CFS: ‘Getting Off’ by Villanova alumna

Conor Chemidlin

Little did Julie Lynch know when she took an acting class during her senior year at Villanova University that she would discover a new love and a bold new career path.

Although Lynch graduated in 1983 with a degree in accounting and worked several years for Lehman Brothers, she eventually gave up her career on Wall Street to follow her true calling in the cinematic world.

Lynch appeared in about 20 films before deciding to step behind the camera and pursue directing.

The aspiring filmmaker wasted no time, writing the screenplay for “Getting Off,” her directorial debut, in only two months.

Before Lynch could tell her story on the silver screen, she spent three years learning and perfecting the intricate art of filmmaking.

During this time, she teamed up with director Lizzie Borden (recently featured in the Cultural Film and Lecture series with her controversial film “Working Girls”) to further develop and fine-tune her script.

After campaigning vigorously with producer Gil Holland to raise $10,000 for production costs, “Getting Off” was set to film on location in Manhattan during the summer of 1997.

The end result was an honest film that highlights many of the anguishes and personal problems that came to light during the 1990s.

Members of the cast of “Getting Off” deliver truly believable performances that draw the viewers into the characters’ world and hold them captive for the duration of the film.

Christine Harnos flawlessly portrays the lead character Josie, who is haunted by inner demons brought by her struggle with alcoholism and sexual addiction.

Harnos may be recognizable from her role in “Silence of the Lambs” or her stretch on “Grey’s Anatomy.”

The dialogue in “Getting Off” is real and brutally honest, and Lynch admits that many exchanges were influenced by her own true life experiences.

This well-directed film has none of the flaws so common in other directional debuts. “Getting Off” is well choreographed and features remarkable footage of New York City.

This latest installment of the Spring 2009 Villanova Cultural Film and Lecture series will be shown this weekend in the Connelly Cinema: Saturday, March 28 at 7 p.m., Sunday, March 29 at 3:30 and 7 p.m. and Monday, March 30 at 7 p.m.

At the Monday screening only, the series will feature Lynch to introduce her film and lead discussion afterwards.

Lynch grew up in Berwyn and attended Conestoga High School. Her mother, Joan D. Lynch, is professor emeritus in Villanova’s communication department and founded the CFS.