Patrick Donahue Interview


Crimson Celluloid: Starting with a predictable and clichéd question, can you cite which filmmakers have had the greatest influence on you and what was the impetus behind your getting into filmmaking?

Patrick: I got into filmmaking from racing motorcycles in the mid 60s, crashing breaking both collarbones then my nose. I read an article in a motorcycle magazine; the stunt guys were getting paid $800 dollars for sliding out in a corner. I’ve have been doing this for years for nothing and even paying them to let me race. “That’s it I want to be a stuntman.” Yeah, that sounds easy right. No one would talk to me, so I said, “The hell with you, I’ll make my own movies.”

My first movie was a 8mm three minute short. I dressed my brother Mike up like a Hobo; they were Hobo’s back in the day now they’re called Homeless. We went down to the railroad tracks in Santa Clara California. I had him jump on a slow-moving train. He climbed to the top of the train and sat there. About a block away I stared to yell, “Get off the train, got off.” I don’t know if he heard me, but he finely got off and I got some great footage. I edited it, and it turned out to be pretty good for a first time. I said, “This is fun; I like this; I wonder if there is a school around the teaches filmmaking?” De Anza College has great film classes; they were halfway through the second semester, and they wanted to see something I did, I showed the class my short with my brother, they all liked it. The instructor didn’t say a word; he just signed my paper to allow me to attend the rest of the classes. When the classes were finished; I took eight film students to Death Valley in California, and we shot Chained a fifteen-minute short; circa 1800s. (The only western ever produced with NO horses.) Continue reading

Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap


Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap is a documentary directed and presented by Ice-T about the art/craft of rap music.

Over the past year or so I’ve been warming to rap music which I absolutely hated as a teen. I never really thought about it being an art-form or a skill. It just sounded like a bunch of words being spewed out in a confrontational manner to me. This documentary really opened my eyes to the language of rap as an art form and how there’s more to it than money, MTV Cribs and fame. Someone says in the film how their grandmother just can’t comprehend rap at all and how it’s a language you really need to understand and I totally agree with them.

So Ice-T sets out on a journey to focus on the “art of rap” – not the game. There’s nothing here that glamourizes guns, bitches or money which is good because I think it makes the documentary accessible to people who haven’t got an appreciation for rap or are put off by those things. It focuses on the culture of Hip-Hop as well, about the skill it takes to be an MC. He interviews a range of various artists from the 70s up until now which is great as you see a lot of different styles, attitudes and opinions.

There’s some really great interviews, to name drop a few – Melle Mel, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Afrika Bambaataa, Ice Cube, Chuck D., Snoop Dogg, Mos Def and loads more. Another thing that makes this such a great watch is that it’s not just a bunch of talking head shots. These are Ice’s friends and acquaintances and he’s really just shooting-the-shit with them all. He’s a candid interviewer and it’s really relaxed and quite often Ice and/or his subject just break out and freestyle. Some may find this a fault of the documentary but it’s not “The History of Rap”. He’s just talking to a lot of influential people who created and changed the landscape of Hip Hop and at that he nails it. My only (really stretching to find one) criticism is that it’s a very American-centric film. There’s no International acts featured but again, it’s an American Phenomenon and it doesn’t proclaim to be offering an in-depth serious documentary on the subject.

A must own for fans of rap and a must see for anyone who can’t stand it.

In the extras department there’s: a Commentary by Ice-T and another with Prouder Paul Toogood; a 10 minute ‘Making Of’ with Ice-T and Paul Toogood; ‘Historical Perspective on Hip Hop’ with Dr. Gaye Theresa Johnson with a runtime of 5 minutes; Interviews with: Q-Tip, Kanye West, Ice Cube, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Freddie Foxx, Trigga Da Gambler, Smoothe Da Hustler, Too Short, Jim Jones, King Tee, CNN, Diabolic, Craig G, Busy Bee and Catastrophe and to round out the extras a trailer for the film. There’s a lot of great content here which makes the purchase even more worthwhile. The film runs for 106 minutes and the case states 266 which is obviously inclusive of the extras.

Available on R4 DVD from Beyond Home Entertainment.

Gina La Piana Interview


Crimson Celluloid: Firstly, for the uninitiated can you give a bit of background information about yourself.

Gina La Piana: I’m from Brooklyn, NY but was raised by my father in Corona, CA. I had a challenging upbringing and found myself drawn to music and acting because it was my way of tuning out all the noise and dysfunction. It was my complete escape. My dad is an incredible musician, so obviously I was exposed to music early on. I also zoned out my surroundings by watching I Love Lucy. I wanted life to be fun like it was on tv. That’s why I chose this profession – to make people laugh and feel in the way Lucille Ball had brought light in some of my darkest times. In a weird sort of way, she feels like a surrogate mom, lifting my mood when I had a bad day and reminding me not to take everything so seriously. Even now, if I’m anxious about something, if I just turn on a little I love Lucy before bed and I’m all good.

CC: You’ve done a wide variety of work, from sit-coms through to soap operas and horror films, is there any particular genre you like more than others? Continue reading

Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa


By now most of us are aware of the sexual abuse happening within the Catholic church. It seems every second news story concerns yet another “Pedo Priest” scandal and subsequent cover-up by the church. Alex Gibney’s latest documentary traces this pattern back to some of the first victims to speak out against this unchecked abuse of power.

Silence in the House of God centers around Father Lawrence Murphy, a priest who taught at St. John School for the Deaf in Milwaukee from 1950-1974, and molested over 200 boys in the process. In the mid-60s four of these young men decide to speak up about his ongoing offenses against children. First, following in the activist spirit of the times by handing out flyers, then as the years passed, by eventually suing the church, all to no avail. As has been evidenced, the church looks after its own. Father Murphy is merely transferred to another parish (where he continues with his predilections) and after many years and numerous suits against it, the church simply declares bankruptcy. Continue reading


Elles-DVDThis French/Polish erotic drama centers around an investigative journalist writing an article on student prostitution for Elle magazine.

Juliette Binoche coldly portrays Anne: mother, housewife and work-obsessed journalist. In this “day-in-the-life-of” she is nearing the completion of her piece focusing on two university students working as part-time prostitutes to help pay their way through school. As she goes about her daily routine, preparing a meal for her husband’s boss that evening and putting the finishing touches on her article, she continually flashes back to her interview sessions with the girls.

Both are from vastly different backgrounds. Lola is French middle-class with a loving family, Alicja (Joanna Kulig, who was actually featured on the cover of Polish Elle mag this year) is a Polish immigrant with nothing to fall back on but her body for currency. As they tell their tales of various encounters with clients with seeming indifference we are treated to often explicit reenactments, perhaps occurring in Anne’s imagination. At first she is taken back by how nonchalant these young girls are about selling themselves to married men twice their age, but slowly she comes around to their world-view and begins to question her own values and morals.

The roles and stories of the prostitutes are partially based on the testimonies of legitimate hookers director Malgorzata Szumowska met and interviewed as background for the film. Her fantastic visual use of mirrors in various scenes perfectly illustrates the double life/split personality employed by all the characters within.

Overall, the film is fairly slow-paced and uneventful but it’s Binoche who holds it all together with her usual finesse; witnessing her character of Anne gradually slip into sexual erraticism and emotional turmoil is indeed a trip worth taking.

Recommended viewing for fans of heavy arthouse fare à la Michael Haneke.

Available on R4 DVD from Madman Entertainment.

Henry and June


Based on the works and diaries of French author Anais Nin, this film is a stylized look at the relationship of Nin and American writer Henry Miller. We are whisked away to Paris 1931 where Nin and Miller are about to embark on a torrid love affair involving not only their bodies but their intellects as well. The film is about Nin’s exploration of her own sexuality, of her discoveries and of her love for both Miller and her husband Hugo as well as her feelings towards Miller’s muse – his wife June.

An obvious labour of love from Director Kaufman who also wrote and produced the film, this movie looks beautiful but at times seems a little too clean – the odd cockroach not withstanding. Miller’s poverty barely shows, he’s always clean, the streets are clean, the beds are clean, hell everything looks good. Of course, I guess it is a love story, we hardly want to see the skidmarks do we? Still there is a lack of grit, a lack of the desperation that Miller was feeling while he tried to get his words down – or maybe that’s just me as a fan of his work asking for something Kaufman wasn’t looking for.

A little long perhaps at over two hours but then it is such a languid movie that I guess it couldn’t really be any other way. Solid performances from Fred Ward as Henry Miller and the gorgeous Maria De Medeiros as Anais Nin with Uma Therman sleepwalking through her role as June Miller and Richard E Grant (Hugo) being, well, Richard E Grant really.

This is beautifully done, it is sensual, erotic, intelligent if occasionally a little too slick and an ideal movie to share with your partner but it still left me thinking that there was much more to the story, that there were areas not quite explored. To be honest I was a little disappointed with the movie but I think that is my problem not yours. I was coming into this with Henry Miller’s words in my head not Anais Nin’s. Once I settled into the era and took my blinkers off, I found myself being drawn into their world. Perhaps that is the real reason that Kaufman made a two hour film, to give us luddites a chance to enter.

There’s nothing wrong here, it all looks good, it feels right but for a movie about the souls of two great writers I was left not really knowing anymore about them than when I started. But for all its faults Maria De Medeiros can park her notebook on my bedside table anytime she wants!

PS – despite the cover mentioning DVD extras there was nothing on the disc. But then who needs the production notes anyway?

*Edition reviews is now out of print from Umbrella Entertainment.

Tim Winton’s The Turning

The-Turning-DVD-cover1ORDER DVD

The story is there in the title – Tim Winton’s The Turning. Such is Author Winton’s impact on the Australian literary scene that we don’t just call this film The Turning, no it’s Tim Winton’s The Turning! And so it should be for his voice still holds sway even with 17 different directors giving us their versions of the stories that originally formed the 2004 short story collection that has birthed this amazing event. Yes I did say 17 directors, actually there are 18 with an animated preface of TS Elliot’s Ash Wednesday kicking things off. Using various styles, narration, flashbacks, straight storylines or even no dialogue at all these directors have attempted to tell these overlapping stories of community, of people, of place but each in their own way. Continue reading

Kathleen Wilhoite: The Murphy’s Law Interview


Checkout Kathleen’s Podcasts here:

Anyone who has seen the Charles Bronson action/grindhouse crowd-pleaser Murphy’s Law will no doubt be familiar with the name Kathleen Wilhoite. Her turn in the film as the street-wise Arabella stole the show from her older and more established co-stars. Be it kicking Bronson in the nuts or her use of creative insults at every turn she simply ruled the film. Since that great 1986 film she’s had an extensive career in film, tv and on the stage…but, as you’ll soon discover, hasn’t been utilised as an actress as much as she’d like of late…her fans, of whom I consider myself to be one, hope this will soon change.

Crimson Celluloid: When I mentioned that I would be interviewing you the universal response was one of “she’s GREAT!” and “She rocked MURPHY’S LAW” etc…have you had much similar feedback over the years?

Kathleen Wilhoite: In general, people are very nice and supportive. Unfortunately, since I’m in a bit of a slump, it seems I’ve been hearing things like, “Did you quit acting?” and “You were so good, what happened?” These kinds of lunk-headed things. I know people mean well, but walking through the answers to some of the questions is depressing. Answer: “Um, no. I didn’t quit acting. I can’t get a job. I’m not getting cast in anything. I feel like a has-been . . .” None of the answers are pleasant.

Crimson Celluloid: As a 20-something actress it must have been quite the kick to appear in such a popular mainstream film. When you think back on that time what are your key memories?

Kathleen Wilhoite: I remember Charlie. I remember doing scenes with him in the car where it was just the two of us and we had long periods of time together and he would, out of the blue, ask me a question, to start up some kind of chit-chat. He was funny and smart. I was careful not to speak to him unless spoken to. They had told me not to “try too hard” with him before shooting started. We formed a sweet working relationship. I remember when he felt the production was lagging, he’d say, “Let’s shoooooooooooot.” It was funny. I remember Carrie Snodgrass. She was my friend. She was an amazing actress. She taught me how to break down my script and organize my scenes. She was extremely generous with me.

Crimson Celluloid: Do you recall much about the whole casting process and how you came to be put forward for the role?

Kathleen Wilhoite: The original script was written for an actual potty-mouth, someone who had dialogue that resembled something a person would actually say, a street person, a person who swears a lot. I have always talked like a sailor so the words tripped off my tongue easily. I seem to recall that ultimately it came down between me and Apolonia. I might be wrong about that. Maybe she turned the role down. I don’t know, but I remember her name being tossed around. Charles Bronson’s wife, Jill, was also an executive producer on the film and she was extremely supportive of me. She was english and funny and smart. I kept getting called back. I must have gone in four or five times. I got the part and then was delivered the script. They had rethought the swearing and turned her “potty” mouth into what it is today—a bunch of odd phrases no one but a mentally ill person might say. My challenge then became, How to make this strange dialogue believable. I did the best I could.

Crimson Celluloid: What were your opinions of Charles Bronson and Carrie Snodgress when you first met them?

Kathleen Wilhoite: Oh. Well, I think I answered that. I liked them a lot. Both, pros, both, kind, both, smart good actors. Charlie, I had a healthy respect for, and Carrie was someone I enjoyed hanging out with.

Crimson Celluloid: Charles Bronson’s mustache was said to have mystical powers, did you ever witness any evidence of this?

Kathleen Wilhoite: No. Hah. I have never heard of that before.

Crimson Celluloid: I revisited the film recently and on the surface your character Arabella had the potential to be the most annoying in history with her non-stop insults and aggressive nature. Were you worried about how she would be perceived?

Kathleen Wilhoite: Not at all. I was fairly “bullet-proof” back then. I never thought how I would be perceived. I was just happy to have a job.

Crimson Celluloid: It goes without saying that you won people over with your performance. Were all the insults scripted or did director J. Lee Thompson give you the chance to improvise? My fave insult is when you deliver the pizza to the mafia goons with a hearty “Hey Anchovy!!”.

Kathleen Wilhoite: No, I didn’t improvise. I had some resistance to the dialogue, actually. I thought it was silly. I come from a method acting school, a school that teaches its students to create real people, to connect to everything you say, to honor the playwright. So, when they were wracking their brains trying to think of the weirdest and goofiest insults possible, it felt super cheesy to me. I did it because, again, I was happy to have a job and acrimony in the work place is not something I think is conducive to a creative environment. I like having fun when I work. I am a better actress if I feel supported and peaceful at work. If that means I have to say a bunch of silly shit that no one would ever say unless, as I’ve said before, they’ve got emotional trouble, then I’ll say it. Once I got that rewrite, I knew that I’d have a mountain to climb if I wanted to get it changed back to the way it was. I had never had such a big part before. I was unwilling to make that climb. I’m positive i would have gotten fired. So, I made the best of it. It got a little weird when after the film came out, I was doing a play in New York and a homeless guy followed me down 8th ave, saying, “Hey, donkey dork. Hey, hey, donkey dork.” I’d forgotten that was a line from the movie.

Crimson Celluloid: As an actress, did you work on a back-story as to why exactly Arabella was the way she was?

Kathleen Wilhoite: I did, but again, once they got stuck on making her dialogue the ramblings of a crazy person, I lost my inspiration and just went to work to do my job. My goal, my back-story became — “Don’t suck.”

Crimson Celluloid: I’ve noticed that some fans of the film have developed a drinking game in which you take a shot each time Arabella insults someone. Would it be possible to pass the half way mark of the film without being totally hammered?

Kathleen Wilhoite: Hah. I didn’t know that. That’s funny.

Crimson Celluloid: Have you had any interesting or weird fan interactions over the years?

Kathleen Wilhoite: Well, I had the donkey dork thing. Honestly, the weirdest, worst thing people say to me is when they ask me if I’ve quit acting, or “Why don’t you work more? You were so good,” or “I don’t mean to be rude but I know I know you from somewhere. What movies have you done?” I mention something I think they might have seen and they’ll say, “Ummm, no. Not that. Oh, no. Not that. Oh, I hated that movie. No, so what was it? I know I know you from somewhere. Name something else you’ve done.” It’s awful. Now days I just come right out and say that it’s a hell of a thing to ask an aging actress. It’s not easy out there. I’m trying to work and haven’t gotten anything in a while. I guess I’m in a slump. I don’t think they’re trying to make you feel like a total failure/loser, but—really, what answer to the question, “Did you quit acting?” will ever not be awkward? I guess if you actually did quit acting, it wouldn’t be so bad, but it still implies that you didn’t make it. You failed. I mean, being a professional actress is like hitting the lottery. Actually working, going to work, is where the winning is. As an auditioning actress, it’s a humiliating grind, and you have to constantly rediscover ways to turn each audition into an opportunity to create a solid character and connect to someone else’s material, and when you’re lucky and the casting people have taken the time to provide you with someone who can actually act, to read with, you might get to immerse yourself in a true performance. That’s fun, but it’s rare. I did that all last year and I didn’t so much as get a call back, so you caught me at a “Come to Jesus” kind of time, where I’m questioning whether or not I’ve played this part of my life out. Maybe it’s over for me. Maybe I should quit acting. I don’t know, but I certainly don’t want to discuss something as painful as failure with a fan of a movie I did a hundred years ago, so when they ask “Did you quit acting?” It’s a freakin’ loaded question.

Crimson Celluloid: It’s quite an intense film at times, was it an enjoyable and light shoot? Did director J.Lee Thompson speak endlessly about Planet of the Apes?

Kathleen Wilhoite: J. Lee was hilarious, talented, kind, and ran a tight set. I loved the cast and crew. I adored them. I was in Heaven doing that shoot. The intensity, the gory stuff was a blast. I’m a tomboy so running around with guns and getting “squibbed” was an extension of a good old fashioned “Cops and Robbers” game. I loved it. Getting “squibbed” is when they put a small explosive devise on you that when detonated, blood spurts out and a bullet hole appears. That stuff is fun. I don’t remember anything negative about that shoot. Oh, I remember, Charles Bronson used to tease me and tell me that the guy I was dating looked like a chicken. “He looks like a chicken, your boyfriend. He’s a chicken, right? He’s a chicken.” But, he was just being a goof.

Crimson Celluloid: You’ve had an amazing and extensive career in film and tv. From Murphy’s Law to ANGEL HEART (oooh, sexy nurses outfit….David wipes sweat away from his brow) acting everything you hoped and expected it would be?

Kathleen Wilhoite: I’ve had a great time of it. It’s just been surprising now how chewed up and spit out a person can feel after being a productive member of a business for most of their adult life. Anybody who’s worked in a business: maybe doctors, entrepreneurs, teachers, lawyers—if an attorney told you they had worked at a law firm for thirty years, you’d not be crazy to assume they were partners at that law firm, that now that they were in their late forties they were at the top of their game, with plenty of money and respect from their peers. Not so, with acting. You work thirty-five years as an actress, your agents will have a hard time getting you decent dressing room. You become willing to work for free, for the bare minimum, just to be working, just to feel like you’re still in the game. The parts I used to play now go to Canadian actors or aging moving stars that, due to their fading looks, have been pushed into playing character roles. So, that has left many of us chick character actors out in the cold.

Crimson Celluloid: Finally, you have an incredibly entertaining series of podcasts happening. Please fill your fans in on the kind of topics you discuss and where they can tune in.

Kathleen Wilhoite: Oh, fantastic. Yes. I love doing my podcast. It’s a blast. We talk about all sorts of things. We’ve interviewed actors, casting directors, fashion designers, make up artists, writers, show runners, convicts, all kinds of people. We’ve got a left leaning slant. Oh, we interviewed my friend, Dean, who’s a libertarian. We did a kind of debate style format on that one. We talk about movies, politics, music, all kinds of stuff. Go for it. Listen to it. I also spend the majority of my free time writing. I’ve written two novels. I write screenplays, poems and songs. I’m in the creating business and thank God, I don’t have to wait for other people to hire me in order to do it. I can do it whenever I want and it’s liberating. My goal next year is to put my stuff out there. I don’t do that very well. I’m a fear-based chicken shit. So, that’s my goal—to get out there.

Crimson Celluloid: Thank you very much for you time and for all the entertainment you have provided.

Kathleen Wilhoite: Thank you for asking me. I hope i wasn’t too much of a downer. I’m just being super honest. If you want to know whatever happened to the girl in Murphy’s Law then, as far as my career goes, this is it. Seemingly, not much. But, here’s the amazing news. Thankfully, my life is no longer centered around whether I’m a success or a failure in show business. My life rules, to be honest. I’ve got a husband who loves me and treats me like gold. I’ve got three outstanding children who blow me away every day. I laugh with my friends all the time. I’ve got my health, my dog, George, a car that runs, a community of people who support me—So, again, if anyone asks you, “What ever happened to Kathleen Wilhoite?” tell them she’s doing great. Tell them she’s happy and you won’t be lying. It’s true. I’m happy.

‘Being A Horror Movie Victim’ by Amber Rose

A Z gag kiss P2 (1)

It’s something of a magical thing to hear “now can you just lick some of the blood off her face?” from director Brent Roske. And with not a moment of hesitation, I feel the stickiness of stage blood as well as the warm willing tip of Zoey’s tongue on my face. Said blood, only moments earlier swished around in my mouth and spit out in attempt to capture that split second right after being accosted with a shovel to the face.

This is the kind of moment I live for.

People working together, doing what it takes to make something just that much better, a little more cringe worthy, a deeper peek into the characters’ twisted essence or victims’ pain. Being in a situation I’m hopefully never going to encounter in real life, but still being someone believable and doing them justice in that moment.

There are those of us that become bored and generally unimpressed within the four walls of an office, ignoring the droning sounds of everyday monotony. Nothing the blood sweat and tears and pure commitment put into a good horror film can’t fix! Turning anyone’s four walls into a gruesome murder scene were the screams of tortured victims drown out any other dull sound.

I personally really enjoy being a part of that little horrific escape.

I’m not the type to enjoy doing the same thing every day and, although I wasn’t truly shovel bashed or carved up, I was tied to support beams with rope-not the soft fun kind of rope. I wasn’t actually left to my death naked and bleeding, but I was confined to a real basement made of dirt, darkness, and enough space to kneel, mostly naked and covered in fair amount of fake blood. And even though I wasn’t really the lover of a German psycho killer, I did have Zoey pinch my nipples before slicing open my dress-not for personal enjoyment but rather to capture the “cold look”. And even though at the end of it all I was cut lose and given a clean towel and a shower, I did still go home with real rope burns at my wrist and bits of matted fake blood in my hair.

Just little reminders when laying down to sleep and recapping my day, that I don’t have an office job and I love it! Thanks to all the wonderful people I have had the pleasure of working with, I intend to find myself covered in blood like substances or at least tied up, very soon.

-Amber Rose

Order Don’t Fall Asleep from

The Pocket Book of Boosh

The Pocket Book of Boosh is exactly the same as the larger (hard covered) Mighty Book of Boosh except it is pocket sized and its hardly even pocket-sized. The only pocket that it fitted in of mine was my German army  parka. The pocket book is also supposed to come with a denim slip, mine didn’t, but I am in NZ so maybe it’s a different edition or something, or someone stole the cover in the shop.

Continue reading