Detroit Shines a Film Spotlight on L.A., Thanks to Mr. Sexy Specs

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The documentary kicking off Birmingham’s third annual Uptown Film Festival has special ties to area. While Los Wild Ones focuses on the story of a Los Angeles-based indie label, the producer of the documentary, Jessica Golden, is originally from metro Detroit.

“I could not have made this movie without the help of Detroit,” says Golden. “My father (Richard Golden) is the film’s executive producer, and several of our backer are actually from the Detroit area as well. I’m excited to bring (the film) back to my hometown.”

Richard Golden helped propel a small chain of optical stores that was founded by his father, Donald Golden, into a $100-million, 105-store powerhouse. The business, D.O.C., posted record profits up until it was sold to the Italian house of Luxottica in 1997 due in large part to a string of memorable commercials created by Richard Golden and Alan Sussman — from the original “You have my word on it!” to “Sexy Specs.” 

Los Wild Ones tells the story of Wild Records, a label led by Reb Kennedy and comprised of young Hispanic musicians who write and preform 1950s-inspired rock ‘n’ roll.

Los Wild Ones’ premiere occurred earlier this year at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, and its Michigan premiere is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Nov. 7 at the Birmingham 8 Theater on South Old Woodward Avenue. For more information about the Uptown Film Festival or to purchase tickets, visit uptownfilmfestival.com.

“The interesting thing about the label is that it’s run much more like a family than a business,” Jessica Golden says. “It kind of challenges your definition of success. Because Reb considers his label successful and yet, monetarily, it’s by no means in the same league as the major labels.”

Jessica Golden, who lives in Los Angeles, is working on several projects, including writing a screenplay. Her resume includes roles in Sony Pictures’ Reign Over Me, HBO’s short film Cloud Nine, and the independent film Diamond on Vinyl, along with appearances on The Adam Corolla Show and Chelsea Lately.

Earlier this month, she preformed standup at the first annual Detroit Party in Hollywood, where proceeds benefitted the Detroit Creativity Project, which offers training in comedy improvisation to Detroit middle and high school students. The show included a special video message from former WDIV anchor Mort Crim and several other entertainers with connections to Detroit, such as actress Mary Lynn Rajskub of the former FOX show 24.

“A lot of Detroiters came out to show their support,” Golden says. “No matter what happens to the city of Detroit, there is an undying spirit and a sort of Detroit pride that people always seem to have. And you want to support it whether you’re in L.A. or when you bring something back to Detroit.”

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