Genre is a lifeline. We cling to it in order to guide our expectations of a film, and while genres can be blended, we expect them to remain consistent. But just because a clearly stated genre is conventional, that doesn’t mean it’s unshakable. Jim Mickle’s Cold in July pulls its audience into one tone, and then explodes it over halfway through the picture only to blow it up yet again. It can be categorized as a “crime” film, but that doesn’t really do it justice as Mickle constantly shakes up the tone to where the picture can be jarring and schizophrenic. But this approach also makes Cold in July thrillingly unpredictable.
Now playing in limited release is We Are What We Are. Based on the 2010 film Somos lo que hay, the film centers on The Parkers, a reclusive family with strong sense of tradition and a taste for human flesh. Director Jim Mickle avoids the pitfalls of many American remakes by reinventing the film while staying true to the spirit of the original. With a bit of gender swapping and a complete cultural transfusion Mickle has taken the core of an idea and fleshed it out into a film that is grotesque, beautiful, and entirely his own. We Are What We Are stars Bill Sage, Julia Garner, Amber Childers, Kelly McGinnis, Michael Parks and Nick Damici.
Earlier this week I jumped on the phone for an exclusive interview with Mickle. He talked about what attracted him to the material, adapting a foreign film, his collaborative process with Damici, and creating a film with such a precise tone, and more. He also talked next film Cold in July. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is in the midst of unveiling its lineups, and today we’ve got the first images from some films that will be playing as part of the Park City at Midnight program. Briefly:
- The Rambler – Written and directed by Calvin Lee Reeder and starring Dermot Mulroney, Lindsay Pulsipher, Natasha Lyonne, James Cady and Scott Sharot.
- S-VHS – A horror anthology follow-up with segments directed by Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Edúardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Huw Evans and Jason Eisener; written by Simon Barrett, Jamie Nash, Timo Tjahjanto & Gareth Huw Evans and John Davies; and starring Adam Wingard, Lawrence Levine and L.C Holt, Kelsy Abbott and Hannah Hughes.
- Virtually Heroes – Directed by GJ Echternkamp and written by Matt Yamashita, starring Robert Baker, Brent Chase, Katie Savoy, Mark Hamill and Ben Messmer.
- We Are What We Are – Written by Nick Damici and writer/director Jim Mickle, starring Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner, Michael Parks, Wyatt Russell and Kelly McGillis.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 17 – 27.
One of my favorite films at Fantastic Fest this year was the vampire road film Stake Land (you can read my review here). While it may have been a small budget film, the scope of the movie is quite big and everything feels of the utmost quality. Gritty, tough, and yet full of heart, this was a fun ride from beginning to end that had a slew of different vampire classes. Although I had yet to see the film when I got the opportunity to interview writer/director Jim Mickle, co-writer Nick Damici, and star Connor Paolo, I had a feeling this was something I would not want to pass up. The news that Stake Land won the Midnight Madness award out of Toronto International Film Festival just a few weeks prior had given me confidence in my decision. Luckily, it worked out quite well because I loved the film and the cast and crew were great. So, hit the jump for my exclusive video interview and time stamp highlights.
Sometimes you take a premise and wring it for all it’s worth and you add some soul, humor, great casting, and gritty action to give it the right flavor. That’s exactly what the post-apocalyptic vampire road movie Stake Land does, as director Jim Mickle takes Nick Damici’s script and fine-tunes the narrative enough to elevate it above a simple romp through vampire infested back roads and really connect with the audience. The biggest draw will be the different classes of vampires Stake Land introduces, but even the retreaded portions of the film are executed so well that the end result is better than the sum of its parts. Hit the jump for my full review and why this was my favorite film of the entire festival.
Days tend to blend together at a film festival. Thursdays feel like Mondays, a Saturday can feel like a Wednesday and so on. So the fact that Day Five of Fantastic Fest 2010 fell on a Monday only mattered when battling school buses in traffic. It still meant getting up early to secure tickets, a late morning nap, and then movies, movies, movies. In reality, though, Monday only brought two films: Yoshihiro Nakamura’s Golden Slumber and Jim Mickle’s Stake Land, before it was time to award the best films of the fest and feud it up. Hit the jump for all the details.
Amid such high profile entries as Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, and Ben Affleck’s The Town, the period drama The King’s Speech entered the Toronto International Film Festival relatively low on buzz. Such is no longer the case, as the Tom Hooper-directed film just walked away from the fest with top honors: the “People’s Choice Award,” as voted by festival audiences. The King’s Speech stars Colin Firth as King George VI as he reluctantly assumes the throne despite a nervous stammer.
Other big winners include writer/director Shawn Ku for his work on Beautiful Boy, and the post-apocalyptic vampire flick Stake Land, honored with the “Midnight Madness Award” by audiences. Hit the jump for the official press release with the full list of winners.