Maximilian Wiedemann – ‘Obsession Of Society’ at COYA Mayfair

Maximilian Wiedemann is, by his own admission, a graffiti artist for internal walls. The founder of Imitate Modern Gallery and former advertising strategist has an eye for bold, imposing imagery that strikes a chord with the Instagram generation. Is his work cynical? To some, perhaps, but it’s hard to argue with Wiedemann that even a basic grasp (or even exposure to) advertising gives tremendous insight into how society – in a truly global sense – is being warped and seduced by brand culture and raw materialism.

It’s Wiedemann’s position that art – even while using the same consumer tactics to attracting more attention, likes, shares and purchases – can be the antidote to that simply by forcing people to confront the fact actively, as opposed to being passively complicit.

After interviewing him back in 2016 ahead of his collaboration with Collier Bristow, we had the pleasure of speaking to Max at the launch of his latest London exhibition – ‘Obsession of Society‘ –  at COYA Mayfair about the intersection of contemporary art and advertising, his approach to juggling creativity and consumerism, and his wider thoughts on the artistic community.

 

Maximilian Wiedemann

 

FAULT: How does your background in advertising influence your work? 

Maximilian Wiedemann: Advertising was my education. My idea was to take the false seduction that revolves around advertising and turn it into art. The art of seduction. Advertising gave us the opportunity to find the key to address materialism and address status in Society via brand culture. Drip until you drop. Full stop.

I got into this by coincidence. Philosophy writes. Art draws. It’s up to each one to read the signs. My signs are in the walls. I love life and would like to inspire every one who is working on a canvas right now. Just move the muscle. Eventually dreams are reality. Just keep painting. Just keep going on.

 

Your work draws on a range of sources – inspired by your international upbringing. In a world that seems to be hurtling towards the enforcement of borders and nationalism, what message does your work carry in terms of internationalism and globalisation?

Maximilian Wiedemann: My source is Biggie Smalls.

 

What was your breakthrough moment as an artist?

Maximilian Wiedemann: VH 1 / MTV Divas campaign, 2009. It was the moment when I quit my job, in a bar with my boss. I had a job as new business strategy director in a boutique agency in London . Elle Macpherson had just commissioned me to her campaign and I had to call a status meeting with my boss. He said, “Be good at one thing in you life. New business for branding agencies or art.” I quit. But I choose both. In essence, I am new business. Art-vertising.

Maximilian Wiedemann

 

 

What do you consider ‘beauty’ to be?

Maximilian Wiedemann: Nice one. I would rather marry my soul mate than beauty. Beauty is replaceable. Souls are not…

Wait – what was the question again? I think life is the biggest gift. The ‘wake up in the morning and be able to perform’. To wake up and follow your mission. Heath is key to perform. So watch your ‘Bildzeitung’ and your body.

 

Your work seems very much a comment on commodity culture – how does this square with your own position within the art market?

Maximilian Wiedemann: What you buy to is who you are.

 

How do you see the art world evolving in the next decade?

Maximilian Wiedemann: Money makes the market. The big players evolve. I do think it’s all fucked, as my messages are so relevant. I’m just in this business to have fun and communicate current zeitgeist messages.

 

Your work seems to make much reference to online culture, where images are both widely available and widely spread. How does this generation, and the connectedness of the internet, influence your work?

Maximilian Wiedemann: My art aims to connect irony and sustainability. I have no connection.

 

Maximilian Wiedemann

 

If you had to give advice to young artists, what would it be?

Maximilian Wiedemann: Paint!! Move the muscle!!! It will all evolve. The main key is movement!

 

How would you like to be remembered?

Maximilian Wiedemann: If I am worth it.

 

Do you consider your work cynical or optimistic? 

Maximilian Wiedemann: It’s real. Relevant. It’s just a brutal reflection on how messed up society is right now. I don’t have to explain that. Just look at what works on Instagram.

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COYA Collective

Enhancing each individual gastronomic experience is the COYA Collective – a schedule of diverse genres of artistic and cultural expressions, setting the rhythm for an unmistakably Latin American ambience. COYA Mayfair honours both traditional and contemporary cultural offerings, ensuring that the heart of Latin American culture is experienced throughout the venue. In addition to the vivacious music scene, COYA Mayfair also showcases a variety of established and upcoming photographers, artists, illustrators, sculptors and immerging talent alike with year-round hosted events. 

 The COYA Collective is a signature movement that defines COYA’s ethos and beliefs. It has pushed against tradition to create a multi-dimensional platform for guests to not only dine but feel the entire experience with all the senses. Combining the elements of vibrant live music, home to a showcase of compelling art and an array of the city’s most colourful festivities, the COYA Collective creates an altruistic, cultural experience uniquely COYA. 

Each COYA property has the opportunity to welcome various artists to adorn the walls of the COYA Members’ Club and in some cases, the restaurant and Pisco Bar & Lounge with each special exhibition lasting 6-8 weeks. The singular relationship that all global COYA properties have with each artist is special. The COYA properties curate and build their own very special collection through the memento pieces left behind by each artist as a gifted symbol. 

~

For more of Max’s work, visit his page on Imitate Modern

To see more of COYA’s exclusive art launches, visit their website

FAULT reviews Buttercup Bill

 

The first film from Sadie Frost and Emma Comley’s production company Blonde to Black Pictures, ‘Buttercup Bill’ is a chilling story of love, sex, mind games and dark desires.

BCB_9 low resDirected by, and starring, Remy Bennett – granddaughter of Tony Bennett – it follows long lost friends Pernilla (Bennett) and Patrick (Evan Louison) who reunite following the suicide of another childhood friend.

Despite the years that have gone past, there’s an undeniable chemistry between the two that starts with childish play fighting and escalates into games of sexual jealousy, using those around them as pawns. From the moment Pernilla arrives in the sweaty, free-spirited town in America’s Deep South where Patrick has been keeping his distance questions are raised and tensions get higher and higher. Why do these two soul mates resist their urge to be together? And could the death of their play mate have something to do with it?

Remy Bennett Buttercup Bill

Patrick and Pernilla Buttercup Bill

Having premiered at New Orleans Film Festival, Raindance and MARFA, it has now been released in the UK. With female directors and producers it’s a triumph for women in film as well as a gripping and brilliantly made story that puts a dark twist on the romantic notion of childhood sweethearts.

‘Buttercup Bill’ opens in cinemas today.

FAULT Interviews: Aubrey Plaza from ‘Parks and Recreation’ and ‘Life After Beth’

She’s the star of new rom-zom-com Life After Beth, the story of a woman who comes back from the grave to her loving boyfriend before he then has to deal with her slowly turning into a Romero-esque zombie. She plays the dead-pan April Ludgate on the long running American sitcom ‘Parks and Recreation’. She is the girl whose face you know from that thing you thought was funny.

She also hurt my feelings.

It wasn’t personal. I got the sense that she hates all journalists.

 

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It’s fair to say that a fair few artists, actors and musicians hate talking about their work to magazines and newspapers. We’re seen as a part of the ugly side of show business. And we get it: Aubrey Plaza was deposited in a small, modern but clinical hotel room in Edinburgh before a million interviewers came in and asked her an endless series of the same questions all day. We’d hate it too.

With that in mind, we wanted to get through all the basic stuff up front so that we could find out who she really is.

FAULT: You must get asked the same questions all the time, so could you go through the answers that you give everyone else?
Aubrey: I improvised a little bit but we didn’t have that much time because we were on a really tight schedule. I did not prepare by watching any other zombie movies because I wanted to create my own zombie and I didn’t want to copy any other zombies and also, zombies aren’t real so there’s not like one zombie that I could watch to be like, that’s not an authentic zombie. A zombie can be whatever you want it to be, I like spaghetti… Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead… I don’t know. I really don’t like to be asked what my favourite anything is because I don’t like favourites.

Why not?
Because I’m indecisive and I don’t feel strongly about anything.

 

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Not caring does seem like your persona. I’m wondering how much of that is true.
I don’t know. I don’t know who I am. I don’t have a very good perspective on myself. You should ask my therapist. She would know better.

Do you watch any of the stuff you’re in?
No.

Maybe that will give you perspective.
Why? Those are just characters. Because my voice sounds monotone people think I’m being sarcastic all the time. When I’m in things on film or TV, people think I’m doing the same thing over and over again – but this is just how I sound normally.

Do you get that a lot?
Yeah, all the time. People say I’m, like, being dead pan or something – which I am sometimes when the role calls for it – but sometimes I’m not. My voice just sounds like that.

That sounds really dismissive…
That’s what people do, they just dismiss you.

People do? Like who?
People like you, interviewers, reviewers, everyone does it.

Yeah, we do. On any kind of long running show people are going to start to see you just as that character an nothing else. Do you consciously try and do something different?
I think because I’ve been on a TV show for so long, and because it was one of the first things I did, that’s just the first impression people have of me and they can’t get it out of their head. So I’m always trying to do things to surprise people – but I’m not so much concerned with that as I am with just doing good work. I don’t make decisions based on trying to battle my TV persona – but it is in my head. I can’t help it. It’s frustrating to be pigeon-holed but I like the challenge of changing people’s minds.

 

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So what do you look for in a role you take on?
It’s case by case. My acting coach told me that the parts that I want or the parts that I am drawn to are ones where the character has struggles that I am also trying to work out in my own life. I use them as therapy for myself. If I’m feeling really angry, like now…

No one is making you talk to me.
I’m drawn to parts where I get to be really physical and just kick some people’s ass or something. It’s cathartic.

That sounds great if you’re aware that is what you’re doing. Have you always been aware of that?
No, not always. I just realised recently. When I read scripts I think about them in terms of, “will this be something that would be good for me in my life right now?” Some actors can treat it like a job and then, when they go home, they go back to being themselves – but I just get really obsessed. I have to choose things that I really want to take over for a month or two months, or however long it’s going to take, because I’m inviting this thing into my life and I have to really embrace it.

 

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That sounds like a lot of pressure. Is that fun?
It’s fun while I do it, because I’m in it and not aware of what I’m doing, so I’m just being. Whenever I finish a movie, I always get really depressed. It’s like withdrawal. Being a character is like a drug that’ll get you high two months doing, then when it’s over you just stop and go home. I guess you’ll have to interview me while I’m shooting a movie and see if I’m acting like a crazy person or not.

I’ll check my schedule.
I’m going to call you every day to check.

I might be busy
Doing what?

How dare you! Writing about actors that I don’t care about. Feel that sting? Words hurt, don’t they?
I don’t care!

You established that earlier on!

 

Interview by Chris Purnell

 

 

Jameson First Shot : Three filmmakers win the Opportunity of a Lifetime & Make Short Film with Uma Thurman & Kevin Spacey

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Uma Thurman for Jameson First Shot

FAULT Magazine has just returned from a sunny trip to Santa Monica, LA, as guests of Jameson Whisky. We flew out to view the winning films of this years Jameson First Shot Competition. It’s a once in a lifetime chance for three filmmakers to direct and produce a short film starring Hollywood legend Uma Thurman and to work closely with Kevin Spacey as both the Creative Director and Producer.

The competition is fully supported by Jameson First Shot & Trigger Street Productions and allows new talent access to Hollywood filmmaking in a creative space that was never before obtainable.

The winning films were showcased at an industry party at the YouTube Space in Los Angeles, before being released to millions of viewers on YouTube.           

The three new shorts THE MUNDANE GODDESS (writer/director: Henco J), THE GIFT (writer/director: Ivan Petukhov) and JUMP! (writer/director: Jessica Valentine) can be viewed below.

Keep an eye out for our interviews with Uma Thurman & Kevin Spacey, which will be featured in the next issue of FAULT Magazine (Issue 19).

The Mundane Goddess

 

 

JUMP

 

 

The Gift

 

Fault Reviews: Yves Saint Laurent

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Tournage YSL

Set against the beautiful backdrop of Paris in 1957, the film tells the heady story of Yves Saint Laurent, played by Pierre Niney, and his lover Pierre Bergé, played by Guillaume Gallienne. Together as both business partners, soul-mates and eventually Pierre taking the role of carer to the troubled and reckless Yves, the film delves into the personal and creative life of the young designer.

The imagery is as stunning as you can imagine, featuring the original YSL garden in Marrakech, Morocco and various evocative scenes across Paris.  Original couture pieces from the YSL archives feature throughout the film, with a cast decked-out in a film wardrobe to die for. The full effect of the movie, creates a rich and idealistic story of the making of an internationally acclaimed fashion brand and how a designers relationship with their models, staff, friends and the people surrounding him / her can make or break a career.

Yves Saint Laurent, is portrayed as a creative genius, a tortured artist and a revolutionary designer, with Pierre as the rock that held the entire show (and Yves life) together season after season. Although this story sometimes glosses over some of Yves’ life and fails to explore what happens after he and Pierre separated, it’s worth seeing for the beautiful scenery, the costumes, and a deeper understanding into one of the greatest designers of our time.

Directed by Jalil Lespert

With Pierre Niney de La Comédie-Française, Guillaume Gallienne de la Comédie-Française, Charlotte Le Bon, Laura Smet and Marie de Villepin

YVES SAINT LAURENT is released in cinemas across the UK on 21st March 2014

 

 

 

 

Tim Cochrane: NME Photographer & T-Shirt Designer

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For a lot of Conceptual Art Photography it is perhaps rather difficult to have access to the beautiful and often truly interesting images, other than if you were visiting specific Art/Photographic galleries, however Music and Conceptual Art Photographer Tim Cochrane, known for his NME portraits, decided that he wanted to introduce his photography by creating T-Shirts using his designs by teaming up with Primark to curate an exclusive range.  So, Fault wanted to know more and had a chat with him about his designs, his letter to Tony Blair and being given 2 minutes to photograph The Beastie Boys.

 

You have a long history of shooting with NME and have photographed  some of music’s renowned  figures, tell us about that period.

Tim Cochrane: I went back and did  the Reading festival for them last month actually, this time it was shooting a film for them not Stills, so a big difference. Well I was living in Sydney working for Sony as their sound engineer, I fell out of love with it mainly because I was working on Pop Idol rubbish. So I came back to the UK and joined NME,I started off with them doing the smaller gigs like Club NME then soon started attending the festivals with them to take photographs, at Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading festivals. Also travelling throughout Europe, to Denmark and Norway, Spain and others shooting iconic artists as part of the NME team, I then began doing portrait work, I had already been working with Retna and P.A, doing tour documentaries. One of the biggest bands I loved shooting was the Beastie Boys and Blurs  Graham Coxon.

Which music shoots have been your favourites over the years and why?

TC: Jarvis Cocker from Pulp, because he knew exactly what he needed to do, he was great at playing to the camera, once we were at a café in Soho, I think it was the Starfish Café, so I went there and the downstairs bit was cornered off, and I said ‘Hi I’m meeting someone down there’ and obviously the manager knew exactly who and so I was expecting a couple of PR people and agents, but I walked downstairs, and saw Jarvis sitting in the corner head down reading his paper with no one there, it was quite bazaar. So we began the shoot and straight away, he knew exactly what he did and didn’t want to do, just so professional. We then went outside he just starts pretending to be a lion or tiger, jumping around like a lunatic , he was fantastic he knew what he needed to do.

The other one was the Beastie Boys, I had been given exactly 2 minutes to take photographs, I was told  I couldn’t use flash and the PR person actually sat there with the stop watch in her hand. I managed to get three different set ups in 20 seconds, it was insane. We got to the end and I started counting down , just to take the piss really. But the band was really good that was the main thing, they were super cool.

A pain in the arse one, would be Pete Doherty, back in his bad days, he was just all over the place. We met a number of times, in the Babyshambles era, he was like a big kid constantly flitty, no attention span, just away somewhere else mentally. It was really hard, but it was just a bad time in his life. It was probably the end of the Kate Moss period.

Also Richard Hawley (Pulp/Arctic Monkeys) was really great to photograph, he had an old English style, very  Statesman esq. I met him upstairs in a pub in Carnaby Street,with Japanese tourists eating their token Fish and Chips, and we just had our photoshoot in the corner on a big Oak table as he held his pocket watch. It was really Victorian actually  with quite grand surroundings. He was really engaging and an interesting person to talk to and I shot a lot of it on Film which is unusual, because I don’t normally have the time, but he was really into it.

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Tell us about the T-Shirts you’ve designed for Primark that make available carefully selected photographs from your collection?

TC: I think there is something quite special about having an item of clothing that features an image that you’ve taken, it’s a step beyond being able to have a poster from a magazine, it’s far more personal.  It’s a way for people to appreciate the artistic aspect of the photographs themselves and own the photographs.  I was in Primark and saw a group of people around the mannequin with my T-Shirt on saying how much they loved it, it was super cool to see that, it’s due to be available within Primark in Selfridges too.

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What do you love about Photography?

TC: Meeting people, because I hate staying at home with the gaps in between because it’s quite isolated where I am. So meeting the people that I have admiration for, I have a hit list of people that I’d like to take photos of, especially for my next project, that include Politicians, Comedians and David Bailey too. He is iconic and his way of working his concepts were amazing, I’d like to just take one frame and that’s it, that would be a challenge for myself, to do just one frame I may just use Film to do that.

Which other forms of Art have informed your way of working?

TC: Music is a massive one, I was a sound engineer and I came from playing music at an early age, which I’ve recently returned to which is cool, I’ve started writing the music to go with a lot of the films I’m producing which is cool because you don’t have to pay for the license of anyone else’s music, which is a great thing to be able to do. So from playing music, being an engineer, to shooting the music, it’s just been a pattern throughout my life, more so than anything else really. I love Fine Art too.

What are you aiming for with your Film projects?

TC: I think it’s just the ability to introduce more narrative for the Photographs, rather than 5 isolated photos, they are quite short though but more freeing. It’s an extension of the photography, an emotional portrait rather than it being a Film in the traditional sense.

So, which locations and landscapes inspire you?

TC:  I find that I end up becoming blasé to a place, so with my immediate surroundings in the town that I live, I’ll get a psychological block because I know it. Whereas with somewhere new, I find a lot of inspiration from that place because it’s new but it won’t have that same impact if I go again. So for example, with Glastonbury, the first time you go it blows your mind, the second time you go it’s cool and you see a lots of new stuff and the third time you go you know it’s going to be amazing, but even then you see totally different things. You’re ready for it to be that amazing. Equally it’s like New York, I’ve started going to places outside of Manhattan, so not going to anywhere that is on a postcard, so finding suburbs that are size of cities within the UK.

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Aside from your personalised  T-Shirt range what else can we expect from you?

TC: I’m collaborating with an illustrator called Ed Fairburn, he illustrates portraits on top of maps of locations, so he’ll use the typography of the map for the bases of where he’ll draw the face. We’ve created a list of about 15 people that we’d like to be a part of this project, so I will shoot the photograph portrait  and Ed will illustrate based on my photograph, on a location. The title is: Roots. The location will be chosen according to the place that is important to the person, so the map will mean something for the person that is part of the project. We’re interested in Politicians, Actors, Comedians… a variety of people. It’s in the infant stages of development. I’ve emailed Tony Blair’s office so we’ll see.

Words by Marcella Karamat

All images by Tim Cochrane

FAULT Focus: Video interview with Vanessa Hudgens on her role in The Frozen Ground

Films that have the true story tag attached to them escape a lot of criticism. How are the audience to know how close we are to the truth, the run of events, to reality?

In The Frozen Ground, out in cinemas worlwide now, director Scott Walker has made sure that we know he’s tried pretty damn hard to get close. The context is laid on thick with titling at the start of the film, and dedications to Robert Hansen’s (the serial killer, played by John Cusack) victims at the end. The words ‘true story’ flash up on trailers, posters and previews until you mourn that Frozen Ground has merged with the countless other films ‘based on real events’.

But watching the film, these words do chill you. They bring you into the midst of the characters’ nightmare. Jack Halcombe’s (the straight-arrowed cop, played by Nicholas Cage) intense empathy for near-victim Cindy Paulson (Vanessa Hudgens) becomes the audience’s. Hudgens delicately balances the trauma of her attack with attitude giving the story spark, and its only really original facet. The creepy bespectacled, hunting fanatic Hansen and the righteous and frustrated Halcombe are certainly nothing new.

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The pace is a little slow, but the classic witness protection scenario gives the story a second edge. Cindy’s incessant disappearances allow Cage to take on the paternal figure – his wife doesn’t play ball, cue further tension and frustration. Also this isn’t just a cop v. criminal story where the story flies off the wall into the realms of fantastical illegality – Cage is forced to build his case and find conclusive evidence before his search and arrest warrants are granted.

The film climaxes as the team searching the killer’s house work against the clock until Hansen, displaying ever more freakish characteristics in his interview, has to be released. Frustration hisses in Cage’s face in this head-to-head as his argument is sent round in circles. Yes I slept with them. No I didn’t kill them. Until eventually the conclusive evidence is found, and Hansen’s specter stands in the door in the form of Cindy Paulson. “I should’ve killed you when I had the chance.” Case closed.

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Walker made what he saw. In one sense to say the film is unoriginal is unfair as it recorded and dramatized real life events. As Vanessa Hudgens says above, the respective characters spent time with the people who lived through these terrible events. But then perhaps we seek something a little more. What do we have Hollywood for if it isn’t constructing stories more exciting than reality? In Frozen Ground adherence to events ultimately affects the film in two ways, tying the plot down to a kind of simplicity (it’s not Poirot) while giving it a harsh reality to many of the scenes. The hunting trophies in Hansen’s cellar were set up in exactly the same way when these events occurred. That’s enough to send a shiver up anyone’s spine.

 vanessa hudgens interview

The Frozen Ground is out now in the UK and the USA

Interview and review by Tom Witehrow

FAULT Focus: filmmaker Michael Mohan (‘Save the Date’ director) on his latest short, ‘This Is How You Die’

Imagine a machine existed that could tell you exactly how you will die. The machine, as commonplace as the automatic blood pressure monitors one finds in pharmacies, takes a small sample of your blood and, upon examination, discharges a small slip disclosing your mode of death.

THIS IS HOW YOU DIE

Michael Mohan, the 33-year old filmmaker behind 2012 romantic drama Save the Date, explores this theme in a series of short films he adapted from the upcoming anthology This Is How You Die, edited by Matthew Bennardo, former film school buddy David Malki ! and Ryan North. The book of fictional tales — released this past Tuesday (July 16th) — is the second volume to 2010 best-selling anthology Machine of Death (or something along these lines). . The shorts, now featured on Funny or Die, are the first film project Mohan’s released for some time, and one he’s unabashedly excited about.

“I’m very lucky to have surrounded myself with a team of people who just have my back whenever I try to make something, no matter the budget” says Mohan, who co-wrote the script with Malki ! and tapped his network of friends help complete the project.

And, the shorts are about as short as short films get. One clocks in at just 23 second, to give you an idea. The death scenes depicted in Mohan’s shorts are so gratuitously violent they possess the creative sensibilities of an Alanis Morissette music video remixed by Quentin Tarantino; each death becomes a new punchline in the jocular narrative of a rather dark but humorous anthology of short stories.

OLD AGE CARD

In the first 47 second-long short, a young female on a jog comes across a death machine, decides to give it a go and receives a slip reading ‘old age’ as her cause of death. Delighted at the prospect of having many years ahead of her, she continues her jog only to be hit by a car driven by a confused old man.

BEAR CARD

Mohan says his favorite short is the final and most absurd of the bunch, titled BEAR. In this short, a man receiving a white card with the word ‘bear’ printed on it goes about his life fearful of bear-shaped honey jars, camping trips and gummy bears. He’s eventually killed during a routine day at the office when a bear jumps out of a recycling bin and attacks him. Mohan’s only regret as far as releasing these shorts online — BEAR in particular — is that he won’t be around to see the reactions of his audience.

“With that one especially, I would love to be in a packed theatre to hear the groans at the end,” says Mohan.

PARACHUTE FAILURE CARD

PARACHUTE FAILURE ACCIDENT

The addition of the This Is How You Die film adaptations to Michael Mohan’s body of work speaks volumes about the young filmmaker’s versatility. His cinematic endeavors — which also include visually-striking music videos and even a racy and emotional short film, Ex-Sex (2011) — make it difficult to pigeonhole him. More telling of his vision is that, despite very formidable professional alliances (Mad Men’s Alison Brie and Party Down’s Lizzy Caplan were both featured in Save the Date; New York Times best-selling comic Jeffrey Brown created the movie’s illustrations), Mohan still actively explores more obscure themes and styles in his work.

Mohan is certainly no household name; he’s not a filmmaker chasing fame, either. Yet, given his talent, commercial success could very well find him.

 

 

Words by Carolyn Okomo