by Joseph Culp
We're so proud to welcome the Men's Center Los Angeles as a sponsor of the upcoming Indiegogo Campaign for the new feature film WELCOME TO THE MEN'S GROUP. This powerful comedy/drama opens a window on male vulnerability, community and empowerment.
This groundbreaking film takes us inside the intimate dynamic of an all-male support group when they gather one morning for a ritual breakfast and their unique form of male bonding. One Sunday a month, these eight men refrain from beer and football to sit in a circle where they share their personal issues, in the noble hope of becoming a bit more evolved than their fathers.
On this day, things do not go as planned when one member appears headed for a breakdown, and long-standing conflicts and secrets threaten to destroy the trust between the men. The film delves frankly into themes of male identity, competition, sexuality, and grief.
WELCOME TO THE MEN’S GROUP takes us on an emotional roller-coaster through the often bumpy inner terrain of the male psyche, as we hear the men open up about their lives, sharing truth, telling lies, and revealing secrets they dare not discuss in their lives. The film is largely inspired by the phenomenon of the "Men's Movement" of the past 30 years that was championed by writers like the poet Robert Bly and his bestselling book "IRON JOHN" which explored the need for men to reconnect to their authenticity through storytelling, myth and ritualized gathering.
The film shows the major shift in men's consciousness and the changing attitudes towards traditional models of masculinity that are evolving every day. It is a challenging look at “male vulnerability”. It also uses humor and irreverence to celebrate the zaniness and absurdity of men – “Irreverence is the doorway to the sacred.” Ultimately the film shows a group of flawed men in a noble, painful and outrageously funny struggle to find their authenticity and a sense of community, and invites us, both men and women, to do the same. The film is poised to be a major step in bringing men's group work into the mainstream.
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JOSEPH CULP is the actor, co-writer/director/producer of "Welcome to the Men's Group." The son of actor Robert Culp, he appeared in a recurring role as Archie Whitman, the depression-era father of Jon Hamm's character Don Draper in the critically acclaimed AMC series Mad Men. He was the first actor ever to play Dr. Doom in the first film version of Marvel Comics' The Fantastic Four. He and John Cogswell co-founded the Walking-In-Your-Shoes technique, a body-mind approach, as well as the LA-based Walking Theatre Group. Visit his website wwwjosephculp.com.