A: So what’s next for you Robert? Any big plans?
Directed by Antoine Bardou-Jacquet, “Moonwalkers” began production in Belgium in May 2014. Set in 1969, Ron Perlman plays CIA agent Tom Kidman, on a mission to find Stanley Kubrick and ask him to film a fake moon landing in case the Apollo landing fails. Instead he runs into Jonny (Rupert Grint), the manager of a sleazy rock band. Although they are each other’s worst nightmares, the two must work together to accomplish the biggest scam of their time.
Known for his part in the Hollywood New Wave movement, Kubrick (1928-1999) was a renowned American director who worked primarily in London. Kubrick’s filmography spanned a vast variety of genres. Noted films include Lolita (1962), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), and The Shining (1980).
R: Well, there’s a few bits and bobs. This film that I’ve been doing for the last five weeks in Belgium is called “Moonwalkers.” It’s about the CIA, who send a specialist operative to London to find Stanley Kubrick in the sixties to persuade him to film a fake moon landing, because the Apollo 11 is on its way to the moon and they’re not sure whether or not the transmission will work so they need to film a back up.
And, then, this CIA guy is having a nervous breakdown at the time because he has just come from Vietnam. And so he gets conned by this kind of wheeler-dealer bad guy who gets the budget money off him.
So it’s this kind of madcap comedy. I’m the guy who pretends to be Stanley Kubrick so I can get the money off of the CIA agent.
A: Did you go to the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at the LACMA?
THE ROAD WITHIN
Written and Directed by Gren Wells, The Road Within (2014) stars Robert Sheehan as Vincent, a young man with Tourette’s syndrome. Together with his OCD roommate Robert (Robert Patrick) and anorexic Marie (Zoe Kravitz), Vincent breaks out the residential home where they live and goes on a journey to deliver his mother’s ashes to the ocean.
R: I went last year. I went because I was rehearsing for this other film where I played a guy with Tourette syndrome, a film called “The Road Within,” which is the reason I’m in L.A., because it was opening at the L.A. Film Festival. So the director and I went to LACMA, to the exhibition, so I could have Tourette syndrome in public, so I could tick in public.
A: You got to see what it felt like.
Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) was an American photographer from Queens, New York. He is famous for his large, stylized, black and white photographs. Subjects included self-portraits, nudes and still lifes. Mapplethorpe was especially well-known in the late 60’s and early 70’s for his homoerotic work and controversial sadomasochistic and bondage scenes.
R: Yes, yes. And upstairs, there was a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition of all of these kind of soft focused, black and white images of like men with fists up other men’s asses. And in the middle of that, I was doing all the ticking. I was going, “Fuck!” People just thought I was having an adverse reaction to the pornography.
What about you? You’ve been editing this movie for the last ten years now… (laughs)
A: You know, I’m a perfectionist. But yes, the light is at the end of the tunnel. And I’m writing two other things right now. One is set in the future – I wouldn’t exactly call it sci-fi, but it’s more what might happen two weeks from now if society were to fall apart. Things are still hanging on by a thread.
R: So, when I joined the team, the old Sway Lake team – basically, I flew to New York, got driven six-and-a-half hours from New York City up to this lovely mansion house on a lake, in the middle of nowhere. And me and you had only ever spoken on Skype, and we’d spoken quite a bit on Skype. I’d seen some of Ari’s directorial methods coming through.
A: Such as? Yes, tell me?
Leigh is an English writer and director for film and stage. His career as a theatre director and playwright began in the mid-60’s, and soon he was working within in both theatre and BBC films. Critic Michael Coveney describes Leigh’s work best as comprising “a distinctive, homogenous body of work which stands comparison with anyone’s in the British theatre and cinema over the same period.” His most greater-known works include Secrets & Lies (1996), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), and Vera Drake (2004).
R: You were trying to find out, I suppose in a Mike Leigh way, about your actors, in a personal fashion.
A: Was I getting too personal?
R: Family life and stuff. You’d ask, “What in your life can you equate to this scene?”
We did like a week of rehearsal and, in that week, I think me and Mary Beth Peil, who plays Charlie, kept saying to you, “We don’t have to associate real events in our life with things that happen in the script. We’ve just got to rehearse the scenes to make them feel good.”
But it was good because it was like a learning process, we were all just in the wilderness together.
A: It’s a two-way street. We went for a long swim from one location to another location where we talked about our families.
R: We were swimming on the lake, essentially from one side of it to the other, and having a chat at the same time, which is not an easy task, to be honest with you. And about halfway across I did feel sense of panic. I’m like, “Right! I’m not talking anymore, I have to concentrate on swimming.” Because you know, had I failed, you would have had to drag me to the edge. It was no easy task.
“What’s interesting is that you would joke that it was your “practice movie,” because you were about to go shoot a movie that actually had a budget, The Mortal Instruments.”
— Ari Gold
It was mad, because we would work 6 days a week. And then we got one day off. And so on the Saturday night before our Sunday off, we’d all just go mad and in the wilderness together, get pissed drunk.
There was one morning I woke up on the dock spooning someone. And there were this kind of epic fog that descended right across over the lake. And I woke up just half-naked on the dock. Not sure how we got there.