Saturday, April 14, 2018

JAMES DEAN'S INDIANA: My visit to Fairmount & Marion, Indiana

                                James Dean 1955                      Robert Mitchell 2018
                                Intersection of Main & Washington Streets Fairmount, Indiana

A couple of days ago I decided to make the drive from Bloomington, IN north to Fairmount and Marion, Indiana to walk around the hometown and birthplace of iconic actor James Dean. The drive is about 2 and half hours and took me through Indianapolis. Once north of Indy you are in the flat farmlands that many think of when one thinks of Indiana. I stopped in Fairmount first and The James Dean Gallery. I spent some time there looking through many items, The fence from Rebel Without A Cause is there and many other items, such as many items and photos from James Dean youth, a picture from his high school basketball days is a standout. Here are a selection of my photos.

                The Winslow Farm where James Dean spent his youth in Fairmount, IN.

                                                 The friendly horses at Winslow Farm.

                                                                 Winslow Farm

                                          The James Dean Gallery. Fairmount, Indiana

                       Cleopatra loves to hangout with visitors at The James Dean Gallery.

                     Bust of James Dean at James Dean Memorial Park. Fairmount, Indiana

                                       James Dean Birth Site Memorial. Marion, Indiana

James Dean's Gravesite at Park Cemetery

Saturday, February 10, 2018

REVENGE World Premiere Interviews with Director/Writer Coralie Fargeat & Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz

                        Coralie Fargeat & Matilda Lutz share a laugh with Robert Mitchell

One of the most anticipated films the 2017 Midnight Madness lineup at the Toronto International Film Festival was the feature length film debut of writer & director Coralie Fargeat. The plot of the film revolves around three married men one of the guys Richard (Keven Janssens) takes his mistress on an annual hunting trip. It is a trip that will have irreparable actions and dire consequences. Here is Robert Mitchell's interview with Coralie and Matilda.

Friday, November 17, 2017

THE DISASTER ARTIST: James Franco, Ari Graynor, Paul Scheer, Scott Neusatader, Michael H. Weber World Premiere Interviews

      James Franco speaks with Robert Mitchell at The Disaster Artist World Premiere

The Disaster Artist was one of the most anticipated films premiering at the 2017 edition of The Toronto International Film Festival. The movie lived up and exceeded expectations. Robert Mitchell was on the red carpet and spoke with James Franco, Ari Graynor, Paul Scheer, screenwriters Scott Neustader, Michael H. Weber and Composer Dave Potter.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

THE RITUAL World Premiere Interviews David Bruckner, Arsher Ali, Sam Troughton,

  David Bruckner speaking with Robert Mitchell at the world premiere of The Ritual

The Ritual based on the novel by Adam Nevill had it's world premiere at Midnight Madness 2017 at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film marks the feature film directing debut of David Bruckner (V/H/S, Southbound, The Signal. Robert Mitchell was on the red carpet and spoke with Mr. Bruckner as well as actors Arsher and Sam Troughton.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

BODIED World Premiere Interviews Joseph Kahn, Dizaster, Alex Larsen aka Kid Twist, Charlamagne Tha God

                Dizaster speaking with Robert Mitchell at the world premiere of Bodied.

Bodied, the new film directed by Joseph Kahn and written by Alex Larsen aka Kid Twist was the opening movie of the 2017 Midnight Madness programme at the Toronto International Film Festival and it rocked the Ryerson Theatre. Robert Mitchell was on the red carpet and spoke with director Joseph Kahn, writer/actor Alex Larsen, Dizaster, Charlamagne Tha God, Calum Worthy and Rory Uphold.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

THE MIND'S EYE: Interview with Writer Director Joe Begos [From The Archives 09/10/15]

    Larry Fessenden speaking with Robert Mitchell at The Mind's Eye world premiere.

Joe Begos returns to the Midnight Madness program with his sophomore film The Mind's Eye. His first film Almost Human the alien abduction, slasher film threw a bunch of blood and alien slime upon the Ryerson theater screen. I recently I had the opportunity to speak to Joe about the making of The Mind's Eye. -- Robert A. Mitchell

Where did the idea for The Mind's Eye come from?

It just sort of organically evolved from me wanting to do a really violent, badass telekinesis movie. There are really far too few of them. I was itching to do a revenge movie as well, and the two seemed like a match made in heaven, and I built the story from there. Like my last film, I wanted to make something that I would KILL to see.
You have assembled quite a cast for the film. Larry Fessenden (Stake Land, You're Next) Noah Segan (Deadgirl, Brick) John Speredakos (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers). You are also working again with Graham Skipper who played the lead in Almost Human. What was the casting process like? Did you write parts for specific people?

The casting process was pretty awesome. I wrote the lead for Graham from the start, and then handful of the roles were written for specific people, and the rest of the roles were filled out by me picking up the phone and giving someone a call. I have a love for actors that look supremely blue collar, to me it makes there movie more realistic, so it was important to get actors that are recognizable to the genre, but can also act their asses off and don't look like a cosmopolitan model. I think we hit a pretty good balance, as everyone was able to turn in a phenomenal performance, and to me, look like they could be believable civilians in 1991 New England.
What did you learn from making Almost Human and how did you apply that to The Mind's Eye? Did you expand upon your usage of practical special effects?

Yeah, there are so many effects in this movie my SPFX guy, Brian Spears wanted to kill me on numerous occasions haha. Not only did we have practical blood and gore, but he had to coordinate with a few other departments as we had tons of wire work, pyrotechnics, squibs, breakaways, you name it. I learned what was possible and how to stretch the budget on almost human even more than I had on any of the shorts I had made in my life. I was determined to take whatever extra money we could get for our budget and put it ALL in front of the camera.
Both films are set in the winter. What do you like about this season as a backdrop to your stories?

I love when seasons give movies a specific characteristic and atmosphere to the point where the season IS almost a character. I had actually planned to shoot this film in the fall, with all of the beautiful autumn colors, but we weren't able to obtain money fast enough. So therefore the movie was pushed to winter, and we were (un)fortunate to have almost 100 inches of snow during shooting. This was a MAJOR pain in the ass, but man does it look awesome!!
What kind of cinematic experience awaits the Midnight Madness audience who enter into this world of telekinetic people?

My biggest goal is making sure people have an absolute fucking blast when watching one of our movies!

Originally Appeared 09/10/15 Midnight Madness Blog

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

RIGOR MORTIS: Director Juno Mak Interview [From The Archives 09/10/13]

                               Director Juno Mak speaking with Robert Aaron Mitchell

First of all, I would like to say I feel very honored to be able to participate in this year’s Toronto International Film Festival ”midnight madness” section. I'm writing this email in Venice at the moment, where the film will be premiering here tonight. -- Juno Mak writing from Venice
What do you like about genre films?

I guess what’s fun about genre films throughout cinematic history is mainly because of the specific ”sets of rules” that apply to them. Such as zombies, you have to shoot them in the head. Vampires with silver and all. And then we have ”gueng si”, the traditional hopping vampires from Asia. Glutinous rice, wooden swords, yellow amulets, taoist priest, etc., etc. These rules only apply to this particular genre. A funky, yet special, type of rules, may I say.

But these genre rules have been evolving throughout the years too. It's a sort of evolution amongst us storytellers.

How are you putting your own spin on genre storytelling?

I want to explore the evolution of this genre. More humane, more focused on the drama, the sadness. We have also gathered the original elements from the genre, deconstructed and reconstructed it. Giving it a new touch, and most importantly, I, personally, wanted to explore the emotional side of it. The struggles these characters go through in life. The main theme of this film is about ”the fear of being forgotten” or even the fear of losing youth. Some sort of loneliness among us as humans. The world changed, everyone changed and adapted to a better life. But these characters they didn't.

What did you like about the original Mr. Vampire films that were apart of "gueng si"genre?

To me, the original Mr Vampire films represent not only a big part of my childhood. But also a golden time period of the Hong Kong cinematic history. Anyhow, the ”gueng si” genre has been gone for almost 30 years now.

You cast a lot of the original actors from the Mr. Vampire films, what made you decide to bring them into the film and what was it like to work with them?

What really fascinated me was the wrinkles on the actors and actresses faces after so many years. It, for me, represented their sorrow, their struggles in the most powerful, yet subtle way. I'm sure they have been through a lot being on the film set of RIGOR MORTIS. I sensed that this was not only a sort of revisiting the genre for myself as a director, or even a script writer. It was  a revisiting for every one of them. A bond that belonged to them. I'm glad to be among the original actors.

What would you say you have done with the "gueng si" genre conventions and made them your own?

RIGOR MORTIS itself is not a remake of the original, nor a sequel or prequel. To me personally its more like some sort of a revisit to the genre. The film is about life, not purely a gore slasher, but also an evolution of the genre, with a heavy yet dramatic twist on the story. I have personally taken out the comedic element from among the elements in the original. There might be some sort of humor in RIGOR MORTIS, but the film is not purely a comedy.

Originally Appeared 9/10/13 Midnight Madness Blog