1 Filmmaker, 3 Films: An Introduction to writer/director Steve Balderson

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Steve Balderson has been shattering the industry mold for years. This week, his film praised by Roger Ebert as one of the best films in 2005, FIRECRACKER, has its 10th Anniversary screening. Beginning in a micro studio is Kansas, Steve finally made the jump to Hollywood this year. Today, we’ll bring you 3 reviews and an interview with Steve. Get inside the mind of a man who easily crosses genre lines and does it without the budgets and connections of his predecessors. Ladies & Gentlemen, Steve Balderson.


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This is pitch perfect black comedy with the gore of a horror industry master. Clearly inspired by Twin Peaks, this film is so over the top, it leaves you begging for more. you can read my full review here.


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Theatrical Release, Sept. 9th-15th at Arena Cinemas
El Ganzo is just about the opposite end spectrum from HELLTOWN. Never in a million years would you guess they were created by the same filmmaker. That is  what makes Balderson so interesting. El Ganzo is the story of Lizzy, a woman whose past is as much of a mystery to the audience as it is her her. When she arrives at the El Ganzo hotel in Mexico, she is disoriented and bag less. all she knows is that she’s checked in and searching for something. She comes across another guest, named Guy. He too is a wandering soul, looking for artistic and spiritual inspiration. Together they forge an immediate bond in trying to understand the needs and desires of the other. el-ganzoThe score is stunning, the cinematography might as well be an add for the landscape and the local sites. Susan Traylor, as Lizzy, is haunted and ethereal. Anslem Richardson, as Guy,  is soft and magnetic. Someone, two people who should have nothing in common create a world of self discovery and forgiveness. Written in collaboration with Traylor, Richardson, and Balderson, the dialogue runs in circles at moments, keeping you on your toes constantly. El Ganzo has a quiet elegance that will capture your heart.susan-traylor-ans-anslem-richardson-in-el-ganzo


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10th Anniversary Screening Sept. 10th at Arena Cinemas

Horror legend Karen Black appears in this most unusual story. A young boy from an abusive home longs for escape, while a singer from a carnival longs for the same. When their worlds collide, tragedy strikes. black-and-white-firecrackerThis is one of those films where seeing is believing. The striking visual scope of Firecracker is just one of the things that makes it so unreal. Half in black & white and the other half in overly saturated color, the emotional story lines are hard drawn. Paying almost direct homage to FREAKS, (and far before it’s time, Jessica Lange’s leading lady in Season 4 of American Horror Story) FIRECRACKER is disturbing in so many ways. firecracker-mike-patton-and-karen-black-color-stillBlack plays duels roles, as both the carnival chanteuse and mother with a severe case a PTSD. Son Jimmy is caught between both worlds. The emotional grip this strange tale holds upon the audience is something to experience in the theater, in the dark, on a big screen, surrounded by others experiencing it for the first time. firecracker-013


I was fortunate enough to chat with Steve last week. Here our fun interview.

For even more info on Steve Balderson, you can check out his website.

Steve Balderson – Director

After attending CalArts Film School, Steve Balderson had something many film makers don’t achieve in a lifetime: a fully realized artistic vision.  At the young age of 23, he made his first full-length feature film, PEP SQUAD, which became a cult classic.  His second film, FIRECRACKER, starring Karen Black and Mike Patton, was praised by critics worldwide and given a Special Jury Award on Roger Ebert’s list of 2005’s Best Films.  His third film, WATCH OUT, was praised by critics as one of the great cult films of all time and shortlisted for Best International Feature in various film festivals.  In 2011, the U.S. Library of Congress selected his film THE CASSEROLE CLUB for its permanent collection.  Film Threat magazine says, Balderson makes movies that are so gorgeous that it’s not unreasonable to say that, cinematographically at least; he’s the equal of an Argento or Kubrick in their prime. Some people have perfect vocal pitch, Steve has perfect visual composition.  Interested not just in film but also architecture, design and elements of time and space, Balderson’s milieu is all-inclusive and his work bears an unmistakable, individual stamp.  Though he chuckles when he says his idea of a good time is going out to sketch a story board, he’s not kidding.  Driven and prolific, Balderson happily shares his secrets in Maverick Filmmaking Workshops, where he instructs and inspires filmmakers young and old.

 

Battle of The Actors Round 1 Matchups Part 6!

Untitled-1Last Week Peter Lorre, Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, and Guy Pearce moved on with Robin Williams  beating Tom Hanks in a close bonus matchup! This weeks matchups we switch gears and return to the girls…actress showdown! Let’s get it on!

Brad’s Bracket:

Brad's Bracket- Melissa McCarthy vs Karen Black

  • Melissa McCarthy (62%, 13 Votes)
  • Karen Black (38%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 21

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Jeremy’s Bracket:

Jeremy's Bracket- Jessica Chastain vs Gena Rowlands

  • Jessica Chastain (65%, 11 Votes)
  • Gena Rowlands (35%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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Liz’s Bracket:

Liz's Bracket: Jessica Lange vs Octavia Spencer

  • Jessica Lange (81%, 13 Votes)
  • Octavia Spencer (19%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 16

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Melissas’ Bracket:

Melissa's Bracket- Maggie Gyllenhaal vs Glenn Close

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal (50%, 9 Votes)
  • Glenn Close (50%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 18

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Michael’s Bracket:

Michael's Bracket- Charlize Theron vs Uma Thurman

  • Charlize Theron (75%, 15 Votes)
  • Uma Thurman (25%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 20

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