Have you ever wondered about the men who work in funeral homes? This past Sunday night over 100 people attended the movie “Stiffs” in the Lynn Auditorium to find out.
“Stiffs” is a black comedy starring Danny Aiello, who has appeared in “Moonstruck,” “Do the Right Thing,” and a special cameo in Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” music video.
In “Stiffs” he works for the Rogucci Funeral Home. He is aging public relations guy from Boston who winds up driving hearses at a funeral home just so he can stay in the mix, get the perks, and feed on the social aspect of the business.
Music of the “Gypsy Kings” is used well in the film. Filmed in the North End and even a spot on Route 1 at Prince House of Pizza, Aiello plays Frank, the main character.
Backing the film is Revere native Roger Marino, who grew up in North Revere and is a proud member of Revere High School Class of 1956. Every year Marino also gives four, $5,000 scholarships to graduating seniors.
“I’m in Revere often to visit relatives,” Marino said, with a special shout out to his 95-year-old aunt Edie Orlandella.
He has gone on to lead a successful life, co-founding EMC and backing movies, especially from local writers and directors. Marino paired up a couple of years with Lynn brothers Frank and Joe Ciota ago to make “Ciao America,” which was filmed entirely in Italy, but it didn’t quite take off, and it is uncertain where “Stiffs” will go.
After he bought the Pittsburg Penguins and then sold the team he started to consider working on movies. That’s when he met director Frank Cioti and his brother, writer Joe Cioti, both Lynn natives.
“I was interviewed by the Boston Globe when a reporter asked me what I was going to do without the hockey team,” he said. Marino joked that he was going into the movies where he could lose more money. Over the next few weeks 17 screenplays were mailed to him.
“Screening the film in our hometown and having Danny coming up to join us is great,” said director Frank Ciota. “Mayor (Thomas) McGee and his team are doing incredible things with the arts in Lynn and with the Lynn Auditorium. As filmmakers it is great to witness this renaissance in the city we grew up in and along with Roger, who is also local, we are thrilled to be a part of it.”
Frank and Joe Ciota founded Mavex Productions, and are currently developing several film projects set in Italy including “Miracle of Ferragosto,” a historic epic about a young Italian-American who travels back in time and meets his grandparents just as they are leaving Italy for America. For more info visit www.mavexcaffe.com.