Pure Breeds: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Hilarious First Episode of Graydon Sheppard’s Brand New Pet Project

From writer and filmmaker Graydon Sheppard comes the surreal new series, Pure Breeds, celebrating the most refined of pedigree pets. Commissioned exclusively for NOWNESS, we get better acquainted with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, well known for its silky coat, loyalty and affectionate demeanor. Heed the following warning: the above video contains wet noses, dreamy eyes, wagging tails and gently rippling fur. The viewer may witness scenes of panting, barking and frolicking. Sheppard's YouTube hit, Shit Girls Say, whose first episode featured a brilliant cameo from Juliette Lewis, has seen in excess of 30 million views. “I hadn’t really done much comedy before, and I love dressing up, so it was a perfect opportunity,” says Sheppard about the viral phenomena that started as a Twitter feed. We met him to discuss the pleasures of working with such distinguished house pets. 

Can you tell us a little about why you wanted to look at purebreds?
Graydon Sheppard:
I’m a dog nut. It used to be so bad that when I saw a cute dog on the street and got to pet it, I would cry. Purebred dogs and cats are odd in that they’re ‘luxury animals,’ so they’re gorgeous and have interesting histories, but they’re also just animals that like to play and that I like to pet. They’re usually presented as either snooty Westminster dog show prize-winners, or disease-riddled, inbred sad-sacks, and I wanted to find that place in the middle without ignoring those elements. 

Pure Breeds shows a love of household pets. Have you ever been a pet owner?
It’s definitely a love. I had a dog named Molson, like the beer, 'cause I was a classy 13-year-old. He was a Humane Society mutt, we think a Bouvier-Shepherd cross, and he was so cute and docile and sweet when we went to meet him for the first time. But once we adopted him he turned into a total mental patient. He would literally scream like a human at the top of his lungs when we drove with him to obedience classes. I loved him so much. Bad dogs are cool.

How did the talent behave on set? Were they cooperative?  Did they make unfair demands?
GS: On the shoot day their little personalities shone through. Mylee was definitely the star, so the script changed because of her. When one dog would leave its position and run away, she would just jump into frame and sit exactly where the other dog was supposed to have been. 

The animal whose personality most closely reflects your own is a..?
Persian cat.

And why is that?
We’re both lazy assholes, I’m just slightly better at hiding it.

Which of the “Shit [insert noun] Say” spin-offs was your favorite?
GS: “Shit Sri Lankan Mothers Say.”

(Read More)

Conversations (10)

  • Catleah
    Oh, thank you for this! xxo
    • Posted By Catleah
    • September 30, 2013 at 11:35AM
    • Share Comment:
  • Vishu
    i am loving it
    • Posted By Vishu
    • August 13, 2013 at 4:21AM
    • Share Comment:
  • Anke
    ...And the voiceover sounds like Linda from Bob's Burgers!
    • Posted By Anke
    • July 23, 2013 at 7:47PM
    • Share Comment:
  • Anke
    I really cannot love this enough. dear god, I love this.
    • Posted By Anke
    • July 23, 2013 at 7:46PM
    • Share Comment:
  • Hollingshead
    please Brussells Griffon The velcro dog
  • rb1
    we hope you do flat-coated retriever next!
    • Posted By rb1
    • July 17, 2013 at 10:23PM
    • Share Comment:
  • D.Flynn
    I love this so much!
    • Posted By D.Flynn
    • July 17, 2013 at 6:01PM
    • Share Comment:
  • The Sofisticat
    Excellent, jajajajaja dogs silly creatures jajajaja
    • Posted By The Sofisticat
    • July 17, 2013 at 1:32PM
    • Share Comment:
  • glitterninja
    This is amazing. Amazing.
    • Posted By glitterninja
    • July 16, 2013 at 3:30PM
    • Share Comment:
  • Shutta
    Please, define "hilarious", because ths has nothing to do with any dictionary definition of the word. Dreadful.
    • Posted By Shutta
    • July 16, 2013 at 2:33PM
    • Share Comment:

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    Roman Coppola x Jason Schwartzman

    A Quick-Witted Love Letter From Indie Hollywood's Favorite Cousins

    Film royalty Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman conspire with YouTube virtuoso Graydon Sheppard of “Sh*t Girls Say” fame to create today’s videogram, which features the cousin duo bantering on love and obsession. Shooting six-second vignettes on the iPhones inspired by Twitter’s new mobile app Vine, Sheppard pays homage to Coppola’s latest feature A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, whose comic flavor hinges on absurdist amorous pursuits. The film stars Charlie Sheen as an unrepentant LA playboy who spirals out of control when his girlfriend leaves him and enlists the help and guidance of best friend Kirby Star—played by Schwartzman—to win her back in a 1970s-style romp complete with surreal revenge fantasies and winking parallels to Sheen’s own very public meltdown. A recent Academy Award nominee for Best Original Screenplay, Coppola is the son of polymath Francis Ford and brother of fellow filmmaker Sofia; Schwartzman, meanwhile, has made a name for himself starring in Wes Anderson films from Rushmore to Moonrise Kingdom, on which Roman collaborated, and cousin Sofia's Marie Antoinette. From major film production to casual smart phone clips, Coppola and Schwartzman know how to keep their sense of humor, while keeping it in the family. We caught up with Roman to go deeper into his amorous inspirations. 

    First serious kiss:
    It was in Morocco. I was 16. The girl was an actress in a movie I was working on. We started off kissing through a piece of fabric—as a tease, she was holding back. Then, the real thing.

    Favourite romantic exchange in movie:
    Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window. Or a more cynical choice, from Gilda:

    Johnny Farrell: I want to go with you, Gilda. Please take me. I know I did everything wrong...
    Gilda: [sobbing] Isn't it wonderful? Nobody has to apologize, because we were both stinkers, weren't we? Isn't it wonderful?
    Johnny Farrell: Wonderful.

    Craziest thing you've ever done for love:
    I can't think of anything too crazy.

    Love song-cum-guilty pleasure:
    “I melt with you,” by Modern English.

    (Read More)

    Cecilia Bengolea: Airtight

    Dancers Transform Paris Into A Science-Fiction Dreamscape In A New Short by Clara Cullen

    Argentinian dancer Cecilia Bengolea achieves physical feats in ballet-style stilettos, crab-walking through Paris’ backstreets in today’s abstract dance homage. Directed by filmmaker Clara Cullen, the short sees Bengolea joined by fellow dancers François Chaignaud, Anna Pi and Alex Mugler, shot in and around La Ménagerie studio where the artists have a residency. “She’s a great inspiration for me,” says Cullen of her muse, confidante and compatriot. “I met her in a squat in Paris five years ago and we instantly became friends—I understand her world, and that’s why I can do this kind of work with her.” Cullen studied Film at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires and later trained under Spike Lee in New York and Werner Herzog in Los Angeles. Her more recent work includes fashion films for such brands as Max Mara and Nike. “It’s a mix of things we just created in the moment,” says Cullen of today’s short, which was partly shot with a VHS camera that Cullen obtained from eBay and splices grainy sci-fi architectural landscapes with scenes of dancers vacuum-packed in rubber fetish wear. “They stayed in that bag for an hour,” she explains, “which is physically and mentally very hard. The film has a lot of moments of hope and desperation—I just wanted to have that feeling throughout.”
    (Read More)

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