Chris Zylka, above) to a threesome with a fantasy who suddenly becomes a realty. The filmaker is happy to give sex lessons, too -- as when one of his heroines, London (the sublime Juno Temple, shown with red cap in the penultimate photo, below) diagnoses to a "t" the performance problems of studly Rex (Andy Fischer-Price).
Thomas Dekker, above, looking very much like a little boy with a beard).
Kelly Lynch) can't keep one quick phone call going; and a "witch" (Roxanne Mesquida, above, right) seduces then stalks his best gal pal (Haley Bennett, above, center, who, along with Ms Temple, gives the film's standout performance). Oh, yes: and our hero's been having some weird apocalyptic nightmares....
Splendor and the charm and humor of Smiley Face. Full of inventive, fun visual effects, the film looks like a million bucks (but probably cost much less).
IFC Films, made its Sundance debut this week in the Spotlight section of the festival (where all four of its screenings sold out), had its On-Demand Sundance Selects debut yesterday and will open theatrically in New York City at the IFC Center this Friday, January 28 -- with a national rollout beginning in February.
An unusually large table of bloggers met with Gregg Araki on an afternoon earlier this winter at the IFC headquarters at Eleven Penn Plaza. The meeting took place about a half-hour later than originally scheduled so yours truly had to beat, all too soon, a hasty retreat. But the group allowed me to ask my couple of questions first. Here they are, in boldface, along with those of a couple of other bloggers that found their way into the early discussion. Araki's answers are in standard type:
Because we're starting late, Gregg, I have to leave early, so the group has allowed me to ask you a question or two first.
Yes, I planned it that way.
That's better. Do you ever notice that, when people leave in the middle of a screening, it seems like they're always seated in the front row!
Maybe they didn't expect to be leaving early? Anyway, your movie gave me more fun than I have had in a theater in ages. It left me almost high.
Oh, thank you-- that's awesome! It was intended to be that. I think of the movie as just a really fun ride that sort of starts and then takes you away into this new world. A couple of weeks ago I was in London for the film festival, and I was supposed to introduce the film and then go out with the festival organizers for dinner. Once the film started, I wanted to sit there for a couple of minutes to make sure it was going OK. But then I got sucked back into to it and it was like 15 minutes, and I was still sitting there. Then the whole first reel had played and they were like, "Well, are you coming to dinner?"
I can understand that. How many times have you actually seen your film?
Maybe a hundred. (The whole table gasps.) Well, you know, I edited it, too. And I've seen all the different cuts of it. I literally designed it to be a movie that you can watch over and over and over again and maybe get something new out of it every time you view it. Lots of times I don't intend to watch it, but it'll start and I just get sucked in. Thomas -- the kid who stars in the movie -- is the same way. We've been at several film festival together with it, and I think he's now seen it seven or eight times. I actually made it, hoping it might be one of those cult movies where you get the DVD and watch it over and over. That's why it's short, to the point, and just fun to watch.
I actually do think this is true. The actual making of a film almost gets harder -- the financing, that whole aspect of it -- but I do feel that with each film I make I am just a better filmmaker. You learn so much every time you make a movie. Kaboom is by now my tenth film. You learn so much. With Kaboom in particular, it was a very ambitious project, a very big movie on a very tight budget and a very tight schedule, so I had to really use every trick in the book to pull it off and make it all happen on the budget we had. So it is.... Really -- I do feel like technically, as a filmmaker, I am much better than I was ten or 20 years ago. But that's just natural: The more you do something, the better you should get at it.