On the Eve of Their Momma's Man Opening, Jacobs Father and Son Talk Shop and Family

The films of Azazel Jacobs are on the offbeat end of the cinema spectrum.

While Momma's Man is not autobiographical (Ken and Azazel talk more than the father and son depicted in the film), Azazel was, ironically, struck with Bell's palsy during post-production. "In terms of parallels with the film, it's freaky," he admits. The paralyzing disease gripped him right after telling his girlfriend (The GoodTimesKid's Sara Diaz) that he was going to stay in New York to edit the film: "The next thing I know, I'm waking up and half my face is frozen." He went to an acupuncturist three days a week, but the palsy lasted four months. It wasn't until the film neared completion that it finally lifted and he was able to return to L.A.

After leaving Yuen Yuen, father and son walk down Bayard Street back toward the Jacobs' loft. Ken stops to buy a bag of lychee fruit, and the two reminisce about the city's transformations over the years, from Ken's early memories of "horses delivering milk on the cobblestones" to the time Azazel was caught in the middle of an Asian gang fight at the Chinese Ice Cream Factory. (Azazel's currently writing a gangster flick.)

Jacobs family portrait: Azazel, Flo, and Ken
Tobias Datum
Jacobs family portrait: Azazel, Flo, and Ken

"Nothing is sacred in this city; everything changes, and I know our place"— referring to his parents' apartment, which is a rental—"won't be mine to go to," says Azazel. "In an odd way, I wanted the film to disconnect me from it: to allow us to own it without buying it, to be a way of letting it go, to remind myself that it's not the physical location, it's not the square feet—it's only what was done with it."

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