Wednesday, December 16, 2015


 "The cinema is the image and the voice of the 20th century. The first century when life was captured by an instrument of marvels: the cinematographer. Images have grown fragile over time, images that have to be restored and distributed for the world's memory." ~ Éléphant ClassiQ

                               Géarld Duchaussoy, Robert A. Mitchell, Sarah Dillard Mitchell

We currently live in this modern era of cinema where giant studio pictures have advertising campaigns that start years before a film is set to open in a theater. Marketing strategies that continue to slide into complete ridiculousness. One only has to look at the concept of the teaser trailer for the teaser trailer. The few films that even grace a chain movie theater arrive with much hype and most are gone in the blink of an eye. Relegated to bargain bins of giant corporate box stores. With the advent and rise of V.O.D and online streaming services -- which hopefully level out the playing field for all kinds of films, however are further removed from the communal ritual of going to a movie theater. Anyone who makes films, writes about films or enjoys watching movies will occasionally contemplate the current state of cinema. Movies these days can oftentimes not feel so much an art form but a very disposable entertainment.

Which brings me to the Éléphant ClassiQ film festival. A film festival in it's inaugural year, this first installment showcased classic French-language cinema. Films of French, Belgian, Swiss, African and Québec heritage resulted in a lot of variety in the programming. Elephant ClassiQ's theme was les films qui ont le cinéma which translates to movies that made cinema. With films screening from such luminaries such as Jean-Peirre Melville, Agnès Varda, Jaques Demy, Chantal Akerman, Jean-Luc Goddard this was a November weekend spent in the company of many cinematic greats. The curated programme was over twenty feature films, screening over the four days of the festival. One of the major highlights for me were the classic short films from Alice Guy created at the very early part of the 20th century that played before the feature films. Some examples: Les cambrioleurs (1898)  Chapellerie et charcuterie automatiques (1900),  Faust et Méphistophélès (1903) and Le tango (1905).

One of the films I was very excited to see was the restored L'armée des ombres by Jean-Pierre Melville. The film focuses on the French resistance during World War II. A sprawling, bleak tale of enormous courage in the face of great adversity. This film is Melville's epic. Here is the conversation prior to the screening with Géarld Duchaussoy and Ruy Nogueira, critique de cinéma.

Other cinema highlights were Jacques Demy's Les parapluies de Cherbourg

As well Cléo de 5 à 7 by Agnès Varda. Here is Géarld Duchaussoy's introduction.

I was also happy to see Le grand bleu by Luc Besson. A film of his I had not seen. It was very informative to see this epic character story from Monsieur Besson. The film featured exceptionally cinematography by Carlo Varini with many sequences shot underwater.

Along with the many classic films there were also belles salles de cinéma that were projecting the films. Here is the Cinéma Impérial.

The interior.

 Cinémathèque québécoise

One of the theaters.

Walking into the lobby of the Cinémathèque québécoise my eyes opened large looking at all the beautiful movie posters that were part of the exhibit celebrating the 120 years of Gaumont, the oldest cinematographic company in the world that was born at the same time as the cinema. Here are a couple of pictures:

Attending the Éléphant ClassiQ film festival was a great experience. It was wonderful to revisit old favorites and discover classic films for the first time. Huge kudos to the entire team behind this film festival who embarked on the journey to create such a great weekend showcasing many beautiful films from the past. The inaugural edition of the Éléphant ClassiQ was a beautiful celebration of cinema.

                                Robert A. Mitchell at the 2015 Éléphant ClassiQ Film Festival

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

THE LEGEND OF WASCO: RELEASED TODAY! The True Story Behind The Viral Sensation

Today The Legend of Wasco gets out of it's tiny clown car and arrives in Redboxes, iTunes, Vudu, Xbox and will be seeing a DVD release January 5th, 2016. In June I traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to be a day player on this film. I play Detective Palmer.

A synopsis: Future brothers-in-law Tyler and Byron bond by dressing as the Wasco Clown and taking pictures that spread across the internet, a viral hit overnight. What starts as great fun turns deadly as the very real Wasco Clown returns to terrorize the town. A tale of legend come to life, a test of the friends’ courage to overcome their fear of a circus nightmare, resurrected. 

A lot of folks worked hard to pull this film off. It was co-directed by Shane Beasley and Leya Taylor who previously have worked on the films Found & Headless. The screenplay was written by Nathan Erdel who wrote the film Headless and produced by Scott Schirmer who wrote and directed Found. Here are a couple of stills from the film. Jason Crowe, Dan Nye, Jessica Schroeder play the leads in the picture. Brian Williams did the cinematography.

                                Robert A. Mitchell with Phyllis Munro as Homicide Detectives.

                                               Talking to a couple of suspects.

Here is the trailer:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

ROBERT A. MITCHELL Watches SHIA LaBEOUF Watching #AllMyMovies

As Shia LeBeouf sits in a movie theater at the Angelika Film Center in New York City surrounded by other film watchers and curious on-lookers Robert A. Mitchell was sitting in the dining room at The Penguin House in Toronto watching Shia watching his movies.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

31 DAYS OF HORROR, HALLOWEEN: The Films I've Watched Part 2

This second round of films I've watched during the 31 Days of Horror seems to have found some connecting themes. Alienation, loneliness, films that blur the line between reality and fantasy as well as characters who are some of the last beings on Earth. For the most part I have randomly picked films to watch and it is interesting to see some common themes and similarities emerge. Enjoy films 11 to 20. -- Robert A. Mitchell

CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962) Directed By: Herk Harvey

A film that upon it's initial release came and went very quickly. Once it wound up on late night showings on television found a cult audience that appreciated the film. Carnival is a well made psychological horror film. Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) survives a horrific car crash and then moves to a new town for a fresh start. At this new town she sees a mysterious man (played by Director Herk Harvey) and is drawn to an abandoned carnival. There are some wonderfully creepy moments in the film and some beautiful surrealistic imagery. This film would ultimately be Mr. Harvey's first and only feature length film. He made a lot of short films before Carnival and after. It would have been great to see other feature films from him.

BARON BLOOD (1972) Directed By: Mario Bava

One thing I have learned in my years on this planet is NOT to read aloud ancient incantations on tattered parchment paper. The characters in this Bava film had not had that life experience yet. For a lark Peter Kleist (Antonio Cantafora) in an ancient Austrian castle of one of his ancestors and does exactly that. As the last utterance is spoken it awakens an ancient evil the Baron dubbed Baron Blood. He goes about what he was doing four hundred years prior. Kill and kill again. The film also features Joseph Cotton (Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons) and the always striking Elke Sommer (Deadlier Than The Male). The film looks extremely beautiful and lush in all it's technicolor glory. The set designs and decoration are wonderful. I'm sure it is no small task to fill the rooms of a castle. There is something that I have always enjoyed about these films, way before buzz words such as globalization and Transformers 4 being made because of a giant overseas market. This Italian movie has an American, German and Italian leads and was made in Vienna, Austria. As with these movies they have there own pace and style that you are either going to be on board with or not.

THE HAND (1981) Directed By: Oliver Stone

Way before Oliver Stone took himself and his films way too seriously he wrote some good to great screenplays (Scarface 1983) among them. As the old saying often goes you either start in "B" movies or end up in them. As is the case with Mr. Stone he very much started in "B" movies. The Hand marks his second feature film as a director, his first the seldom seen horror film Seizure (1974).

Jon Lansdale (Michael Caine) which made me think of prolific author Joe R. Lansdale. The Lansdale in the film is a comic book artist who is in the midst of a problematic marriage. The on-going strife calumniates in an argument on the road while his wife is driving. She swerves into the on-coming lane with disastrous results. Lansdale's arm is inexplicably out of the passenger side window and subsequently his hand is ripped off in a freak accident. Of course the hand he loses is his drawing hand which further complicates the rocky marriage as his very livelihood is threatened, which in turn threatens his art as new artist is taking over his comic strip.

The Hand feels very much like a Ripley's Believe It Or Not tale or a Twilight Zone episode. It features some great horror elements such as the accident that causes Jon Lansdale (Michael Caine) to lose his hand. If as seeing the accident once was not enough we get to see it later in flashback from a different angle in slow-motion. There is also some great psychological visual imagery as Jon Lansdale slowly descends into madness. The central conceit kept me interested. Was it The Hand doing the murders or Lansdale? This film is a good one to fire up at one in the morning.

NOSFERATU: Phantom der Nacht (1979) Directed By: Werner Herzog

Soldier of Cinema Werner Herzog's now classic film on the classic tale of Dracula aka Nosferatu. Jonathan Harker (Bruno Ganz) against the misgivings of his wife Lucy, warnings from Gypsys and the unwillingness of the locals to give him a lift with their horses and coaches heads to Count Dracula's castle to help him complete a real estate deal.  (That must be one hell of a commission.) In true Herzog fashion Harker having no other means of getting to the castle hikes up a mountain as a roaring waterfall rushes past him while the beautiful score composed by Popol Vuh plays.

Nosferatu is played by Klaus Kinski (Herzog's often early collaborator/adversary). It goes without saying that Kinski is absolutely amazing as Count Dracula. You are equally drawn to and repulsed by the Count's presence. His gaze is constant, unblinking and unnerving. As Harker explores the castle we see it's enormity and sparseness. The castle far a top the mountain looks more like ruins. This is a Dracula that has not given into the trappings of material possessions as a bridge to the living beings he shares a parallel existence to. "Time is an abyss, profound as a thousand nights. Centuries come and go, to be unable to grow old is terrible."

The scene with the coffins stacked upon a raft that is being navigated down a river by two underlings is wonderful imagery that is pure Herzog. There is also the sequences of the ship of death carrying The Lord of the Rats as it sails to and mysteriously docks in Wismar. A lone dead man slumped over the ship's wheel as thousands of rats scurry off the ship and into the town. Herzog has coined the term "unprocessed imagery and this film does not disappoint. Many great images that stay in your imagination. Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht is a meditation of the true curse of a vampire. Never dying, never truly living and never feeling love.

NIGHT OF THE COMET (1984) Directed By: Thom Eberhardt

A comet passing by Earth has created a grand spectacle. Almost everyone is outside to witness this celestial event. Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart) works at the El Rey movie theater as the comet passes she's in the projection booth hanging out with bad boy projectionist Larry (Michael Bowen). The next morning they wake up. Larry is going to head out to collect a film print he lent out over night. As he opens the back door of the theater he is quickly and brutally killed by what can only be described as someone who is no longer human. Regina quickly finds out that most people are gone. Reduced to red dust surrounding piles of clothes. She heads back to her house and finds her sister still alive. The look of this film is great. The reddish sky and the abandoned city of Los Angeles are images that stay with you. This film combines sci-fi, horror and comedy and does a good job.

THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (1964) Directed By: Ubaldo Ragona & Sidney Salkow (Uncredited)

I wanted to get a Vincent Price film in during this 31 Days of Horror marathon. I think I made a good choice. Last Man is based on the Richard Matheson novel I Am Legend. A disease has swept the land killing everyone. Only Dr. Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) survived.

The story is very effective in black and white. The scenes of Dr. Morgan driving a black station wagon which now doubles as a hearse through abandoned, empty streets lined with the corpses of the dead are very haunting and creepy. The doctor leaves his abode only during the day and goes about the task of trying to secure supplies he needs to stay alive and also trying to collect the dead and dispose of the corpses. A task which seems to have no end insight. He must hurry back because at night the "vampires"/"zombies" come out and are trying to kill Dr. Morgan. Adding to the creepiness factor the undead entities know Morgan's name and as they arrive every night at his house and try to get in and murmur "Morgan, Morgan are you there?"

The film is also a major influence on George A. Romero who would go on to make The Night of the Living Dead four years later. Last Man is a film that is dark in tone and full of despair. It is a heavy burden to be the last living human on Earth. 

BRUISER (2000) Directed By: George A. Romero

I think Mr. Romero wanted to make all kinds of films spanning many genres, stories and characters. All one has to do watch Martin (1977) the year prior to Dawn of the Dead to see that. Romero's zombie films became so synonymous with his name that I think it became very difficult for to him secure financing for different films. Perhaps conversations went like this, "That's a great idea George, I'm not sure how viable it would be. Is there anyway you could put zombies in it?" Of course this is only speculation on my part but could explain all the "Of Dead" films, especially his last three films.

Bruiser is notable for the very fact that is not a film you would readily think was a Romero picture. It was also his first feature film in several years. Prior to this film was The Dark Half (1993). Also worth mentioning is that it would be the first film he would make in Toronto. His now place of residence and where he has made the last three "Of Dead" films.

The film centers around Henry Creedlow (Jason Flemyng), who works for a fashion magazine. A man who has been taken advantage of most people close to him. Henry often drifts into flights of very violent reverie. One day he wakes up with a mask on his face, or is it a mask? Henry then gives into his violent reveries and turns them into reality.

THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (1988) Directed By: Wes Craven

With the recent passing of Mr. Craven I wanted to watch one of the master's films for this years thirty one days of horror. Notable classics A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream I have watched many times. I opted for Serpent. A film I had not watched before. 

Bill Pullman plays anthropologist Dennis Alan who heads to Haiti on behalf a pharmaceutical  company to find a rumored drug that black magic practitioners are using to bring back the dead. Dennis learns early on that not every thing in the jungle is what it seems.

After landing in Haiti Dennis meets up with doctor Marielle Duchamp. She takes him to meet a woman who died several years ago and yet was recently found wandering the streets. Dennis looks at the woman and tries to communicate in French to her. She stares at him. Dennis remarks in his journal: "A warning that's it what I found in those eyes, I did not know what, but it chilled me to my bones."  Meeting another local who tells him "Be careful. In Haiti my friend there are secrets we keep even from ourselves" Not heeding these warnings he pushes on.

The film is based off an actual ethnographic account by Wade Davis. I'm not sure where the actual account ends and the film begins. That the fact the film is based off of actual ethnographic research works very well. What is true? What is film fiction? As the film unfolds we have many great moments of not knowing what is real or what is imagined. At the end of the day The Serpent and the Rainbow is a horror film and a good one at that with some great imagery.


I was strolling through my local county library looking for some films I had not seen to watch for this marathon and saw the spine of this. What a great title and directed by Bob Clark (Black Christmas, A Christmas Story, Porky's)

The film follows a theater troupe who travel by boat to an island graveyard for buried criminals. The director of the theater group is Alan. He is played by Alan Ormsby who wrote the screenplay for Cat People (1982), The Substitute.

The troupe or more apt Alan the theater director wants to raise the dead because it's is such a transgressive idea that can only help the acting of this troupe. He invokes a seance to accomplish this. "Oh God this is getting worst all the time!" One of the characters exclaims. Yes, yes it is. In a classic case of be careful what you wish for the dead FINALLY raise from their graves. A film that was definitely inspired by Romero's Night of the Living Dead.

It's great that Bob Clark went onto bigger and better films. Watching this film is like getting invited by an acquaintance who is a really shitty actor to their fringe festival play and you actually show up to find out they know five other equally shitty actors who also happen to be in the same play.

THE BAD SEED (1956) Directed By: Mervyn LeRoy

Rhoda Penmark (Patty McCormack) is a precocious, smart and sweet child. She is also head strong and an over achiever who is quick to anger when things don't get her way, who is also manipulative, and a compulsive liar. When a boy in Rhoda's class get awarded a gold medal for penmanship that she thought was hers she gets very upset. The boy then turns up dead. There is no way Rhoda had anything to with the boy's tragic death.....or is there?

A movie that originated on stage, Nancy Kelly also acts in this film version. She plays the mother of Rhoda and won a Tony award for her performance in the play. Ellen Heckart who plays the mother of the dead boy turns in a great performance. The Bad Seed is a great mystery. The horror of the film lies in the possibility and the notion that a child could kill another child.

Monday, October 19, 2015

THE MIND'S EYE World Premiere Interviews Joe Begos, John Speredakos, Graham Skipper & Larry Fessenden

Joe Begos returned to the 2015 Midnight Madness program at the Toronto International Film Festival with his second feature film The Mind's Eye. His first film Almost Human premiered in Toronto at 2013 program. Robert A. Mitchell was on the red carpet and spoke with Joe about his follow up telekinetic horror film. Robert also spoke with actors John Speredakos, Graham Skipper and Larry Fessenden.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

31 DAYS OF HORROR, HALLOWEEN: The Films I've Watched Part One

I decided this year I would join in the fun and watch and write down some thoughts on horror films during the 31 Days of Halloween marathon in this fine month of October. Embarking upon such a venture one realizes how many horror films are worthy of a rewatch or a first time viewing. Here are the first ten films I watched. -- Robert A. Mitchell

MURDER PARTY (2007) Directed By: Jeremy Saulnier

Having recently gotten back from the 2015 Midnight Madness program at the Toronto International film festival which had the North American premiere of Jeremy Saulnier's latest film Green Room I have had a hankering to rewatch his first film Murder Party for quite some time. A friend of mine Jay was recently in Bloomington for the last Diabolique film festival. He has an extensive collection of VHS tapes and maintains a horror blog called The Horror Section that was born out of his working at a video store many years ago. My current local of Southern Indiana has many independent video stores still running. One such is Video To Go in nearby Ellettsville. Long story short, I lost my copy quite some time ago. At our visit at this video store I found a DVD of Murder Party which I bought. Believing in kismet I began my 31 Days of Halloween with this film!

MULBERRY STREET (2006) Directed By: Jim Mickle

The second film I viewed was Jim Mickle's first film Mulberry Street. For me this film and Murder Party are linked, they are both films by first time feature film directors that I first watched at the Toronto After Dark film festival. Viewing this film several years later and having the knowledge of the of films Jim has crafted since, Mulberry is still such a strong first film. A film that was very much willed into existence and fighting it's limitations of time and budget. Initially watching Mulberry at After Dark and talking with Jim after the screening I had the forethought Jim was going to continue to be a talented filmmaker that would grow and he very much has.

PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1987) Directed By: John Carpenter

John Carpenter is my favorite filmmaker. I revisit his film many times and such is the case with Prince of Darkness. I love the atmospheric, slow burn that is this film. I also love films where people are all in the same environment under siege working together. There is something magical about watching a film where an ensemble cast can really play off of one another. As someone who really began his film watching in the mid-Eighties this era will always have a spot in my heart. As will practical effects of which Prince of Darkness features some great ones!

AMERICAN PSYCHO (2000) Directed By: Mary Harron

This has been on my mental list to rewatch for quite some time. My wife had never seen it. During the first scenes when Patrick (Christian Bale) is talking about his daily routine involving a face mask my wife thought that was a great idea and applied her own face mask. I thought this scene was extremely effective in both the novel and film as it is a way to draw us into the psychopath's mindset. As we remarked while watching the movie it does a really great job capturing the feel and look of an eighties movie. The film as is the Bret Easton Ellis novel is set in the 80s. The era of Reagan economics, large cellphones and larger cocaine habits. It is always strange to spend two hours in a world lead by such an unnerving, evil character. Bale turns in one of his best performances in his cinematic journey, which in no small part is because of director Mary Harron. In the scenes with Patrick and Detective Donald Kimball (Willem Dafoe) Mary asked Bale to portray his character three different ways. Firstly that the Detective knew Patrick killed Paul Allen. Second, The Detective did not know Patrick committed the murder and lastly Detective Kimball was unsure if Patrick Bateman committed the murder.

VANISHING ON 7th STREET (2010) Directed By: Brad Anderson

This rewatch came about from heading over to friend's house on a Sunday night for dinner and to watch a film afterwards. I did not want to take something over that was too steeped in violence and gore so choose this film. Once again a film that is very much atmospheric and involving people under siege from an unseen and unknown entity. Looking at the image I choose it reminds me of another favorite film Miracle Mile,  an Eighties film with people under siege this time from a nuclear war. Vanishing very much divided the Midnight Madness crowd where I first saw the film. For me I like the feel and vibe of Vanishing. A film such as this is predicated on the characters, since you are very much spending a lot of time with them. These are regular people with realized backstories now faced with extraordinary circumstances that I did not mind spending time with.

V/H/S (2012) Directed By: Radio Silence, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, Adam Wingard

By this time I really wanted to watch some films I had not seen. V/H/S really made the festival rounds and has long been on my radar however I had not had the opportunity to see it yet. The film is a horror anthology directed by several people. As is the case with such endeavors some of the short films hit the mark and others miss it. The film is very ambitious and tries to shake up the anthology format. At times it feels like an experimental art film which is not a bad thing. However the overall movie felt long this is probably due to the fact that it is a film with a lot of voices involved.

STARRY EYES (2014) Directed By: Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Widmyer

Another film that has been on my radar for quite some time that I was finally able to sit down and watch. For a movie that is very much rooted in the present era with smartphones, Instagram etc the film felt timeless. Alex Essoe the lead actress turns in a phenomenal performance, one that should really become a breakout role. The film is slow burn punctuated with very intense moments. There are many moments in this film that will not be easily forgotten. A very strong film that although it is far too early to say such a thing, I feel will be destined to be a horror classic.

 CHRISTINE (1983) Directed By: John Carpenter

Once again a visit by a film by Mr. Carpenter. I think when one thinks on John Carpenter's filmography Christine is a film that is not always at the top of ones mind. However every time you sit down with the film you instantly recognize how fun the movie is right from the title sequence of the car on the assembly line with George Thorogood and The Destroyers song Bad To The Bone playing. Keith Gordon has phenomenal turn as his character transforms from nerdy guy into someone much more self assured but far more darker and dangerous. Speaking of transformations, the scenes involving the destruction and rebirth of Christine are absolutely amazing, they don't just hold up but look like they were created yesterday and very much makes one long for practical effects and stop-motion.

 DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978) Is there any other? Directed By: George A. Romero

This was another film my wife had not seen and warranted a revisit from myself. Once again, upon reflection and writing about these films here is another group of people under siege and working together, however not from unseen circumstances but the walking dead. A film crafted by the master of the modern zombie Mr. Romero. It is interesting to watch this film in this era with the huge success of The Walking Dead franchise. Dawn was very much a subversive work commenting on consumerism, racism, the failure and breakdown of society.  Much has been said and written on this film. I will say this Dawn of the Dead is very much worthy of the term classic. A film which showed the horror genre can be much more than just scares, blood and gore although it has that a plenty!

DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE (1968) Directed By: Freddie Francis

How can one not watch a Hammer Film or twenty during a 31 Days of Halloween marathon? Watching a Hammer Film instantly takes me back to a random Saturday afternoon of my youth. These movies are very much a sensory experience and a wonderful visit with effects from cinema's past. Great lighting and painting on the very film print. The film is very much part of cinematic history as being the first film that received a rating from the MPAA.

Monday, October 12, 2015

THE GIRL IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS Interviews Nick Simon, Kal Penn, Claudia Lee, Luke Baines, Autumn Kendrick with Robert A. Mitchell

The Girl in the Photographs had it's world premiere on September 14th, 2015 at the Midnight Madness program at the Toronto International Film Festival. Robert A. Mitchell was on the red carpet and interviewed director/co-writer Nick Simon and some of the cast including Kal Penn, Claudia Lee, Luke Baines, Autumn Kendrick and Kenny Wormald. The film has the distinction to be Executive Produced by the late Wes Craven. The film was also shot by legendary cinematographer Dean Cundey. (John Carpenter's Halloween, Jurassic Park)

Monday, October 5, 2015

THE DEVIL'S CANDY World Premiere Interviews Director Sean Byrne, Actor Ethan Embry with Robert A. Mitchell

It took six long years for Sean Byrne (The Loved Ones) to fully realize his sophomore feature film The Devil's Candy but the wait was worth it. Sean is a consummate gentlemen and a film craftsman. His first feature The Loved Ones was so well received at the Midnight Madness program at the Toronto International Film Festival that it won the inaugural Midnight Madness People's Choice award. The anticipation was high at the World Premiere and the film delivered. Robert A. Mitchell spoke with Mr. Byrne and actor Ethan Embry about The Devil's Candy.

From Sean Byrne on how to see the film this weekend! Horror fans and metal heads of the USA, THE DEVIL’S CANDY releases tomorrow. If you want to fully experience the wall of dread closing in on you then see it in these theaters: 3/17/17 Arena Cinelounge - Hollywood, CA 3/17/17 IFC Center - New York, NY 3/24/17 Coolidge Corner Theatre - Brookline (Boston), MA 3/24/17 Gateway Film Center - Columbus, OH 3/24/17 SIE Film Center - Denver, CO 3/24/17 Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park - Katy (Houston), TX 3/24/17 Valley Art - Tempe (Phoenix), AZ 3/31/17 Alamo Ritz - Austin, TX 3/31/17 Loft Cinema Twin - Tuscon, AZ 3/31/17 Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Winchester - Washington, DC 4/14/17 Celebration Cinema Grand Rapids North & IMAX - Grand Rapids, MI 4/14/17 Celebration Cinema 11 - Mt Pleasant (Flint), MI 4/14/17 Studio C! Meridian Mall - Okemos (Lansing), MI 4/14/17 Celebration Crossroads 15 - Portage (Kalamazoo), MI 4/28/17 Guild Cinema - Albuquerque, NM If it’s not playing at a theater near you then the Devil will visit your home on these digital platforms from tomorrow: iTunes Amazon Sony Google Xbox Vudu Comcast Cablevision Charter TW Direct AT&T

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

HARDCORE: The World's First P.O.V. Action Film Interviews with Sharlto Copley, Ilya Naishuller & Timur Bekmambetov

Hardcore received it's world premiere September 12th, 2015 at the Midnight Madness program at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was a extremely unique cinematic experience as it was the world's first feature length Point Of View Action Film. Robert A. Mitchell was on the red carpet and spoke with Director IIya Naishuller, actor Sharlto Copley (District 9, Chappie) and producer Timur Bekmambetov (Daywatch, Wanted).

Monday, September 28, 2015

BASKIN: World Premiere Interviews with Director Can Evrenol & Actor Gorkem Kasal

Here is Robert A. Mitchell's 2015 Midnight Madness interviews at the Baskin World Premiere. Robert spoke with writer and director Can Evrenol and actor Gorkem Kasal. Baskin is one of more extreme horror films to be unleashed upon the world and quite some time and the film has the distinction of being the first film from Turkey to play in the twenty seven years of the Midnight Madness program at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

GREEN ROOM: Premiere Interviews with Patrick Stewart, Jeremy Saulnier, Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat, Macon Blair

Green Room written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier was the first film in the 2015 Midnight Madness program at the Toronto International Film Festival. Robert A. Mitchell was on the red carpet and had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Saulnier as well as Sir Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat and Macon Blair.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Larry Fessenden Interview with Robert A. Mitchell

October 2008 was the first time I met Larry Fessenden after the premiere of I Sell The Dead at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. We had a great interview discussing his career making films from the the formation of his production company Glass Eye Pix his own genre pictures from Habit to The Last Winter as well as acting in films directed by Martin Scorsese (Bringing Out The Dead) and Jim Jarmusch (Broken Flowers) just to name a few films and directors he has worked with. Larry is extremely talented, charismatic, passionate about making films and has a great knowledge of cinema.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

REPO! The Genetic Opera Terrance Zdunich Interview with Robert A. Mitchell

Back in October 2008 I met and had a conversation with Terrance Zdunich co-writer, co-composer of Repo! The Genetic Opera. He also plays the character Graverobber in the film.  It was a great conversation talking about the initial concept and origins -- from the original play to the feature length film. We also talked about where did the idea of creating a twenty-first century rock opera come from, Terrance's various influences and the casting of ensemble cast who appear in the film.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

GWAR! The Lost Dave Brockie Interview with Robert A. Mitchell

It was late December 2008 and I was living in Toronto preparing dinner when I received a call from a local promoter I knew. (People still used phones in those days) He asked, "Would you be interested in interviewing GWAR! tonight?" There was little hesitation when I said yes. I hung up and rushed through finishing making and eating dinner.

I then fired up my laptop and beginning working on questions. I prepared two sets of questions. The first was for the band in character and the second -- was in the unlikely event that I would interview the band themselves.

I headed out and to the Queen East streetcar that took me over to The Opera House. I got into the venue and met up with the promoter. The one stipulation I was told was that I would not be allowed to film the live show. The band was very protective of the live shows and was a source of income for the band selling DVDs. The show was great and a lot of fun. I shot images after the show of people walking past me covered in fake blood. It was such good footage I used it at the starting of the interview.

This one of my first "big" interviews and it was backstage after the show. The excitement increased when I learned I would be interview Dave Brockie outside of his on-stage character which was extremely rare. Being backstage was tamer then perhaps some would think. However there were a lot of crew loading out equipment, which at a GWAR! show is a lot. Plus there were several people hanging around who once they saw the camera tried to get their way in front of it. With the amount of experience I have gained since I would have controlled the room and interview a lot better.

As I write this it is still weird and difficult to talk of Dave Brockie, founder and former lead singer of the band in the past tense. He was funny, energetic and had a real passion for music and you can see that in the interview below.

Monday, April 6, 2015

HEADLESS: Scott Schirmer, Leya Taylor & Arthur Cullipher Interview with Robert A. Mitchell

Bloomington, Indiana located an hour south of Indianapolis where the farm lands of Indiana begin to give way to the rolling hills of Southern Indiana. These hills eventually make their way further South and meet up with the Appalachian mountains. Bloomington is also where I currently call home. It was falling in love and getting married that lead me to this college town. What do these geographically and personal details have to do with an independent horror film?

As far as the rolling hills turning into mountains, there is a small collective of individuals here giving rise to personal horror films and helping to put Indiana on the map as a place where films can and are being made. The first film from this group of filmmakers is a movie called Found. The film was directed by Scott Schirmer who also wrote the screenplay adapted from Todd Rigney's novel. Found was made not on a shoestring but the frayed remnants of a shoestring. Proving that money is only a tool of film making and not end all and be all of cinematic storytelling the finished film is a strong first feature made by a dedicated core of individuals. One thing that stands out for me is cinematography of Leya Taylor. The film looks beautiful as it takes it viewers into the darkness of humanity.

Which leads me to love. Found is a film where one can see that the creators are clearly in love with cinema and their personal discovery of first finding films. One such instance can be seen as characters  in Found track down VHS tapes in a video store. This is where the genesis of the next film would be found. (pun actually unintentional) In Todd Rigney's story there is a film called Headless which is the kind of film that kids of the eighties would seek out like Faces of Death where it was the thrill of the hunt to find a copy and then through fingers covering eyes would uncomfortably watch the movie. Scenes of Headless were shot for Found. In these scenes one could see Arthur Cullipher's and his team's talent at creating special effects.

While on a cursory note one would like to say the two film are bookends, Headless having direct beginnings in the film Found and the creators behind both films. However the two are very different stories and cinematic experiences. Headless is it's own film and shows that this team while operating within the horror genre can make vastly different films. Arthur Cullipher steps into the director's chair and the film was written by Nathan Erdel. Headless is definitely not a horror film for the faint-hearted. Here is the interview I conducted with Scott, Leya and Arthur in my living room. (I should do more interviews here)

Friday, April 3, 2015

MALA MALA: Interview with Jason Carrión aka April Carrión with Robert A. Mitchell

The In Light Human Rights Documentary film festival took place from March 5th to 7th in Bloomington, Indiana at Indiana University. Mala Mala was one of the films screened. The documentary takes a look the trans-identifying community in Puerto Rico.

I had the opportunity to speak with Jason Carrión who is featured in the film as well as his alter ego April Carrión, a drag performer who was featured on the television show, Ru Pauls's Drag Race.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

SLUMS: CITIES OF TOMORROW Nicolas Reeves Interview with Robert A. Mitchell

The In Light Human Rights Documentary film festival took place March 5 to the 7th in Bloomington Indiana at Indiana University. Of the several films screened one of the highlights was Slums: Cities Of Tomorrow. Over one billion people on this planet live in slums. The film travels to several slums and squats all over the world. India, Turkey, New Jersey and Quebec to name a few. Many times these communities are looked at as the problem.

One of the major ideas in Slums: Cities Of Tomorrow is that we need to work with the people within these developments not against them. As the amount of space and natural resources on this planet continue to diminish we need to reevaluate how we all live together.

Nicolas Reeves is a researcher, artist, curator as well as an architect. He has a BS and a MS in physics from the University of Montreal and a MA in architecture from MIT (Cambridge). I was able to sit down and talk with Nicolas Reeves about the documentary and his ideas.