3.30.2011

press

From City Pages . . .

Trylon Microcinema screens experimental slasher film tonight
By Sheila Regan

This Wednesday at the Trylon Microcinema filmmaker Joe Larsen will be screening his experimental, post-slasher film tonight, we stay indoors, which follows the survivor of a massacre. Larsen has been working with the concept for the past couple of years, exploring how a community would react to a mass murder tragedy in a real setting.

Originally, Larsen had planned to create a traditional narrative, but he later decided that a better way to frame the film would be to write a more experimental one. Parts of the story are told in voice-over, which are interspersed with quiet scenes of the survivor's day-to-day life.

Larsen says that he was never interested in making a slasher film itself, but in looking at how characters would deal with a massacre afterward. "It's kind of like a sequel to a slasher film," he says.

The movie was shot over the course of two months, and Larson says he actually created different versions in order to figure out how to make the narrative work. Much of the film was shot locally; one scene takes place outside of the Mall of America, and others are shot in Wassau, Wisconsin, creating the backdrop of where the massacre took place.

The film centers around Miss Davi Winters (Natalie Sosnay), the sole survivor of a massacre by "The Umbrella Killer" Donovan Doring, who was responsible for five deaths in an otherwise quiet community. Winter is responsible for Doring's death. The film explores her psychological state after the incident.

The two stars of the film are not professional actors. Instead, Larsen chose people that he knew because he liked capturing the natural awkwardness of non-actors in hopes that this would get at the mood of the characters not knowing how to deal with the community.

The main actress, Natalie Sosnay, met Larsen while working at Lagoon Theatre, (he works at Uptown Theatre). As for the other actor, David Saladin, Larsen knows him through Saladin's now broken up band, Butcher's Bag.

tonight, we stay indoors is Larsen's third feature film, but his other two works didn't get a lot of play. In the past few years he's kept a low profile, working on other people's projects. Since he writes for Switchblade Comb reporting on film news, he's been paying attention to Trylon's schedule. He met up with Barry Kryshka, from Take-Up Productions (which operates Trylon) and got on its schedule. "I really love that theater," he says. "I love its smaller intimate setting."


Correction: it is spelled Wausau, actually.

3.22.2011

Kiarostami II

Abbas Kiarostami, interviewed by the AV Club about Certified Copy. Excerpts . . .

AVC: You’ve said in the past that you’re not offended if people sleep during your films, as long as they dream about them afterward.

AK: I’ve said that many times, and I’m not sure if it has been understood right, because very often they take that as a joke, whereas I mean it. I really think that I don’t mind people sleeping during my films, because I know that some very good films might prepare you for sleeping or falling asleep or snoozing. It’s not to be taken badly at all. This is something I really mean.

AVC: With the exception of your segment in the anthology film Tickets, you’ve essentially given up film for shooting on digital video. But with Certified Copy, you used the RED camera, which has a look much closer to film. How did that affect the process for you?

AK: You’re referring to the last 10 years. I have received the digital camera as a blessing. It has really changed my life as a filmmaker, because I don’t use my camera anymore as a camera. I don’t feel it as a camera. I feel it as a friend, as something that doesn’t make an impression on people, that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable, and that is completely forgotten in my way of approaching life and people and film. So the digital camera has given me total freedom and a different way of filming. This time, with the RED, I didn’t have this impression at all. I felt that it was as heavy as a film camera. Having this great crew, with the DP and his assistants, I found it making as much of an impression as a very big film camera. I didn’t relate to it as much. I remember avoiding it during the shooting rather than paying attention to it. It was there, I had to deal with it, but I didn’t create any kind of relation with it. I’m still very grateful to digital cameras in general, but I didn’t have this feeling with the RED one.

rock & roll

Rock & Roll Ray was the first to review tonight, we stay indoors. Excerpts . . .

"watching your film was like reliving aspects of the 1990's minneapolis. the nothing of culture save for the corporate. the slow dying of a generation with nothing to say. it's not their fault they miss it."

"numerous films that use voice over to tell a story comes to mind including slave trade in the world today- narration by vincent price."

"i always like it when you capture the actors not acting and behaving in the moment."

"did you know that the chinese place me and my folks go to has the worst general tso's chicken? all it is is sweet and sour chicken with some spice. their shrimp in lobster sauce is good."

"i want to see more films made by you and i like cherry coke better than cherry pepsi."

3.15.2011

Kiarostami

It appears that Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami can explain my views on filmmaking much better than I can. So.