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An Interview with Douglas Reese, Director of Pacific Angels

by Mike Haberfelner

July 2018

Films directed by Douglas Reese on (re)Search my Trash


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Your upcoming movie Pacific Angels - in a few words, what's it about?


Pacific Angels is about a film student living in an apartment in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States with his roommate and high school friend. He’s working on a group project which is causing him some stress, but the film mostly follows him as he becomes interested in conspiracy theory vloggers, as well as a certain group of people who claimed to be abducted by aliens at a local beach. This kind of is where the story starts, and it goes off in many tangents.


Your movies are often of the "slice of life"-variety - is this also the case with Pacific Angels? And to what degree do you see yourself in the lead character (or any other of the movie's characters for that matter)?


I’ve been getting interesting reviews as of late. A lot of them don’t seem to want to call my work “slice of life” much nowadays. Pacific Angels is a personal film, but not necessarily one I based any of the characters off of. In fact, I haven’t based characters off of myself since about 2015. A lot of my work is very detached from me now. It’s more of an emotional, symbolic way of being personal as opposed to being journalistic. I’m actually way more interested in a more ambitious way of telling stories now. A lot of changes in how I perceive art, whether my own or elsewhere


Other sources of inspiration when dreaming up Pacific Angels?


Dreams, actually. Quite a few shots were things I’d dreamed up, after actively pondering the story over and over. The storyline went through many changes over a nine month period. It started off a lot more barebones and restrained, but through the process of rewriting and just patiently channeling a lot of influences (Edith Wharton’s novel Ethan Frome was a major one) and coming up with these visual ideas, and ways of structuring a story and such.


What can you tell us about your movie's intended look and feel?


Artificial. Off. Discomforting. Anxious. Uncertain. Terrified. What it’s like being a millennial American in 2018.


Pacific Angels stars Canadian teen filmmaker Ryan Jamison [Ryan Jamison interview - click here] - why him, and how did the two of you first meet even?


We met on a film message board, and we’d long shared and developed our own work over time. I was - and currently still am - obsessed with his short film Facade. We’d always talked about collaborating, and the opportunity finally presented itself, and so Pacific Angels kind of just… formed, from me watching Jamison’s performances in his own work, and being influenced a bit by Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love. What I mean by that is Ryan’s character kind of goes through this increasing rage that just builds over the film in the way its laid out. I could tell by how he played mundanity in David on the Phone that he’d really add a lot to my style. He’s got a gift for characterization, and is talented with dialogue.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


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Your shop for all things Thai

None at the moment. I’m actually growing comfortable with the idea of only doing one film a year now.


Since we've last talked [click here], you have made quite a few movies - want to talk about any of those? And how do you think you've grown as a filmmaker?


I’m relatively pleased with all of my work since Warwick, so I honestly don’t have a whole lot to say, although a lot of them were exploratory and eventually led into conceptualizing Pacific Angels in the manner we attempted.


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Not currently, I appreciate the time, as always - and the support!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


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