Pat “Uber Critic” McDonald interviewed me about my forthcoming feature, RELATIVE, at http://HollywoodChicago.com. He also gave me the chance to talk about some of my favorite artists including Agnes Varda and Bob Dylan. It’s always a pleasure talking to Pat! Listen to our two part podtalk interview below:
Tag Archives: Michael Glover Smith
We are deep into post-production on RELATIVE and every time I see the footage, I couldn’t feel more proud of the work put in by our tremendous cast and crew. I anticipate a World Premiere in early 2022. In the meantime, Screen Magazine published a second article to coincide with the wrap of our shoot that you might be interested in checking out. It features new quotes from me and producer/actress Clare Cooney about the making of the film:
It was an honor to be profiled recently by Esthetic Lens magazine. I got to talk about the postponed RELATIVE shoot and what I’ve been up to during quarantine. You can check it out here.
For those who missed the Rendezvous in Chicago Live Commentary with me and Clare Cooney, broadcast on Facebook last Sunday night, we recorded the video on Zoom so you still have the chance to watch it. I had a lot of fun doing this – mainly because Clare brought so much insight (and humor) to her observations on what it’s like to act in and be the casting director for an indie film. Please note you are meant to watch the film simultaneously with the commentary video. Here’s how it works:
1. Pull up Rendezvous in Chicago on Tubi here.
2. Pull up the Facebook Live video (in a separate browser or on a separate device) here.
3. Press play on the Live Commentary video first.
4. When I say “Go”in the Live Commentary video (after counting down from five), press play on the Tubi video.
5. Enjoy both videos simultaneously!
My first feature, 2015’s no-budget Cool Apocalypse, is now available to stream for the first time ever – thanks to the Chicago Park District’s Movies in the Parks’ “Onscreen: At Home” series. You can stream it for FREE between now and next Monday, May 3, at the Park District’s website.
Meanwhile, my 2017 feature, Mercury in Retrograde, hot on the heels of its “virtual run” at the Gene Siskel Film Center, is also now available for the first time to rent/buy on Digital via Amazon Prime and Vimeo on Demand. Peep the official Mercury website for all of your options.
This means you could conceivably stream all three of the films in my “Chicago Relationship Trilogy” in the next few days for the low, low cost of $1.99 (the price of streaming Mercury in SD on Amazon). If you see any of these films and have any feedback you would like to share, feel free to reach out to me me at email@example.com.
In collaboration with my good friends at the Gene Siskel Film Center, I have made my 2017 feature film, MERCURY IN RETROGRADE, starring Roxane Mesquida (FAT GIRL) and Najarra Townsend (CONTRACTED), available to stream for the first time ever! You may stream the film anytime between now and 4/23 for the low, low price of $4.99 and part of the proceeds will go towards the Siskel’s box office. Also, I will be partaking in a virtual Q&A via Facebook Live this Friday night (4/17) at 8pm along with producer/actor Shane Simmons and surprise cast members TBA! The Q&A will be moderated by FilmChicago.com critic Lee Shoquist. Any of my students who stream the film are eligible to earn extra credit towards their grades this semester (see the extra credit page of your course website for more info). Check it out: http://www.mercuryinretrogrademovie.com
Just in time for the holidays, Rendezvous in Chicago is now streaming for FREE on Amazon for Amazon Prime members! (If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you can still rent it for as low as $1.99.) Big thanks to our distributor Cow Lamp Films. Please consider watching it with someone you love, leaving a review and sharing in your social networks: https://www.amazon.com/Rendezvous-Chicago-Clare-Cooney/dp/B07Z5JPR1G/
I am pleased to announce that, thanks to our enterprising distributor Cow Lamp Flms, RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO is now available to stream! You can rent the film or make a digital purchase via Amazon Prime or you can watch it FREE via Tubi TV (no registration required but an ad will pop up every 18 minutes). Please share these links with those you love and, if moved to do so, leave a review on Amazon.
I was recently interviewed by Annalise Kiser of the Strasburg Film Festival about RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO, which won the Best Comedy award at Strasburg one year ago this month (a condensed version of the interview appears on the SFF site). Check out this spoiler-free Q&A ahead of the film’s streaming premiere next week:
AK: What made you first begin pursuing film? Do you have a favorite movie?
MGS: I grew up in the ’80s and my childhood coincided with the VHS boom. I fell in love with movies at an early age and educated myself on film history at the video store – the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Sergio Leone were formative for me. My favorite movie now is Edward Yang’s A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY. It’s a four-hour epic about juvenile delinquents living in Taipei in the 1950s – think a Taiwanese REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE.
AK: RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO follows the beginning, middle, and ending of romantic relationships. Was there a reason for the choice of which character set was for each segment? Especially the first segment, with the rather unscrupulous couple being the start of a relationship?
MGS: Lots of relationships have dubious beginnings! I thought of the film as depicting the arc of a single relationship – but using three different couples to explore each relationship “phase.” I thought that would be kind of a novel way to structure a movie.
AK: Was there a reason for the first couple’s conversation to be explicitly about men approaching women in bars and “negging” them?
MGS: Yes! I wanted to explore gender dynamics in the Me-Too era in a comedic way in this opening segment. I thought it would be funny to have a guy who thinks he’s slick offer to buy a woman a drink but insist he doesn’t want to sleep with her. All the while he’s trying to pretend he knows more about literature (her area of expertise) than he actually does. She calls him on his bullshit by challenging him to a game of “Strip Literary Trivia.”
AK: The second couple talk in a lot of non sequiturs about Chicago and how it is a place they love very much. The other two skits hardly mention being in Chicago; why in the center?
MGS: The second story was the last one that I wrote and I wanted it to serve as a bridge between the other two stories. I knew that the first and last stories would deal with heterosexual couples and take place primarily indoors – so I thought it would be a refreshing change of pace if the second story focused on a gay couple and took place entirely outdoors. We shot that scene in my neighborhood, Rogers Park, so I know those streets and that beach very well. It seemed logical to me that those characters would talk about their love of the neighborhood and the city.
AK: The second couple discuss how indoor cats watch the world go by from their perches, but don’t interact directly. Would that be a metaphor for film?
MGS: That’s exactly right. As film viewers, we are all “indoor cats” looking out the window. Hitchcock uses the same metaphor in REAR WINDOW.
AK: When Julie begins to address the audience, I wonder if you had something specific in mind you were saying with it?
MGS: I think voyeurism is an interesting subject in film because sight is the primary sense we use to experience movies. Any time you make a film about someone “spying” it automatically becomes a multi-layered experience because the character is a surrogate for the viewer. Voyeurism is a theme in all three of the RENDEZVOUS vignettes but I decided to make it explicit in the third one. I thought it would be funny if a character in the story started to fall in love with the viewer.
AK: What was set life like, working with the actors and crew?
MGS: We had a great cast and great crew. We shot the whole thing in 8 days, which is very fast for a feature film, so pre-production and rehearsal were very important. The film was produced by a female filmmaking collective, Women of the Now, and the crew was mostly female. There was a very lovely, cooperative energy on set.
AK: What makes you want to make a certain movie?
MGS: I just accumulate ideas over time and, once enough of those ideas start to connect up with each other in my brain, I start writing.
AK: Do you know where you want to head with your career? Indie movies, hollywood ones, television, something else, etc?
MGS: I love Chicago and I imagine that I will stay where I am and continue to make films independently.
AK: What sort of reactions do you hope for from your audience?
MGS: I want RENDEZVOUS to provoke laughter but also cause people to think about their own lives and relationships. In the past year, the film has screened publicly 28 times in 9 states and I have been very happy with the audience response.
AK: What is a question you haven’t been asked but wish someone would ask you?
MGS: Why does the Pentagon have five sides?