Based on his brother Josh’s autobiographical monologue of the same name, Jacob Kornbluth’s Love & Taxes is the latest entry into the Kornbluth Cinematic Universe. Granted, the only other film in the KCU thus far is Josh and Jacob’s 2001 Haiku Tunnel, but that’s still batting a thousand.
Using a monologue performance at the Marsh as a launching point for dramatizations and fantasies, Taxes follows Josh Kornbluth’s journey from tax-avoider to proud-tax-paying citizen — especially when his tax troubles threaten his relationship with his girlfriend Sara (Sarah Overman). Josh Kornbluth’s closest analog has always been Spalding Gray, and if Haiku Tunnel was Kornbluth’s Swimming to Cambodia, then Love & Taxes is his Monster in a Box, revisiting roughly the same period in Kornbluth’s life — the rights to the film version of Tunnel are a major plot point — and featuring some of the same characters.
And, of course, it’s nice to see how Valencia between 21st and 22nd streets looked during filming in 2014. (Hi, old Aquarius Records! Please move your Tron machine out of direct sunlight!) It’s not necessary to have seen Haiku Tunnel or 2004’s Red Diaper Baby — a straight concert film with no narrative elements that is, thus, only KCU-adjacent — but knowing those backstories does make Love & Taxes a richer experience.
Love & Taxes
Opens Friday at the Roxie Theater.