Local film ‘Fat’ gets Coolidge premiere

Mark Phinney has been waiting years for the release of "Fat." The local director made the movie in Massachusetts in 2012. In 2013, it played at the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2014, it was shown as part of the Independent Film Festival Boston. This year, it got distribution. It will be available on iTunes as of Dec. 15, and Phinney will appear at a screening and Q&A at the Coolidge Corner Theatre on Tuesday night.

Phinney said he plans totalk about what inspired the movie, which follows an unhealthy man (Mel Rodriguez) who must deal with his addiction to food. He'll also probably field some questions about Rodriguez, whose career has since taken off. After filming "Fat," Rodriguez appeared on HBO's "Getting On" and AMC's "Better Call Saul," and now plays January Jones's on-again-off-again love interest on Will Forte's Fox comedy "The Last Man on Earth." "I met Mel the first week I was living in Los Angeles," Phinney said, of his longtime friend.


Locals who helped out with "Fat" include David Mirabella of the band the Rationales, who has a role in the film, and Mel Lederman, who provided music. Phinney — who lived in LA for more than a decade before returning home to make movies in Massachusetts — said there's also great local scenery that doesn't often make it to the big screen. His filming locations included Medford, Arlington, and former Central Square music spot T.T. the Bear's Place. "To me, Boston is more the streets of Somerville," Phinney said. "We shot in the neighborhoods where we grew up." Tuesday's screening starts at 7.

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