Interview: ‘The Limehouse Golem’ Director Juan Carlos Medina

Prior to the release of The Limehouse Golem, I had a chance to speak to the director of the film, Juan Carlos Medina. He spoke about the making of the film, transforming the novel to the cinematic adaptation, and much more. Here are excerpts and the full audio of the interview.

The difference of not having written (Golem) and only having to direct it, as opposed to both writing and directing previous films: 

JCM: It’s true that I haven’t written the scrip, but I would never search for something that is alien to me. When I got the script it was a script that spoke to things I’m passionate about. I saw an opportunity to be challenged and do something that I really loved and had been wanting to do for a long time. I was a real fan of the novel. 

On the importance of being faithful to the novel:

JCM: To my sense it’s about getting to the essence of the novel. Every look is different so you need to have that exercise where you refine the book to its core principles and bring that to a cinematic form.

MY TAKE:

I really enjoyed listening to the analysis and insight that Juan Carlos described. Certainly he had a specific vision for the film and brought it to light while staying true to the novel. I liked hearing his take on the setting and story possibly taking place somewhere else. It made a lot of sense when he talked about stories being eternal, but only the outer elements change. There was definitely some philosophy to his reasoning and explanations, it was deep thinking and insight. These are the kind of responses you’d hope to get interviewing someone, but they don’t come by often. 

The movie is definitely worth a look. Fans of the novel will get a dynamic visual version that can’t be told in pages of the book. The mystery aspect of the film kept me drawn in. It’s a genre sort of film that I appreciated. This is 19th century London like you couldn’t imagine. 

The Limehouse Golem is out in Theaters, VOD and Digital HD on September 8

Interview: ‘Bushwick’ Actress Angelic Zambrana

The action adventure film Bushwick hits theaters on August 25. The film stars Dave Bautista, Brittany Snow and Angelic Zambrana. I had a chance to speak to Angelic prior to the release of the film. We discussed the making of the film and the shooting locations. Angelic talked about her friendship with Bautista, as well as her approach to characters she plays. All that and more. You can check out the following interview excerpts and listen to the entirety of it below.

RT: What drew her to the film:

Angelic: We shot this in 2015 and the story concept was thought of before that. I thought Bushwick and American Civil War, this is different. I thought it was unique and different and I was hoping they would go with me. 

RT: What drew her to the role of Belinda:

Angelic: The character of Belinda reminded me of a friend of mine in the good parts of her. She doesn’t have a filter in her emotions and thinking of her of how special and funny she is gave me permission. I used her to step-in for my audition and to be present in the moment. 

RT: You seem to have a flare for playing New Yorker’s, what appeals to you about these characters:

Angelic: Yeah, I am a New Yorker and I’m such a keen observer. I know what the accents are from the old time New York and different periods and different boroughs have different accents. I’m surrounded by true New York characters, that’s why Belinda was inspired by someone. I like them and I’m surrounded by these unique intense New York characters.

MY TAKE:

Angelic is one of the bubbliest and excited people I’ve ever interviewed (that was all on through the phone!). It’s addictive to hear someone so joyous and engaged in the interview and speaking about the film. I’d liken that to someone on a first day of their dream job, seems like Angelic is living many of those first days on a dream job, which is wonderful.

It’s cool to hear that the film was shot on location in Bushwick, NY. I could definitely envision people thinking bombs were going off and something wrong was happening when they used smoke bombs on set. The film definitely has that authentic feel to it. CGI couldn’t do justice to that.

One of the coolest things was hearing how Dave Bautista helped her volunteer in a soup kitchen. She really raved about Bautista. It’s nice to hear stars give back and be good genuine people off-camera. Angelic definitely also seems to be that kind of a person, just check out her Instagram page angeliczambranafanafofanna (for real).

This was one of those interviews that left me with a smile on my face afterwards. I’m excited to follow Angelic’s career, certainly with that personality it will be an easy draw for casting directors. The film itself is unique and compelling. I urge you to check it out.

‘Bushwick’ is out in theaters and VOD on August 25

You can also follow me on Twitter @TheJimAlexander 

Interview: ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ Directors Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen

Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth has a sequel. Unfortunately for us the weather is getting worse, but the movie sequel is just as educational and important, if not more, than the first. An Inconvenient Sequel’s filmmakers Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen stopped in Chicago on their press tour and I had a chance to speak to them. Joining me in the interview are Chicago film critics Jon Espino of The Young Folks and Pat McDonald of Hollywood Chicago. Two very good journalists that I enjoy interacting with. We were all part of the roundtable with Jon and Bonni and the following is what was discussed about the film, global warming and Al Gore. Check it out below:

“I question this all the time, having spent two years with Al Gore, is the work potentially more vital that he’s doing now than he could have done as president? It’s a better question to ask if he hadn’t done it, would anyone else have and where would we be?” — Bonni Cohen

MY TAKE:

I never know what the folks I interview will be like when I meet them, but I always tend to have an idea or image that sort of comes about before I meet them, even for a fleeting moment. In Jon and Bonni’s case, they were fairly similar what I imagined them to be. They were intelligent, well-spoken, thoughtful and conversational. These are the sort of people you are drawn to listen to and hear talk about their experience and expertise. I found them to be that way.

I felt we all had solid questions for them. I liked how Jon snuck in a Star Wars mention, Jon directed Star Wars: Episodes 1 & 2, although there wasn’t much of an acknowledgement to Jon’s statement, oops. Someone was gonna bring it up and Jon was the one. I think the answer that might have surprised us most was that Jon and Bonni were married. None of us had any idea! They were so professional that you couldn’t tell. The content in movie wasn’t as surprising given the reality of the climate change, but them being a real life couple might have been the biggest reveal of the day. I wanted to follow-up and ask them how they manage to be on the road for two years with Gore and bring this film together, all while having two teenage kids to tend to. Can’t be easy.

As far as the movie itself, it’s great. One of those must-see documentaries that impacts EVERYONE on this planet. Global warming is a real problem, just look out the window and step outside and you’ll notice. The film clocks in at 98 minutes, but you’d never know due to the engaging effect it has. It draws you in and doesn’t let go.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power is out now in theaters in Chicago and nationwide. Check your local listings.

You can follow me on Twitter @JimRko and @TheReelTalker

Interview: ‘Pilgrimage’ Director Brendan Muldowney Discusses The Film

Pilgrimage (in theaters & VOD on August 11) tells the story of a group of monks on a journey to Rome in order to deliver a holy monastery relic. The film stars Tom Holland, Jon Bernthal and Richard Armitage. I had an opportunity to talk to the director of the film, Mr. Brendan Muldowney. In my interview Brendan discusses the weather troubles the production encountered during filming, he talks about the three lead actors Holland, Bernthal and Armitage, and he shares with me his former unique hobby, which is quite shocking when you hear it. An excerpt of the interview and the full audio can be found below:

“Tom Holland, who I’ve seen in ‘The Impossible’ and ‘How I Live Now’, he wasn’t Spider-Man, Tom was the first one on. I saw him in those films and I thought he was brilliant. Thought there was a great truthfulness to him, that’s what I was looking for.” — Brendan Muldowney

MY TAKE:

When it came to the weather I expected to hear that it played in naturally to the film. The answer I received was the opposite. Apparently, there was a heat wave while they were shooting and those cool gloomy dark shades of the skies in the background were computer digitized and enhanced.

I really liked the fact that Brendan didn’t give a copout answer when talking about what attracts him to films, good stories being that answer. Brendan’s answer was cult movies. That’s really cool and interesting to hear. I enjoy finding out quirks or special interests of the folks I get to interview. When I asked Brendan this question, he told me he used to canoe for Ireland. I think that’s just badass and so unique. This is the kinda stuff I get a kick out of hearing and would like my readers to know about.

Pilgrimage releases in Theaters, Digital HD and VOD on August 11, 2017

You can follow me on Twitter @JimRko and @TheReelTalker

Interview: ‘The Gracefield Incident’ Director Mathieu Ratthe

The Gracefield Incident is a fun and intriguing indie horror film that’s out now. I spoke to the film’s writer/director and star Mathieu Ratthe. Mathieu discusses the concept of the film. The challenges that he faced filming and he answers why we don’t see the monster earlier in the film. All that and more. Here is an excerpt from the interview and the full audio below:

“We shot this film in 13 days, so fast, really fast. I was like how are we gonna do this? So that’s how the conceptual idea of the eye came in. It wasn’t in the script in the first draft. I wasn’t going to be able to do any camera set-up or anything so I was like, alright, I was going to have to put the camera on my shoulder.”  —  Mathieu Ratthe

MY TAKE:

Mathieu is an interesting guy to talk to. He exudes passion for filmmaking. I was surprised to hear a few things he had mentioned. First was that the film shot in 13 days. Even if you aren’t in the know about filmmaking, that sure is fast, or short amount of time to make a film. He started shooting movies since he was 10-years-old, this month marks his 25 year doing this, that’s impressive. I’m amazed that you can become a successful filmmaker without film school, which Ratthe didn’t attend.

I loved the fact that he told me that the reason you don’t see the monster in the film is because he didn’t have the funds to put in in earlier and feature it more in the film. I liked his honesty. I enjoy when filmmakers tell me about stories from the set, in Mathieu’s case, one of them being him switching between the acting and directing which lead him to keep the hat on-screen and even speaking in a different language to the actors.

I enjoyed The Gracefield Incident. You should give it a try. It’s simply in context, but rich on execution and presentation.

‘The Gracefield Incident’ is out and available now in select theaters, Digital HD and On Demand

You can follow me on Twitter @JimRko and @TheReelTalker

Interview: Actor Luke Guldan

I really enjoy speaking to up-and-coming actors. I find their stories to be unique and always find their journey to be interesting. Luke Guldan is no different when it comes to his story of breaking into showbiz. Luke and I discussed our experiences starting out in the acting world, how he became involved in showbiz initially, his recent movie which impacted him personally and a lot more. You can listen to my interview with Luke by clicking the media player below:

MY TAKE:

Luke was so cool. In my experience, the up-and-coming entertainers that I’ve interviewed have been very humble and interesting individuals outside of their work. I appreciated how forthcoming and open he was, including the fact that he shared his insights and advice on how he broke into the industry. For any actor listening, I’m sure you could take away a few things from what Luke had to say. One thing that stuck with me was when he mentioned to ride the good times. That’s such a simple yet effective point of view to have for anyone, not just actors. I totally related to when he talked about his initial auditions, the feeling of walking in to audition and seeing a room of actors that look and sound like you, that are vying for the same role. 

I enjoyed listening to him talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger being an inspiration to getting into the industry. Luke started out as a fitness guy, at his high school of all places. He has multiple avenues with fitness and acting, I’m sure it gives him options across the board with modeling, print, acting and fitness. I should take a few workout tips from him. That six-pack won’t show up on its own. 

It’s rare for an actor that’s just getting his career rolling that he’s gotten the chance to work on films that had real meaning and were impactful. I’m looking forward to seeing his future projects and his career rising. 

For more on Luke Guldan, check out these links:

www.lukeguldan.com

Instagram: @lukeguldanofficial 

Twitter: @LukeGuldan

Interview: Filmmaker Ido Fluk Discusses ‘The Ticket’

The Ticket is a highly intriguing film starring Dan Stevens and Malin Akerman. I had an opportunity to speak to the writer and director of the film Ido Fluk. We discussed the making of the movie and talked about the concept of the story. Ido touches on the importance of the cast and a lot more. Listen to the entire audio of the interview below.

MY TAKE: 

It’s really unique to hear about how creative people come up with ideas for their work. For Ido to come up with the idea of this film from a unintentional observation editing another movie is pretty great. I was interested to hear how he also combined the fables his father used to tell him as a kid and that further inspired the plot of this film. Seems like the film came out of randomness combined with some memories from his past, which sounds cool to me. 

I got a kick out of his answer about him being in a band. This is the fun part for me to delve a bit into these filmmakers and actors personal lives and finding out some of their unique interests outside of their craft. Now, I’m compelled to find some footage of him rocking out! It just shows that these people we see on TV creating the content we enjoy so much have other personal interests, hobbies and passions outside of their art. 

Ido seemed like a very personable and forthcoming guy. I appreciated that and had fun talking to him. 

As far as the movie goes, the concept of ‘The Ticket’ really intrigued me. The movie itself is just as intriguing and compelling. Very good plot and storytelling by Ido, incorporated with some fine work from Dan Stevens and the supporting cast really makes this a movie to see. 

‘The Ticket’ is out and available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD