Gold Coast Film Festival
Crimson Bolt - a superhero with only three rules (and even fewer super powers) - you are not supposed to molest children, cut lines or key cars. If you do, prepare to face the wrath of the Crimson Bolt.
Combining a handmade suit, a wrench and a crazed sidekick, â€˜Superâ€™ is a film that will rock your world. Itâ€™s the anti-superhero superhero film, written and directed by James Gunn, is being exclusively screened for the first time in Queensland at the Gold Coast Film Festival 2011. With a stellar cast of comedic talents, the film brings together Kevin Bacon, Rainn Wilson, Liv Tyler and of course the irrepressible Ms Page. The film itself has been described by IFC Films as â€œcombining absurd humour with balls-out violence to create something that is both unashamed and inimitable. But this time, there is a new ingredient, one that is dark, dramatic and subversive to the core.â€
The synopsis of the film goes something like this: Frank (Wilson) thought he was happy, appears he is instead a sad-sack loser as his ex-addict of a wife leaves him for a seductive, psychopathic drug dealer (Bacon). Please note that this alone was enough to thoroughly pique my interest for over the years, my â€˜Baconâ€™ obsession has slowly but steadily grown. Enter trusty (yet maniacal) sidekick (Page) and Frank has now completely morphed into Crimson Bolt. Without the necessary finances available for bribery, interviews with Page fell through but luckily, James Gunn was available to answer pressing questions.
As both the writer and director of the film, Gunn was passionate and knowledgable, providing some hilarious anecdotes and insightful information. With the recent glut of superhero and comic book-based films that has flooded the industry, there was pressure of Gunn to create something different that would appeal to both a mainstream audience and geeks alike.
Sounds like a daunting prospect but Gunn was motivated to do it as he explained, â€œbefore I directed â€˜Slitherâ€™, I wanted to show people I could direct, and thought a short film might be the way to do it. So I started writing â€˜Superâ€™ as a short film, but, as I did, it took on a life of its own. There were no initial fireworks and there was no big, grand idea, but as I wrote it the characters took hold of me, and the short film became a feature, and the story became about something far more than what I originally thought it was.â€ Not everyone agreed and it wasnâ€™t picked up straight away which, for Gunn, was disappointing but he remained undeterred. â€œWhen the script didnâ€™t immediately get made, I tried to forget it, to put it down but never quite could. I felt beholden to the story, if that makes any sense. It was a story, for whatever reason, that I needed to tell.â€
His inspiration for the film? He ponders then lists, â€œdefinitely the comics of Alan Moore, along with the films of Scorsese, Tarantino, and Lukas Moodysson, the comedic and tonal shifts of Asian cinema, and to a smaller degree old â€˜60s pop art films like â€˜Send Me No Flowersâ€™. I was also greatly influenced by William Jamesâ€™ 1902 book, â€˜The Varieties of Religious Experienceâ€™.
You could say â€˜Superâ€™ is an adaptation of that book, only itâ€™s fictional, comedic, and wearing a superhero costume.â€
Being so intrinsically involved in the entire process from conception to creation, Gunn is well placed to talk about the essence of the film and what its characters are about. Talking rapidly, he points out that â€œfor me, the film is about one manâ€™s relationship with God, and his journey to fulfill his side of that relationship, no matter how insane or morally ambiguous that journey may seem to others.â€
The inherent appeal of a superhero lies in the ability to do things that mere mortals cannot. When asked what â€˜powerâ€™ Gunn would want, his answer is surprising (and hilarious). â€œI think weâ€™re all given superpowers, itâ€™s just whether we choose to use them or not. For instance, there are a lot of people who have been given the superpower of â€˜plumbingâ€™ but who are running around here in L.A. trying to use the superpower of â€˜actingâ€™ which they very clearly donâ€™t have. I could be easily satisfied with superpowers for instance, Iâ€™d love to have â€˜canâ€™t-get-AIDSâ€™ superpower, or â€˜not-make-a-baby-at-willâ€™ superpower, or â€˜an-extra-fifty-years-of-lifeâ€™ superpower. Those all sound pretty good to me. If I could have one of the big ones â€“ invisibility, flying, invincibility etc. â€“ Iâ€™d be having an orgasm for the rest of my life. Please note I would not want to have the ability to shoot beams out of my eyes. Itâ€™s not worth having a superpower if you have to wear sunglasses inside and look like a douche bag for the rest of your life.â€
Watch â€˜Superâ€™ on the big screen before anyone else at the Gold Coast Film Festival, November 26 at 8.15pm. To book tickets, head to gcfilmfestival.com/event