#381: KJ Rothweiler
John Frusciante, Viewing Life As A Bonus Round, Terence Davies, and more.
Perfectly Imperfect is a newsletter offering “A Taste of Someone’s Taste” from guests like Charli XCX, John Cale, Julian Casablancas, Lena Dunham, Mac Demarco, Dasha Nekrasova, Weyes Blood, Tim Heidecker, Ayo Edebiri, Michael Imperioli, Rayne Fisher-Quann, Mel Ottenberg, Chloe Cherry, Matty Matheson, Anna Delvey, The Dare, Caroline Calloway, Snail Mail, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked KJ Rothweiler to share a taste of his taste on Perfectly Imperfect.
KJ Rothweiler is a New York City-based filmmaker, podcaster, and musician. Nearly three years ago, KJ did an anonymous Perfectly Imperfect feature (#59) as “Ion 2” with Curtis Everett Pawley as “Ion 1,” the two not-yet-revealed hosts of the influential podcast The Ion Pack. In 2016, KJ and longtime collaborator Rebekah Sherman-Myntti co-founded the independent entertainment company Simone Films where they produce films + shows like Alexi Wasser's Messy, Rebekah’s show TOMORROW!, and Peter Vack’s latest feature www.Rachelormont.com. They also host the Simone Actors Studio for up and coming talent with teachers such as Michael Imperioli. KJ and Rebekah just released the highly anticipated Salamander Days, their co-directed first feature, which debuted to sold out screenings in Los Angeles and New York City. The quiet & atmospheric film explores loss, friendship, and grief, through the hazy lens of memory, and I haven't stopped thinking about it since I walked out of the theater. Lucky for us, KJ is here, on his birthday (!), to tell us what he's been into.
Without further ado
KJ Rothweiler (instagram)
🕹️ Viewing life as a bonus round
Ever since I got sober, I’ve had this nagging feeling that I got away with something that many people I’ve known over the years did not. Acknowledging this truth always alleviates any momentary anxiety I might be feeling and mainlines a potent batch of gratitude into my system. Life continues to throw a lot at you even after you’ve cleaned up your act, and in many ways it feels a lot harder to handle because reality isn’t so foggy anymore and problems aren’t as easy to shrug off as they once were. But remembering that I’m lucky to still be here at all and that I just might be in the bonus round of my life always makes me thrilled to be alive.
“I want to live again!” - George Bailey, “It’s A Wonderful Life”
🎸 The music of John Frusciante
In an old interview where he talks about his favorite bands, John Frusciante concludes by detailing the ways in which REM’s music has been like a friend to him. When he was down and out as an active drug user, friendless and out of the band, REM was there for him. This is more or less how I feel about the entire catalog of John Frusciante. There are lots of bands and artists I always feel I can return to, but none so much like a friend as John Frusciante.
“If anything unfolds, it’s supposed to” - John Frusciante, “Going Inside”
🎞️ Terence Davies
In my original *anonymous* Perfectly Imperfect, I wrote about my love for the Terence Davies film The Long Day Closes. Years later, I have no mask and Terence has passed away only a few weeks ago, but I am doubling down on the sentiment because there is no filmmaker whose work I feel closer to than his. Throughout his films, there is a palpable reverence for something greater – God, your teacher, “the pictures”, your mother. I watch Terence Davies’ work with that same sense of awe.
“Some of those stars are dead. The light from them started out when Jesus was alive.
How do you know?
Our teacher said.”
-Bud, “The Long Day Closes”
🎂 Bringing someone a cake
For the past year or so I’ve tried to surprise as many people as I can with a birthday cake on their special day. I can safely say it is the easiest, most rewarding thing you can do to show your gratitude that someone else exists. You only have to do it once a year, but they’ll remember it.
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