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An Interview with Henry Weintraub, Director of The Darkest Corner of Paradise

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2013

Films directed by Henry Weintraub on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your movie The Darkest Corner of Paradise - in a few words, what is it about?

 

It's the story of Peter Landsman, a recent college graduate who moves to the city to pursue a career in professional accounting. After multiple failed job attempts and the disappearance of a mysterious woman, Peter's lured into an underworld he never knew existed.

 

Peter the disillusioned college graduate - how much of yourself do you find in that character, both before and after he goes on his personal vendetta?

 

The character of Peter Landsman was loosely based on the lead actor Patrick O'Driscoll and myself. I never attended college but worked my share of shitty dead end jobs and lived in pretty sketchy places with pretty sketchy people. That was mixed with Patrick just finishing college and not knowing exactly what to do next. It ended up a pretty balanced blend of the both of us.

 

The personal vendetta part was a little more fiction, but still relatable to most people who have searched for a purpose in their own lives.

 

(Other) sources of inspiration when writing The Darkest Corner of Paradise, and what can you tell us about your writing partner Michael Burgner, and your collaboration with him?

 

Our writing collaboration was interesting. I wrote a synopsis that was pretty dark with almost no dialogue. The script I received from Michael was almost 120 pages and stayed true to my original story, but with tons of dialogue. I had a bit of inner conflict but decided to re-write the script, using a lot of what he had written but taking out most of the dialogue and changing the ending. He wasn't too thrilled with the end result, but I couldn't spend the better part of a year working on a project I wasn't passionate about.

 

While your story at hand would suggest a very action centred approach, your film feels very lyrical and moves along at a deliberately slow pace - care to elaborate?

 

The pacing was by design, I'm just not a fan of shaky camera work, chaos editing and a story that tries to take new twists and turns. A classic story can be just as if not more interesting if done right.

 

What can you tell us about the Oregon-locations of your movie, and to what extent did they influence the look and feel of The Darkest Corner of Paradise?

 

What's there to say, Oregon's awesome.

 

What can you tell us about audience and critical reception of The Darkest Corner of Paradise?

 

There was not much of an audience or a reception for this movie. I did the feature length horror flick Melvin the year before The Darkest Corner of Paradise and it did really well. Playing in multiple festivals, showing all over America and in a few other countries and winning some awards. Also getting rid of a good amount of DVDs through my website before a distributor picked it up.

 

The Darkest Corner of Paradise on the other hand was a different story. I didn't really sell any DVDs through my site and it was rejected from a handful of festivals. I think most people classify it as an art house flick, which really wasn't my intention. I intended for The Darkest Corner of Paradise to be as dark and real as possible, which is why a lot of the question you have aren't answered. I didn't want it to be wrapped in a nice little bow. In real life a lot of questions aren't answered.

 

Long story short, a lot of the past movies I've done have a built in audience. Something like The Darkest Corner of Paradise doesn't have a specific genre and has trouble fitting in.

 

What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 



I've always been a huge movie fan, watching tons of movies growing up and working in video store for a good part of my youth. I never really considered making movies until my good friend I grew up with and moved across the country to Oregon with died unexpectedly when we were 21. As cheesy as it sounds, it made me realize life is short and I should follow my passion. I bought some bare-bones equipment and wrote my first short the week after he died.

 

As far as I know, you started out making quite a few shorts to quite some acclaim - want to talk about those for a bit?

 

Short films are the way to go for aspiring filmmakers. You can get your idea out, learn a bit about honing your craft, and get people to sit and watch your flick without taking up too much of their time. In my experience, people are into no budget indie films, just for 120 minutes into them.

 

I made short movies for 5 or 6 years before doing a feature, and learned a lot along the way. I showed them dozens of times at the local art house theaters and made the local public aware of what I was doing. It really helped pave the way for the features I make.

 

You of course also have to talk about your feature debut Melvin!

 

Melvin was a lot of fun. I grew up on Troma and no budget horror and always planned to do a movie close to that genre I loved so much - Melvin was it. It was based on the first short movie I did (Inzomniac) that my friend's death inspired. We even got Lloyd Kaufman to do a cameo when he was touring Poultrygeist around (we used the footage we shot of him in 2 different movies, a short and Melvin, Troma-style).

 

A few words about what I believe is your latest film, Killing Me?

 

Killing Me is our latest feature, about a fame obsessed postal worker who tries to achive his goal through serial killing. It was recently picked up by Chemical Burn Entertainment and is being released VOD and on DVD this year as 21st Century Serial Killer.

 

Any other films of yours you'd like to talk about, any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I'm working on a short this year entitled Strange Turf. I don't really want to go into any details yet.

 

Feeling lucky ?
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Find Henry Weintraub
at the amazons ...

USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

Looking for imports ?
Find Henry Weintraub here ...

Thailand  eThaiCD.com
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Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Henry Weintraub at adultvideouniverse.com

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

Martin Scorsese, Sergio Leone, John Boorman, Larry Cohen [Larry Cohen bio - click here], Paul Voorhoven, John Huston, Sam Peckinpah.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Taxi Driver, Point Blank, Robocop, The Toxic Avenger, The Wild Bunch.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

At the risk of sounding like a total douche, I don't really hate many movies anymore. A lot of stuff isn't for me, but I do respect the work that goes into making a movie and who am I to say if it's bad or good. I like the stuff I like and dislike the stuff I dislike, but all movies have their place.

 

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

www.531productions.com

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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

 

Jetzt kaufen bei
Lulu.com