Category Archives: interview
What goes into making an Independent Film? What is a cast reading? How does the director get people to star in his film? If you would have asked me a year ago, my reply would’ve been, “How the hell would I know?” But, as one of the writers for a new independent film, you might want to ask me that question, again.
Film is a fragile medium. It’s easy to forget in this digital age that so much of our cinematic history is committed to old-fashioned celluloid, the plastic spools wound on reels that rattle and clack on their way through the illuminated projector gate, giving us our magic in the dark. And celluloid is decidedly impermanent. The winding and travel of projection can damage film prints. And they fade, dry out, flake and become brittle over the years, even when they’re kept in optimal conditions. Film preservation has become a big concern, with directors like Martin Scorsese trying to raise awareness about how much film history might be lost if efforts aren’t made to keep these prints around.
TIFF has gone to great efforts to preserve films in its collection. This October, they’re breaking out a rarity, Canada’s first horror film, and first 3D feature as well. It’s a little known picture called The Mask, directed by Julian Roffman and released in 1961. In the film, a psychiatrist comes into possession of an ancient tribal mask. When worn, the mask assails him with nightmarish visions of monsters, occultists, and ritual torture. Believing that he has discovered a portal to the deepest recesses of his mind, he continues to explore this terrifying new psychic world — even at the risk of his sanity. It’s a dark, malevolent journey, with a riot of psychedelic 3D imagery every time the film intones for the doctor, and the audience, to “PUT THE MASK ON”. A definitive version of the film hasn’t been seen in decades, but through the restoration efforts of TIFF and the 3-D Film Archive of New Jersey, The Mask has been returned to its full, dizzyingly surreal glory. I spoke with the TIFF Director of Programming Jesse Wente about The Mask‘s strange journey, and TIFF’s challenging restoration.
The word on This Changes Everything, the latest documentary film from the socially charged husband and wife team Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein, is starting to spread. After debuting this past September at the Toronto International Film Festival to resounding applause from its audience, the film is already premiering around the world in a unique and ultra-relevant way.
I recently had a chance to spend a few moments with Andy Fickman, director of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Fickman has a long career of direction in the fields of film, television, and stage. His work includes The Game Plan and Race to Witch Mountain with The Rock, “Liv and Maddie” on The Disney Channel, and musical productions of Heathers and Reefer Madness!. Meet me after the jump to get to know him a bit better and learn more about Mall Cop 2.
Horror films are just as unpredictable to create as they are to watch. Audrey Cummings, director of Berkshire County, knows this. In her latest work and first feature-length picture, she presents all the ingredients necessary to the babysitter in peril story. However, even with so much aligned in her favour, the process to completion has been rigorous, demanding, and rewarding.