Things are about to get REALLY uncomfortable at Uncomfortable Brunch: Josh Martin is leaving. The founder of the popular monthly film series is moving to Chicago, and with that move comes a passing of the UB torch to friend and fellow cinephile Katy Whitacre.
The brunch on April 2 will be Martin’s last and will feature Gaspar Noé’s Irreversible
. It will also likely be the last at Will’s Pub. (A new location has yet to be announced.) A ticket costs $10. For more information, visit UncomfortableBrunch.com
Martin started the event as a potluck affair at his home with his friends back in 2014. After about a year, Martin and his friend Dan Lauer moved it to Will’s Pub, where it became a paid, catered event. On the first Sunday of each month, it has been screening films of disturbing – often sexual or violent – but culturally relevant subject matter ever since. From Straw Dogs
to multiple movies by Lars von Trier (one of Martin’s favorite directors), the brunch has attracted an eclectic, film-loving crowd.
“I am still surprised it is still going and people still care about it,” Martin says. “While I am proud of the idea and still think it is clever, I also know it is for a limited audience. Not everyone wants to eat brunch while watching a movie with incest. The response continues to be great. I have a core audience, which is awesome. I know there are the die-hards who will almost always be there, but it is nice to see new faces when I show a flick that is a little bigger, like Requiem for a Dream
or Blue Velvet
. To know that what I am doing can engage people outside of my friend circle is cool. It is easy to convince your friends to support your dumb idea; to get strangers to is a little trickier.”
So what’s in Martin’s future?
“As for future prospects, it is bittersweet,” he says. “Orlando has become my home. Despite it making me sound like a functional alcoholic, Will's Pub and Lil' Indies are my home. The friends I have in the community on Mills/50 are my family. Leaving that is going to be tough. I really love the people who make this little district what it is. If I hadn't gotten the positive feedback when I started over two years ago, I probably wouldn't have to courage to take the next step now. That said, it is time to move on. It is really easy to run in circles and not even realize you aren't living up to your potential. I want to see film series like this succeed; I want as many people as possible to see these films. I feel the best move now with the experience I have gained is to take it to a bigger market. It is scary, but if it doesn't happen now, it may never.”
What can we expect from Orlando’s Uncomfortable Brunch after Martin leaves?
“What I aim to do with Uncomfortable Brunch is continue the legacy that Josh has created, by exposing Orlandoans to the culturally significant, though sometimes painfully uncomfortable, films that are out there,” says Whitacre. “Sometimes it takes an omelet, pancakes and a room full of strangers to get the courage to finally watch that awkward art flick you’ve been planning on watching for years. I also plan to have more of a social-media presence, but that will be a work in progress.”
More Q Than A, a movie series that Martin started last year with Patrick Greene and Kyle Eagle, is expected to continue at Avalon.
As of mid-April, Martin had changed his plans and was not expected to move to Chicago anytime soon. Katy Whitacre is now in charge of Uncomfortable Brunch, but Martin might be partnering with her on it. And it's expected to stay at Will's Pub.