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An Interview with Milos Mitrovic, Co-Director and Star of Tapeworm

by Mike Haberfelner

February 2020

Milos Mitrovic on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Tapeworm - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Tapeworm is a loosely connected Anti-Comedy about 5 people living their miserable, mundane lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

 

What were your sources of inspiration for writing Tapeworm, and is any of this based on true stories/real life experiences?

 

Although the film's dialogue was mostly improvised on set, the characters and scenes came naturally to us as a lot of the things that occur in the movie also happened to us or people we knew. The inspiration came from wanting to make a sort of realist film that mirrored the works of filmmakers we were fond of like Michael Haneke, Wim Wenders, Gus Van Sant, Rick Alverson.

 

Of all the characters in Tapeworm, with whom, or with whose story, do you identify with the most, actually?

 

I also play a character in the film and I would say that I identify with the character I play the most. I play a guy named Tyler that is 29 and lives with his mother. He has no job, no ambition. All he does is sit at home and play video games wasting his life. I lived with my parents till I was 29 and although I didn't play video games every day, I felt as though the lack of independence that comes with living with your parents doesn't allow you to mature properly in some areas, and you find your self stuck emotionally, as though you are a 29 year old child.

 

Tapeworm has been labelled an "anti-comedy" - do you at all agree, and if so, could you elaborate on that?

 

I would agree that it's an anti comedy. An Anti-Comedy is a sort of movie that goes against the normal conventions of comedy and is still able to produce laughs albeit all in a dry comedic tone. The movie is a very deadpan miserable comedy that is so depressing and/or unnerving one can't help but laugh to relieve the tension. The film follows the comedic sensibilities of other Anti Comedy films like The Comedy and Entertainment.

 

A few words about your directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

We wanted everything to be as natural as possible. We used non-actors and kind of got them to chat with each other while we would set up the scene, as they would chat about life we would listen to them and get them to reiterate these things on screen. When working with non-actors it's most important to find what they are comfortable with and we found that the natural small talk between takes sounded the most natural.

 

What was the collaboration between you and co-writer and co-director Fabian Velasco like, on set as well as while writing and in pre- and post production? And how did the two of you first meet even?

 

Fabian and I have made movies together for almost 10 years and have collaborated on many projects. We met at the University of Winnipeg in 2010. Because we shared common interests in music and film we quickly became friends. I find that we both have very similar sensibilities and artistic influences that allow us to agree on things most of the time. We usually discuss a scene a day or two prior to the shoot so we are on the same page, then during the shoot we will kind of throw ideas at each other and see if there is anything that sticks.

 

You also appear in front of the camera in Tapeworm - so what can you tell us about your character, what did you draw upon to bring him to life, and did you write him with yourself in mind from the get-go?

 

I play a guy named Tyler that lives at his mom's and is sort of a man-child that has closed himself off from society, playing video games and loafing about. Although I don't have all of the nihilistic/pessimistic traits that Tyler possesses, I did live with my parents until I was 29 and found a similar feeling of being trapped in a state of perpetual adolescence. I finally moved out, by the way, and it's great! Yeah, usually I act in our films and we had talked about writing a character that I would play that was kind of like a really soulless and evil version of myself and that's kind of how we came about the character and myself playing him.

 

What can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?

 

Adam Brooks is one of my favourite actors in Winnipeg. He has always inspired me as a filmmaker as he is in Astron 6 which is a filmmaking team here in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was a total honour to have him act in the film as the tapeworm guy. Sam Singer is also great in the film and everyone reading this should go on his bandcamp and listen to his new album Don't Mistake Me for a Lovebird, it's great - https://sam-singer.bandcamp.com/album/dont-mistake-me-for-a-lovebird-2

 

A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

I broke my arm right before we were going to shoot a pivotal scene in the film and had surgery to repair my elbow. The following morning after my surgery we shot the scene even though my arm was completely destroyed. Also our producer got pancreatitis while we were shooting, so the movie is cursed!

 

The $64-question of course, where can Tapeworm be seen?

 

It's playing in Winnipeg on February 27 at the Winnipeg Cinematheque for a comedy festival here in Canada and then it will be screened at some other festivals that I can't announce yet. Eventually we will put it on iTunes, Vimeo On Demand and YouTube.

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Tapeworm yet?

 

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It's either you will love it or hate it, it has quite a polarizing style.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Just developing a couple of different stories that will eventually be scripts.

 

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

 

No social media for the film but you can find a link to my Vimeo page here: https://vimeo.com/user3443173

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
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On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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