Archive for March, 2009

Tokyo Sonata Extended!

March 31, 2009

If you haven’t seen TOKYO SONATA yet, we’ve extended its run one more week! Also, there was a great interview published with the director Kiyoshi Kurosawa today in Rumpus, an excerpt of which can be found below.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa has directed movies at an extraordinary pace: some forty-two since 1973, averaging, in recent years, two or three a year. This number doesn’t include the “pink,” or erotic films in which he made a start, but it does include films ranging across genres as diverse as horror, revenge thrillers, and yakuza gangster comedy. In the US, he’s primarily known for his horror films — Cure (1997) and Pulse (2001) — as well as an odd, fantastic meditation on suicide and loss titled Bright Future (2003). Kiyoshi KurosawaHis latest, Tokyo Sonata, is a much more straightforward film and gets attention as much for the timeliness of its subject matter as for the quality of the filmmaking — the protagonist loses his job in the very first scene, and when he returns home, finds himself overcome with shame and unable to tell his family. Instead, he dresses up for work each morning and leaves the house as if nothing has happened at all. With such dark starting material, the movie could easily come across as hopeless; instead, Kurosawa shapes his material with a lighter touch (see the full Rumpus review). We caught up with Kiyoshi Kurosawa when he was in town for the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.

The Rumpus: I’ve got a bit of a strange question to begin with, and that’s about cardboard boxes. I’ve noticed quite a few of them in your movies: Eyes of the Spider opens with a Sho Aikawa’s character taking out his aggression on the man he believes is his daughter’s killer by beating him over the head, ineffectually, with cardboard, not quite ready to do full physical harm but nonetheless overcome with rage; Bright Future ends with a long shot of schoolboys kicking a pile of boxes down the street all the way through the credits, suggesting a broader generational malaise. Where did that interest begin?

Kiyoshi Kurosawa: Okay, you’re right, that’s a pretty odd question. Well, there’s not any particular thematic reason I use them. The reason is much more practical — there are times when I decide in the middle of shooting a scene that I need a quick outburst of emotion on the part of a character. Often, it’s an urge toward violence, a desire to strike out in some way. I haven’t written the moment into the script, but now I want the character to lose it a little. Items like cardboard boxes and bags of trash are easy; on a practical level, they’re easy to stage, their presence makes sense in any number of locations like the street or in a warehouse, and using them is safe for the actors. Furthermore, I love the sound of a pile of cardboard boxes being kicked in or thrown about, and stuff goes everywhere so it’s also very visual. cure

Rumpus: You’ve had a fascination with working in different genres, ranging from horror to yakuza to revenge films. Were you conscious of working with any particular genre while making Tokyo Sonata?

Kurosawa: I didn’t think of it as being as directly in a genre like, say, a horror film, but it was nonetheless very much inspired by the domestic dramas that are common on Japanese television, where the kitchen table becomes the dramatic center of the story. The kitchen, after all, is the one place where all the members of a family gather together every night, where there are disagreements and reconciliations, where secrets come out into the open. So that was where I deliberately located the center of my film.

Rumpus: While at first glance, the film seems like the story of a man who loses his job, by the end of the film I actually thought the most important character in the film might be the story of the mother. She’s the one who tries to hold the family together.

Kurosawa: Actually, I wanted to give the stories of all four members in the family equal weight. During the first half, structurally speaking, the salaryman’s story is at the center. The mother’s story (played by Kyoko Koizumi) doesn’t really come to the forefront until the latter half of the film. I did this purposefully. The other three members of the family — the father and the two sons — have stories that are, literally, located externally, out of the house and out in the world. For Kyoko Koizumi’s character, the conflict is an internal one. Her world lies primarily within herself and in the house, and she simultaneously discovers that what she thought existed both within herself and in her home are lacking. She starts to question who she is, and in order to find the answer she needs to be outside the home. Since this happens in the second half of the story, it’s possible that she came across as more of the center of the film.

Rumpus: You also fill the narrative with wonderful tragicomic details about how the Teruyuki Kagawa character conceals his unemployed life — he sets his cell phone to ring every so often, for example, on its own. How much research did you do into lives of secretly unemployed workers?

Kurosawa: I did do a bit of research for this film. The particular detail you just mentioned about programming a cell phone I owe to Sachiko Tanaka, who helped cowrite the script and whose thought it was. But more generally the phenomenon of the unemployed leaving the house and pretending to go to work every day is, of course, established and real, so I did some research and then built up my story imaginatively around that fact.

Rumpus: You regularly place your characters under severe psychological stress that causes them to do some unusual things. This is pretty much a feature of every one of your movies, but one example that comes to mind is Sho Aikawa’s character in The Serpent’s Path, who in helping a man avenge his daughter’s murder deliberately frames a number of innocent people, for reasons we only find out about at the end. How do you approach these kinds of characters? retribution1 A scene from Kurosawa’s “Retribution”

Kurosawa: Well, I do put my characters in trying, even twisted, circumstances. But what I’m very carefully trying to do is to create characters who are first and foremost regular people, no different than you or me. Their situations are unusual, sure, but in my movies how the characters deal with pressure in those situations is fundamentally not dissimilar from how you or I deal with our own pressures. The difference may primarily be described as one of scale. What I tell my actors in these scenes is to play them as if they are as normal a person as possible, even when they’re given an abnormal line or action.

Rumpus: You’ve been quoted in DVD Talk as saying that Americans are given to questioning the motivations of the characters in your screenplays, saying, “What’s going on with this character now? What’s his intent?” To which you answered, “He doesn’t have any intent. He’s just being.” Do you find that when you watch American films, there is a lack of moments of “just being”?

Kurosawa: Yes, definitely. As much as admire American films, I do often find that characters’ actions are too obvious or simplistic, and therefore unrealistic; I get bored with characters who can be reduced down to a single motivation. On the other hand, in the best American movies, characters have a clear goal, but there’s still somehow an element of mystery to them; their behavior and state of mind feel more natural. I puzzled over this at first, how the directors had achieved this effect. Eventually, I figured out that the answer lay in abbreviating a character. American filmmakers have a particular knack for injecting meaning into the space between scenes. In other words, a character may do something in one scene and then when you see them in the next scene, and you don’t know what’s happened in the interim — what decisions they’ve made, for instance — that space gives you the element of mystery that creates a fuller character.

Rumpus: To what extent do you work with the conventions of American Hollywood-style films or against them, in terms of genre or screenwriting structure?film logo Kurosawa: There are any number of angles to this question, but one way to answer it is to say that my opinion is the genres we have today were invented in Hollywood, so that when I think of genres, I think of American movies. These genre films are themselves impressive; at the same time, what I admire about the best American directors, like Clint Eastwood, is that they are able to work within a genre and then stretch the definition of that genre in a new direction — to, in effect, destroy the very genre they started with and create almost a new category of film. In terms of screenwriting structure, I was really conscious of that form of screenwriting until quite late in my career — I’d place it around the time I made Cure in 1997. But I often found that sticking too closely to this formula really hindered the development of something more organic and left me a little dissatisfied. So when I wrote Cure, I decided I was just going to really just forget about that and to concentrate on making something that was truly my own vision. I’ve mentioned Clint Eastwood already, and I have to say that in recent years even in the US, any number of directors have taken on the form. This has emboldened me as well. Rumpus: Are there any particular genres you’ve found are easier or harder to work with, and are there any genres you haven’t tried that you’d like to try in the future?

Kurosawa: The genre that was easiest to work with was the gangster film. One of the hardest genres to work with was horror. This might sound surprising, but there’s a simple reason for this. In a gangster movie, the characters’ histories are already implied — a gangster’s past is easily suggested, and all you need to do is to move the story forward. In a horror film, it’s always necessary, at the moment that, say, the ghost appears, to then go back and explain where the ghost came from. It’s sort of a pain to do back story in film; I find myself wanting to just move the story forward. So, anyway, right now I don’t have plans to go back to doing any horror films. As far as new genres to tackle, there are so many I haven’t done, and to be honest I’d like to do them all. Musicals, for example. Straight up comedy. Period drama. I’m interested in everything.

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Ramin Bahrani Interview

March 27, 2009

Ramin Bahrani gives a fascinating interview today over at Greencine. He will also be at Northwest Film Forum April 28 & 29th to premiere his new film Goodbye Solo and to teach a workshop for local filmmakers.

Carlos Reygadas on Cinema

March 25, 2009

Silent Light, on our screen this Friday, is one of the best films of the year if not the decade. Director Carlos Reygadas is an opinionated type, with fierce ideas about cinema’s responsibilities. We tracked down some recent interviews in which he espouses his cinematic approached.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview:

How does your film thwart the concept of “time”?  You have the clock ticking loudly in the beginning, and then you have comments on the impossibility of time going backwards, but then it does.

I think in cinema it is great to create your own world and take all the liberties you want. We stopped time to tell the story, a story that perhaps is only in our heads. When the old man fixes the clock, he is just fixing the time, he is making it correct; he is not making it go forward.  Every time I have done something stupid, the first feeling is if I could just go back… In reality, I do not believe in miracles, but I think reality is a miracle. I don’t think what happens in the Bible is so different from reality, even if I do not believe in them literally.

And your own belief?

When I was a boy, I asked my mother all the time about death, and what happens afterwards. Sometimes I wanted to be an atheist, I managed, but I didn’t really believe. I wanted to be an atheist, but I believed despite myself.

What is your technique when it comes to aesthetics?

I plan the movement of the camera and the movement of the characters. I use non-actors. I make sure my characters know their texts by heart. We don’t do rehearsals. Many times the first take is the best. I believe this is the best way to do it for my films.  Only a non-actor can represent the kind of characters I have. I also have a lot of shots of movement, in tractors for example, to move from scene to scene. For example, the traveling forward in the garage, the traveling forward in the shower.  Things like that happen without me planning it. It is a way to approach each moment little by little. It leaves you space to enter the frame and imagine what is going on.

Your film is quiet yet very intense.

I hate the idea that film is actually telling a story. The great part of film is to make you feel… For example, the first shot of my film is cinematic. The light itself is beautiful. In literature, that does not exist. You can just write: “The sun came up.” The beauty in my film is the sun itself. You don’t have to recreate it. I also like the white light that she sees when she wakes up. Pure white. We worked with particular lenses to do it.

Your opening shot-where the sun rises-is considered the best opening shot of the festival.

I begin and end with stars. This is the beginning and end of the story.   There is the universe-the broadest and largest thing-then we go to the story of these three characters and then back to the universe. It is like our life; we think we are the center of the universe but then we are nothing too.

Why Mennonites?

I am not particularly interested in Mennonites. I like that they are so uniform; so monolithic. They are all dressed the same. They are archetypes: the mother, grandmother, children. This way, I could concentrate on the essential: the love story. It is a difficult triangle. Here there is a divided heart: a man who really loves both. Everyone feels compassion for each other. The other woman wakes up the wife in an act of compassion. Christ died on the cross for us. It is the same for her. She did this for the love of her man.

He also held forth with The Guardian discussing rules he films by.

The film is everything: “I’m not pursuing ‘a career’, or trying to make a point like Godard, who had these ideas of cinema and wanted to prove them through his films. His films are just essays trying to prove a preconceived theory, and that’s why I don’t like them very much. I feel films have to be pure – projections of vision and feelings, rather than make references to things outside of them. For me, they have to be spheres: self-containing.”

Make cinema for adults: “I’ve never understood all those children’s films about animals that talk and little animated spoons. When they ask me what I think of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, I always say, ‘I don’t understand them, they’re for children.’ And when I was a child, I didn’t understand films for adults and now I don’t understand films for children. I don’t understand why so many people understand films for children.”

Story isn’t cinema: “It’s not that I’m against storytelling itself – I’m against illustrated literature. I don’t want a story and then you illustrate it, in a way that there will always be a division between form and meaning. I think in art, form and meaning are the same thing. In that sense, music is the most noble of arts, because it does not permit you to separate the music from the meaning. In cinema, the story and the photography are the same thing. It’s not, like, ‘I don’t like the story, but great photography.” The photography is the film itself; it’s not a vehicle for the story. When cinema is true, it is a language in itself — that is why it is an art. I hate the idea that a good film is a good story, as Hollywood people say. That’s not letting cinema be totally free.”

Choose your collaborators carefully: “Werner Herzog said three very clear things regarding my editor: it has to be someone who’s fast knowing the best take; it has to be someone with a sense of rhythm; and thirdly – and this is applicable to any one of your assistants or collaborators – they have to have artistic empathy with you. The third I have applied fully. If there’s someone who’s a great technician, but doesn’t understand the kind of art I’m pursuing, then it’s better not to work together.”

Demand the best: “One thing I expect is full giving in to the project and to the film and to myself. It’s not a job. You will get well paid, you will be respected, you have great food and good resting time. But when the time comes, you have to be fully there and you have to be ready to risk your life. If you’re not, you have to leave. It’s commando mentality. [For example] in August, all the rattlesnakes come out, and the area of Mexico where we filmed Silent Light is plentiful with rattlesnakes. Of course, some people are afraid, but we had the correct shots, we wore boots and, if there were still rattlesnakes, then too bad. Probably people do it also because I set the example myself.”

Use non-professional actors: “I don’t want to work with known faces. In my opinion, the greatest quality of cinema is that your eyes and your ears perceive what you have in front of you as reality. (Of course, the brain tells you that it is not.) Anything you do to diminish that miraculous capacity is almost a crime against cinema. So if you have Brad Pitt doing the Mennonites, you cannot stop seeing Brad Pitt. For me, that is like going to a fancy-dress party.”

Casting is key: “For me, it’s like love at first sight. It’s the feeling you get when you see them, when you observe them talk and move around and walk. With Cornelio [Wall, the lead actor in Silent Light] it’s what I feel about him as a man – a trustworthy guy, a sympathetic guy. I first met him on a radio programme, playing country music. I liked his face very, very much, but I thought he was going to be difficult. Later on, he confessed he pretended to be not interested, and he was. But I knew there was a game there. He invited me to a restaurant where he ate three or four bowls of shrimp with ketchup sauce. And drank, in less than an hour, about seven vampires [Bloody Marys]. I liked him a lot. Then we talked a lot for about a year and formed a friendship.”

Actors shouldn’t research their characters: “I try not to have that kind of person at all, but if I do, you cut that immediately. Violently, if necessary. I don’t like any of that – that can ruin a film. I don’t want them to bring anything for a character, apart from their unique specific humanity. The one who has to think about the film and the characters is the director.”

Don’t expect an easy ride: “I have over-estimated the masses. I thought this film was easy to read, easy to follow, with great characters. It opened in Mexico two weeks ago, and you know what is the very sad conclusion? It’s just for the elite. Not an economic elite or an intellectual elite, but a human-sensitivity elite. It’s the same for the cello: if you play the cello, you cannot expect to be Britney Spears.”

Scott vs. Brody

March 23, 2009

VS

I smell something of the John Stewart/Jim Cramer debate emerging out of this weekends spat between New York Times critic A.O. Scott and The New Yorker’s Richard Brody regarding what Scott refers to as a Neo-neo-realism, present in the films of Raming Bahrani (Goodbye Solo, Chop Shop) Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy, Old Joy), Lance Hammer (Ballast), So Yong Kim (Treeless Mountain) as well as Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Sugar). Scott argues in an article published over the weekend in NY Times Magazine, that we’re in something of a crystalline moment for this kind of cinema, films that he suggests ” illuminate (lives) of fictional characters most often played by non-actors from similar backgrounds, are not commonly depicted on screen.” Brody more broadly characterizes Scott’s argument as recognizing films that are “made on location in diverse American locations, about working-class characters, sometimes using non-professional actors.”

Brody outlines his own contentions with Scott’s assessment, going one step further by suggesting that these types of films have existed a wider array of American films over the years, but counters that what we’re experiencing is “in effect, granola cinema, abstemious films that are made to look good for you but are no less sweetened than mass-market products, that cut off a wide range of aesthetic possibilities and experiences on ostensible grounds of virtue.” Scott defends himself on his own blog.

What neither of these critics acknowledges in this debate however, and is perhaps  at least evident in some of the films Scott mentions, is that cinema, like art, and commerce, exists more than ever on a global scale and in global conversations. I’d like to suggest that works like Goodbye Solo and Treeless Mountain are as much a part of a global conversation as a national one. And realizing that, I would urge these critics and you to look at the films of Lisandro Alonso, Lee Isaac Chung’s Munyurangabo, or Ulrich Seidl’s Import Export, which all employ similar strategies; one might note that all also except Munyurangabo, lack US distribution. Stategies that were also employed by Rosselini, deSica and the like, but that I would contend say something more about the current global film ecology than about our own. These critics seem content to continue to believe that domestic US cinema exists in some sort of bubble, that for example the mumblecore films are somehow only evident in the US, when infact much of the Dogme95 films post-Denmark employed similar techniques.

As critics who clearly see work outside of the traditional US festival and theatrical markets, perhaps I should expect more from them. However since they’re writing for an American audience who is deprived of so much of the great world cinema created in any given year, I can also forgive them. More importantly, its to these films and the filmmakers credit that they seem less self obsessed than our own culture, the mumblecore films, or Dogme 95.

Short Subject: Manquér

March 20, 2009

Hearkening back to the good ol’ days when movie theatres offered up short subjects before features, today we kick off our Short Exposure program with a beautiful stop action film by Matt DanielsManquér is the first of several shorts by local filmmakers to screen before all of our new features this quarter. Check here for a full list of shorts screening in this program.

New Wilco doc – snuck in at the last minute

March 20, 2009

We are happy to announce a special addition to our Spring calendar!

On April 10-11 we’ll be showing the new Wilco documentary, Ashes of American Flags. From the description:

We’re pleased to present special premiere screenings of this excellent new Wilco concert documentary. Beautifully shot by directors Brendon Canty (of Fugazi) and Cristoph Green (the folks behind the Burn To Shine films) Ashes of American Flags is an intimate document of the Chicago band along their 2008 tour.

The group performs live in five quintessentially American venues: Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Tipitina’s in New Orleans, The Mobile AL Civic Center, The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. Between performances, we see the country’s landscapes drift by and get to know the people behind the music. Multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone takes Polaroids of fading small-town America. Bassist John Stirratt speaks about his family’s history in the New Orleans music scene. Guitarist Nels Cline talks about giving himself whiplash while performing. Jeff Tweedy sticks up for representational art.

But the real triumph of Ashes, the band’s first concert documentary, is its perfect capturing of the live Wilco experience: the spirit, the energy and the poignancy.

And if that’s not enough, we’ll be serving beer and wine in the cinemas. It’s like a Wilco concert and community listening party in one, for a measly $9. You can’t beat it.

Get your tickets now, they are selling fast.

Wilco

Awesome deal reminder

March 19, 2009

Just in case it has slipped anyone’s mind, please make note of NWFF’s Happy Mondays: all regularly priced tickets half price every Monday!

Half-price Happy Monday tickets are available only at the NWFF box office and cannot be purchased in advance online.

Cash strapped Seattle community, please spread the word.

And in other crazy deals news, NWFF is also a part of TeenTix, which means every teen with a (free!) TeenTix membership card gets in to any event that is not sold out for $5. Freaking awesome.

Little Dizzle cast interview podcast

March 19, 2009

Check out this interview from SxSWbaby.com featuring the Little Dizzle cast!

Click here to listen

Toe Tactic- An Interview With Emily Hubley

March 19, 2009

Director and animator Emily Hubley is embarking on a nationwide screening tour of her live-action/animation feature film debut The Toe Tactic. The film starts a two-day run at NWFF on Saturday.Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail interview with Emily Hubley:

For people who haven’t heard of the film, tell us a little about what The Toe Tactic is about?
Well, there are all kinds of reasons for those times in life when you lose your footing, but in this case it’s a young woman’s revisited grief for her dead father when she learns her childhood home has been sold. Her temporary withdrawal from the action of her life triggers the connection to an animated reality in which four dogs play a game of cards, the object of which is to get her back in step with the world.

As a short filmmaker, how easy or difficult was it transitioning to feature filmmaking? Was there any aspect of the production that took you by surprise or was it fairly similar to the short film process?
Everything was more complicated, took longer, and cost more money. But the business of bringing so many talented people into the process was invigorating and providing cast and crew with what they needed to do their best work without diluting the film’s distinct personality, was a really fun challenge – one I’d never had in the making of my short films.

You’ve mentioned in prior interviews that your parents, John and Faith, were influential in your decision to enter filmmaking. What sort of lessons, filmmaking and beyond, did you learn from your mom Faith, whom you worked with closely for a number of years?
The word is a cliché, but Faith was so contagiously passionate about her work, being disciplined, and the role of the artist … it was hard for anyone to be around her without catching that I some way and I was around her a lot!. (though I wish I was more disciplined.) I think I have an inability to do work I don’t love – and over the years, I’ve been able to find ways to be proud of what I do well without wasting time feeling too ashamed of what I stink at.

You’re going on a nationwide theatrical tour with Toe Tactic and offering audiences an opportunity to see it on the big screen. Why did you go through the effort of self-organizing a tour like this in a day and age where most indie filmmakers are content to simply release their features onto DVD?
There is something about watching a film with a group that you don’t get at home. It’s my instinct that the movie is learning how to ride a bike and I’m not ready to let go of the back of the seat. Come May, when the tour (at this point anyway) will be about done, I’m sure I’ll be more than ready. We expect to release a DVD in the Fall – keep posted.

What are some other projects that you’re currently working on?
Collaboratively, Jeremiah Dickey and I just completed inserts for two great documentaries — William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe directed by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler, which just showed at Sundance, and What’s On Your Plate? directed by Catherine Gund, which will show at the Berlinale next month. We also made a really fun title sequence for a TV pilot called “Living in Captivity” and may create some inserts for their next cut.

Personally, I’m starting to write new material which I’ll continue to develop while I’m on the tour. It might turn into a movie, but it also might be some kind of written or performed piece with illustrations, It’s very mysterious at this point and secret. I hope to start noodling with these ideas by making a short or two as well. We’ll see!

Special discount to The Rumpus launch event!

March 17, 2009

Confidential to all Hot Splice readers: You can get your tickets to the March 24 launch party for The Rumpus for half price!

Buy tickets here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/57651

Just click “purchase tickets” and then putting in the password: Rumpus

Here’s more on the event:

Join us for the Seattle launch of The Rumpus, a new daily online culture magazine, and the first Seattle screening of Pig Hunt.

“Perhaps the finest horror film to have been made this year,” according to Eye For Film. Pig Hunt is the tale of a Guy’s Weekend of hunting gone wrong in the backwoods of Northern California, set amidst the chaos of marijuana, meth, rednecks, and a killer cult that worships a legendary 3,000 pound wild boar called “The Ripper.”

Hosted by author and editor of The Rumpus, Stephen Elliott. Rumpus contributor Ryan Boudinot will give a reading before the film and director Jim Isaac and writer/producer Robert Mailer Anderson will answer questions following the screening. The party will continue across the street at the Vermillion art gallery.

6 p.m. Happy Hour at Vermillion, 1508 11th Ave

7 p.m. Screening of “Pig Hunt,” preceded by a short reading by Ryan Boudinot

Following the film, director Jim Isaac and writer producer Robert Mailer Anderson will take questions.

9:30 p.m. Post-screening party at Vermillion

***

Stephen Elliott is the author of seven books, including the acclaimed novel Happy Baby. He is the editor of the new online daily culture magazine, The Rumpus.

Ryan Boudinot is the author of The Littlest Hitler and a forthcoming novel called Misconception. His blog about film, The Eyeball, can be found on therumpus.net. He lives in Seattle.

TheRumpus.net (www.therumpus.net) is a new online magazine, focusing on culture, rather than “pop culture.” Updated ten to fifteen times a day, TheRumpus provides original reviews of books, music, and film, interviews with Malcolm Gladwell, The Twisted Monk, Bill Ayers, Bucky Sinister, Al Franken, T Cooper, Tristan Taormino and others, as well as original essays by Steve Almond, Robin Romm, Michelle Tea, and others, and blogs by Rick Moody, Bitchy Jones, Ryan Boudinot, and Jerry Stahl.

Jim Isaac directed Skinwalkers and Jason X. He started his career in the Lucasfilm creature shop on Return of the Jedi, then worked with Chris Walas at CWI designing, building, and puppeteering on the films Gremlins, Romancing the Stone, and Enemy Mine, among others. He did creature effects on David Croneberg’s The Fly (which won an Academy Award), was project supervisor on Naked Lunch, and visual and special effects supervisor on eXistenZ.

Robert Mailer Anderson is the author of the best-selling novel “Boonville.” At age fifteen he became a contributor to the radical newsweekly The Anderson Valley Advertiser where his uncle, Bruce Anderson, is editor and publisher.  He has also written fiction in Christopher Street, San Francisco Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Encore, and The San Francisco Examiner, among other publications. His short story, “Briley Boy,” was included in the anthology San Francisco Noir.