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The Trouble With Nostalgia: Douglas Light’s Days of ‘East Fifth Bliss’

photo-27Kathryn Doyle Douglas Light outside of the building
that inspired “East Fifth Bliss”

With “The Trouble With Bliss” opening tomorrow, The Local took a stroll down memory lane with Douglas Light, whose novel “East Fifth Bliss” is the basis of the film starring Michael C. Hall, Lucy Liu and Peter Fonda.

An Indiana native, Mr. Light, 43, moved to the East Village in 1995 and lived for a year at 60 East Third Street while working as a waiter at what is now Bondst. Some mornings, he awoke to the sound of a Hell’s Angel cracking a bullwhip in the middle of Third Street. “I guess it would help him get over his hangover somehow,” Mr. Light remembered.

In 1996 he moved to the fourth floor of 343 East Fifth Street, the building that inspired “East Fifth Bliss,” which takes place over the course of one long weekend. “Originally it was about the building, looking into the lives of the people in all the different apartments,” he said. “Then Morris emerged as a kind of lead character and the story became about him.”

Morris Bliss, played by Michael C. Hall, is a 35-year-old who has shared an apartment with his father ever since his mother died when he was 13.

Mr. Light met the director of the film, Michael Knowles, at Velvet Cigars on Seventh Street. The fellow cigar enthusiast read the novel and quickly suggested they make a movie out of it. It took four months to adapt the novel into a screenplay. Read more…

Filmed in the East Village, ‘The Trouble With Bliss’ Comes Back for Its Premiere

The folks behind “The Trouble With Bliss” – the movie adaptation of Douglas Light’s “East Fifth Bliss,” about a 35-year-old who still lives with his father in an East Village apartment – have posted a new video featuring clips from the movie and an interview with Michael C. Hall, who stars in the film along with Lucy Liu. Plus: If you download a flyer and get it validated by local businesses like Good Records (featured in the movie), you can enter a contest at select screenings. (Who says East Village film productions don’t give back to local businesses?)

As documented on its production blog, the film, premiering March 23 at Village East, was shot in front of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, STA Travel, Tompkins Square Park, Velvet Cigar Lounge (click here for a 2-for-1 cigar deal!), and various other locations in April and May of 2010. You can see the trailer here.