By Don Simpson | January 18, 2013
Director: Jonathan Langager
Writers: Jonathan Langager, Joe Swanson
Starring: Jenna Augen, Jerry White Jr., Circus-Szalewski, Olivia Choate, Jeremy Gladen
Do cockroaches dream of electric sheep? I’m not sure, but in Jonathan Langager’s live-action short film Josephine and the Roach, the titular roach showcases a lot of human qualities — for example, he enjoys drinking tea and playing violin. Heck, this roach is capable of falling in love with Josephine (Jenna Augen), the woman whose apartment he infests. Crazy, right? For one, Josephine is an entirely different species and has approximately 45,000 times his body mass. Besides, even if his feelings were reciprocated by her, how could they ever consummate their love for each other? The mere thought of that gives me the heebie-jeebies!
This is where Moe (Jerry White Jr.) — Josephine’s husband — comes in. The roach devises a way to crawl into Moe’s brain and puppeteer his body movements. Moe thus becomes a 300-pound conduit for the highly inventive roach to express his affections for Josephine.
With stunning cinematography (Damian Horan), production design (Giao-Chau Ly) and art direction (Emily Auble), Langager is able to develop an absurd cinematic world in which one of the most despicable creatures on earth evolves into something that is worthy of possibly not exterminating. Josephine and the Roach teaches us that roaches are living and loving beings just like humans, albeit a lot smaller and creepy-crawlier. I am not saying that I am ready to sit down and have tea or play classical music with a roach, but Langager just might have persuaded me to stop killing roaches.