallitt, has really found his own voice, which is so rare.
Perhaps it is because of the casting of the films, but I couldn't stop
thinking about Bergman. But Bergman's characters need to be incredibly brutal
or cruel or miserable, need to reach an Absolute or the Forbidden to feel
alive. Sallitt paints characters who need—now—to reach some peace to be
back in life. The same archness, same craving for an absolute, but in two
such different ways.”—Arnaud Desplechin, director of Esther Kahn, Kings
and Queen, and My Sex Life... or How I Got Into an Argument
"I was stunned by the verisimilitude of Dan Sallitt's HONEYMOON, which
captures much of the action in long takes at medium distance… HONEYMOON deals with a couple's…desperate hunger for intimacy
in a way that's startlingly direct and unaffected and real."—Scott Tobias,
critic, The Onion"
A mature look at the complex interplay of love and marriage and sex and friendship, of intellect and physical desire… With a remarkably deft economical style, writer-director Dan Sallitt proves that less can be more. Candid and direct… A rewarding look at a loving couple's adjustments to newly-shared sexual intimacy and the sharing of nitty-gritty daily routine."—Vic Skolnick, Huntington International Film Festival
In New York City, Mimi (EDITH MEEKS) and Michael (DYLAN
McCORMICK), in their thirties, are close friends after a brief and unsuccessful
dating interlude years before. Michael has remained in love with Mimi
over the years, but Mimi, who has just broken up with her long-time boyfriend
Tommy (PETER JOSEPH), seems unwilling to try romance with Michael a second
time. The spark between them is kindled again, however, during a weekend
picnic outing, and Mimi, suddenly enthusiastic, proposes to Michael abruptly.
The two marry immediately and head off on a honeymoon to Pennsylvania without
ever having slept with each other.
But the honeymoon goes terribly wrong: an anxious Mimi
draws attention to a sexual hesitation on Michael's part, and in no time
the wedding night becomes a nightmare of recriminations, with Michael unable
to perform sexually and Mimi feeling blamed and lashing out defensively.
Over the next few days, the couple tries to get past their problems, but Michael's
sexual anxiety and Mimi's defensive reactions prove a deadly combination,
and before long the marriage is hanging by a thread.
When all seems lost, Mimi wanders off by herself for
an afternoon and finds the resolve to try to break the vicious circle. Using
her academic training to help her plan an appropriate response to every
conceivable difficulty, she begins the process of healing the rifts in the
relationship. Michael eventually responds, and within a few days the couple's
emotional and sexual lives are much improved.
After the honeymoon, Michael and Mimi return to New York
and begin the process of moving in together and resuming normal life. Though
the couple does not speak of it, it now seems that Michael's idealistic love
for Mimi has become more tentative, whereas the formerly reticent Mimi now
loves Michael passionately.
Dan Sallitt, Director-Writer
HONEYMOON is Dan Sallitt’s second feature project. In 1985, he shot the feature comedy POLLY PERVERSE STRIKES AGAIN! on 3/4" video at EZTV Video Center in Los Angeles. POLLY was exhibited at EZTV in 1986.
Sallitt received a B.A. from Harvard in 1976 and an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from UCLA in 1979. He began working as a film critic for the Los Angeles Reader in 1980, and was the paper's film editor and first-string critic from 1983 to 1985. He also reviewed films for the Chicago Reader during that period. A scholarly article he wrote on Hitchcock was published in Wide Angle magazine in 1980, and he wrote an essay on Alan Rudolph for the Toronto Festival of Festivals’ 10 TO WATCH series in 1985. He has also written for Slate, Senses of Cinema, and Chemical Imbalance.
Since 1987 Sallitt has worked in the computer industry,
where he earned the money used to make HONEYMOON. His
most recent movie, ALL THE SHIPS AT SEA, was shot in the summer of 2002 and
first shown publicly in 2004.
Sallitt can be reached at sallitt at post dot harvard dot edu.
Alex Morrison, Producer
Alex Morrison is a database project manager and computer
sciences teacher in NYC. HONEYMOON is her first
film as producer. She can be reached at amorr at
earthlink dot net.
Bill Gerstel, Producer
Bill Gerstel is a full-time musician
who has played drums in the bands 3 Teens Kill 4 (No Motive), the Mad Scene,
Spongehead, Raving Noah, Pinataland, and Regular Einstein. HONEYMOON is his first film production; he can be reached
at mrping at earthlink dot net.
David S. Park, Director of Photography
HONEYMOON was David Park’s debut feature as director of photography; his second feature was John Hussar’s BLUR OF INSANITY. His television work includes several shows for MTV and a four-month stint in China filming giant pandas for National Geographic. Park has shot music videos for the Ben Folds Five, Ween, and Lida Husik, and commercials for Burger King and Nicole Miller Fashions. He can be reached at parkfoto at earthlink dot.net.
Robin Burchill, Editor-Associate Producer
Robin Burchill is an editor for Chemistry, a NYC video
postproduction company. Before that, she was an
editor at Consulate from 1992 to 2002. She has edited
music videos for Cheap Trick, Joan Osborne, Mariah Carey, Edie Brickell,
and Deee-Lite, and commercials for AT&T, Coca-Cola, MTV, Sony, MCI,
ESPN, Converse, and Loreal. The directors she has
worked with include Larry Clark, Gus Van Sant, Steve Buscemi, and Matthew
Harrison; she was the Avid editor on Harrison’s feature RHYTHM THIEF and
edited his short film I’LL MAKE YOU EAT ROSES. Her
television work includes a segment of the MTV program “Ain’t Nuthin’ but
a She Thing.” She can be reached at robin at chemistryny
Edith Meeks (Mimi)
Edith Meeks had the top-billed role in Todd Haynes’ POISON,
winner of the Sundance Festival’s Grand Prize in 1991. She
has also appeared in Haynes’ SAFE, Russ Hexter’s DADETOWN, Michael Gitlin’s
BERENICE, and Peter Coston’s THE SNOW FIELD. Meeks
has performed with the Actors Theatre of Louisville, the People's Light &
Theatre Company, Sharon Stage, the HB Playwright's Foundation, and the Circle
Repertory Lab. She has taught acting at the HB Studio,
the New School, Hunter College, and Swarthmore College, and is currently
serving as the director of HB Studio. Meeks has a
B.A. from Yale University. She can be reached at edimeeks
at aol dot com.
Dylan McCormick (Michael)
Dylan McCormick is a founding member of the Orchard Theatre
Company, where he serves as a director. His feature
film FOUR-LANE HIGHWAY premiered at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival. He can be reached at dmc45 at aol dot com.
HONEYMOON, written and directed by Dan Sallitt, is the
story of Mimi and Michael, in their thirties, who marry suddenly after years
of friendship and go on their honeymoon without having had a physical relationship.
The honeymoon turns into a nightmare of sexual failure and conflict, which
the couple seems powerless to resolve.
Edith Meeks, best known for her role as the mother in
Todd Haynes’ POISON, plays the leading role of Mimi, who both fuels the
conflict with her anxiety and makes the most concerted effort to preserve
the marriage. Making his feature debut in the role
of Michael, Mimi’s idealistic admirer who is badly bruised by the marital
warfare, is Dylan McCormick, founder and director of the Orchard Theatre Company.
HONEYMOON tells the story of a relationship through the
evolution of the couple’s sexual life. “It’s still
rare for films to make the connection between sex and the rest of the characters’
lives,” says Sallitt. “American films in particular
tend to compartmentalize sex--the male and female lead are back on the trail
of the bad guy the next morning as if they had never exchanged bodily fluids.” The film’s set piece is the ten-minute wedding night scene,
in which the couple’s first-night jitters gradually transform into distance,
then hostility and despair. “The idea,” says Sallitt,
“was to make a scene so grueling that it polluted everything else in the
The film tells the story of the traumatic honeymoon from
the perspective of Mimi, whose sensitivity to perceived criticism causes her
to lash out at all the wrong times. “Audiences beg Mimi not to do the things
she does, and some people withdraw their sympathy,” says Sallitt. “But you have to stay sympathetic to her to see the film
the way it was intended. Her personality doesn’t
work the way she wants it to--but that’s the way we all are, to a greater
or lesser extent.”
Sallitt, a former film critic for the Los Angeles Reader, financed HONEYMOON with $60,000 that he earned as a
technician in the computer industry. Shooting took
place in the summer of 1996, with the honeymoon scenes shot at Sallitt’s
parents’ cottage at Sylvan Lake in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and the city
scenes on location in New York City. Principal photography
was completed in nineteen days. “I’m definitely not
a one-take director--I think we shot at a 7:1 ratio, which is high for
a low-budget film,” says Sallitt. “But we stuck to
our cutting continuity, and I don’t shoot coverage, so I got away with doing
the number of takes I needed and was still able to make a three-week schedule.” The completed film contains only 230 shots, giving it
a much more leisurely editing pace than most films.
An online diary of the film’s production and post-production,
covering more than two years, can be found at: