Naim, Omar & Caviezel, Jim (The Final Cut) - Dread Central
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Naim, Omar & Caviezel, Jim (The Final Cut)



You may not have heard too much about the new film, The Final Cut which frankly surprises me. It stars Robin Williams and Jim Caviezel, so right there you’d think it’d be more out in the public eye than it is.

It opened in limited release on October 15th, and so far it’s gotten some great responses from those that have seen it. The film is about a future society in which microchips have been implanted into ever living human in order to record their lives. Williams plays a cutter, one of the one’s responsible for making sure lives are edited together well, but finds out information about his own life that puts him right in the middle of danger. Caviezel plays the leader of a group that’s opposed to the entire “Rememory” process.

Our West Coast man, Sean Clark, recently got the chance to sit in on a round table with the film’s director, Omar Naim, and Jesus Christ himself, Jim Caviezel. The results follow.

Q: Okay Omar let’s start with a technical question.

Omar Naim: Okay, hit me!

Q: How does the Zoe Chip select a 2.35:1 aspect ration from the entire range of eyesight?

ON: Because it’s programmed to put in the aspect ration that is most familiar to a movie audience? (Laughs)

Q: No matter how much you explain an answer you open up a door for everyone’s imagination.

ON: Absolutely, but we never thought. We really thought the idea and all that was just a metaphorical starting off point to get to the human things. But they can’t hold up to too close of scrutiny, you sort of have to take a poetic leap with the movie.

Q: Jim, what was it about the character that appealed to you? Would you want to have your memories recorded to play back later?

Jim Caviezel: Second part, no. I wouldn’t want that, but I’m getting it recorded right now anyway. (Laughs) I was drawn to Omar’s script as a whole. It didn’t necessarily have anything to do with my character particularly, although I was very interested in him. I’ve seen scripts that were good and even characters that were much more extensive and were the main character, but the story as a whole was strong. I like the indifference of the character, the situational ethics. The departmentalization of all those things that allowed me play in this, more so than anything else was Omar’s vision. (To Omar) How old are you now, eighteen? (Laughs) For a kid to write and direct something like this, with the themes of it being so complex, I can see why Robin Williams was drawn to it. I can see why Tak Fugimoto would read something like this and know it was going to be something very unique. I wasn’t planning on doing anything right after the Passion of the Christ, but this was perfect so I’m a pig and I had to do it. (Laughs)

Q: If you had your own memories recorded what would you want taken out and what would you definitely want kept in?

JC: That’s too personal. I can’t say. There are things I have done in my past that I wish I had never done but you learn from those things. Like for example if I could go back in my life and pick out things that I made critical errors in, I wouldn’t be acting. That was honestly a mistake. Instead of doing my homework where I got bad grades in I was watching Saturday Night Live. (Laughs)

Q: Omar, how did you come up with the idea for Final Cut?

ON: I think the idea came in several different stages. First of all I was editing my documentary film at school. I was the only person in the editing room. The school had just got the first Avid so I spent nine months there and I sort of became the school’s editing guy. So I was editing everyone else’s movies because I had access to it. While editing my documentary it really became clear that this sort of myth of objectivity in documentaries is just myth. It’s all the style and manipulating, it’s drama. So that was one part of it. The second part was that I was away from my family who were on the other side of the world and I started thinking that if my life goes on like this, I’m going to start seeing them less and less. So I thought what I should do is shoot these really long interviews with my parents, like twenty-hour interviews that way I could get all their little antidotes and stories out of them and I could always watch that and enjoy their company. (Laughs) But I never did that because that because it’s not them. That would be replacing my actual memories. Fading as my memories are already. We all take pictures or each other and we all have home movies and there is a need we all have to visually preserve our lives. That combined with this realization about editing is how this idea came about.

Q: Are you a fan of this kind of genre?

JC: I’m a fan of great scripts. I like great books. I’d put this script up to a book in the genre of Animal Farm or 1984. As far as films, it’s this Alfred Hitchcockian kind of mystique that I love. When a director writes something and I love what he wrote, there’s not much you can do to screw it up. Of all the material I looked at this is the best. I’m just fascinated with this kid’s mind; he’s just a real talented person. I was glad that Robin Williams believed in it because you have to have that confidence. You’re only going to come across this kind of material so often, and I happened to be at the right place at the right time and that is how I look at it. What I was drawn to in this story more than anything was that this is a dark color but truth still comes through. You may not walk out of this thing feeling warm and fuzzy but that’s not why I got into movies. I make stories that I feel are truthful.

OM: I just want to interject; he’s making sound like this glowing golden script was presented to him. I mean if Jim, Mira, and Robin hadn’t agreed to this movie it would not have happened. (Laughs) I mean at all. Everyone’s faith in this project and doing it for the right reasons (because they liked the material) is why we got into film in the first place. I know I’ve been spoiled this first time out because I know it’s not always like this. It’s not always that everyone is there to really make a film. I just needed to say that.

JC: I just saw TXH-1138 for the first time, the genesis for Star Wars and I was telling him that I felt the same way when I saw this movie.

Q: Since making the Passion of the Christ how has the reaction been from people on the street? Religion can be a very fanatical material. Have you had any fanatical experiences with fans looking at you in almost a Christ like way?

ON: Not without the beard. (Laughs)

JC: That’s exactly right I’m a completely different person. I’m not all beat up.

Q: Jesus, why did you get a make over? (Laughs)

JC: Yeah they come up to me and say, “Hey Jesus!” and I say, (Shaking his finger in disapproval.) “Heeeeey.” (Laughs) I say I’m still the Count of Monte Cristo. (Laughs) I worked really hard for that.

Q: Was it hard to pitch this as a science fiction film?

ON: I went out of my way to say it’s a drama, a thriller and a science fiction movie. There are very few science fiction elements. There’s only enough to get ideas boiling. I think the newer sort of wave of science fiction movies, even stuff like Being John Malkovich, can be called science fiction. It’s a more intimate, more like finding a metaphor to talk about now, which is how science fiction started. I think the sort of, “bling-bling” science fiction as I call sort of took over for a while because we found out, “Whoa, we can do anything!” and it sort of lost touch with what science fiction was initially about which is us now and the human condition which is a small poetic device to sort of get things going.

Thanks to Lions Gate for letting us be part of the junket. Be sure to seek out The Final Cut in a theater near you!

Discuss this interview in our forums!




SUSU Trailer Exudes Both British and J-Horror Vibes



A trailer has been released for Susu, a psychological thriller set in England that follows two Chinese friends who are invited to a countryside house to transcribe some Chinese films. Judging by the trailer, it really looks like this film will mix classic British horror with a subtle J-horror atmosphere that melds two different styles of the genre into one fascinating example.

The film will be making its US premiere at the AMC Pacific Place in Seattle, WA on Tuesday, June 5.

Qi’an and Aimo are close friends and students living in London. Having been offered a weekend job as Chinese language translators, they travel to an old English family mansion in the countryside to transcribe the films of a Chinese Kunqu Opera star Susu, who married into the English family. Though the two girls are intrigued by the mansion’s enormous collection of items from the golden age of cinema, Qi’an and Aimo quickly become unsettled by the strange environment and the mansion’s occupants, hoping to get out of there as soon as possible. Their exit is delayed, though, with the arrival of the handsome heir to the house, Benjamin; both girls develop an affection for him, leading to a growing tension between the two friends. But when Aimo goes missing, Qi’an discovers the disturbing secrets that the mansion’s occupants would rather not reveal.

Written and directed by Yixi Sun, Susu stars Zitong Wu, Frederick Szkoda, Steve Edwin, Zhu Lin, and Junjie Mao.


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Interview: Publishing Director Tom Walker on the Love Folio Society Gives to Horror Novels



Horror fans are quite often collectors. Whether its posters, Blu-rays and/or DVDs, figures, memorabilia, or something else, we’ve always been archivists of the genre in some way, shape, or form. For many, the love of horror extends off the screen and into the pages of a book, where the writings of King, Lovecraft, Koontz, Shelley, and Stoker raise the hairs on the back of our neck and make us afraid to turn to the next page for fear of what our imagination will conjure.

Much like the difference between a bargain bin Blu-ray pales in comparison to a Scream Factory or Arrow Video treatment, the world of books has a similar situation. One can get a generic paperback edition of a book and enjoy a story for all that it has to offer and no one can, or should, fault them for appreciating it in that method. But I think we all know the feeling when we get our hands on a product where love and care exudes from every portion of what we hold. Just think back to that feeling when you got your first Blu-ray with a loving HD restoration, a robust special features section, and gorgeous artwork that made your eyes linger. When it comes to books, that kind of treatment is offered with everyone of Folio Society‘s releases.

Founded in 1947, the London-based publisher aims to release editions that should be “…presented in a form worthy of their contents.” Painstakingly crafted, each book that they release takes months, if not years, for a final product to be agreed upon where every aspect is considered to the nth degree. As they themselves explain, “…each book is considered as an individual object of value in its own right, there is a variety to our aesthetic – the only uniformity is in the quality of every single book.”

While Folio Society does not focus solely on genre fare, they have released many classic titles from that world, including the recent edition of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, which featured brand new artwork by frequent Neil Gaiman collaborator Dave McKean. To celebrate those who put enormous amounts of effort into celebrating and cherishing the genre we so dearly appreciate and love, I had the chance to interview Folio Society’s Publishing Director Tom Walker about the company, specific titles they’ve released, and what’s coming next. Please enjoy!

Dread Central: The Folio Society has been creating beautiful editions for over 70 years. Can you tell me a bit about how you not only honour the legacy of the books you have in your catalogue but also the legacy of The Folio Society itself?

Tom Walker: I often feel overwhelmed walking through our library at the scale of what we have produced since 1947 – I know how much energy it takes to get one book right, so to do it with thousands, the library is an extraordinary feat. The thing that surprises me most though is how little we have changed since then. Our goal is fundamentally the same – to bring classic books to new audiences by producing them in a spectacular and lasting form. It’s a thrilling and a noble ideal really, so it feels an honour to be part of a publisher which has such a living tradition running through it.

DC: What do you look for in a book to find it worthy of The Folio Society treatment?

TW: That is a never-ending question, and one we constantly debate within our publishing team. Beyond the perhaps obvious considerations of the book having a stature to carry a fine edition, I look for books that are the best within their genre and will lend themselves well to an illustrated edition. Definitions of ‘classic’ works are slippery, but I like to think that Folio plays its part in helping to canonise certain books and authors, and to ensure they are read and re-read down the generations. The most important consideration for me is always that someone within Folio must love the book – it takes a certain level of obsession to create books like ours.

DC: Clearly an enormous amount of love and care goes into every book that you release. From the paper to the binding, the lettering to the new forewords, the slipcases and the printing… It all combines into something that is as much a work of art as the story the book itself contains. How does this process work for each novel?

TW: Well there are certain elements which are consistent but fundamentally we treat each book uniquely and with the respect it deserves, so when we decide to publish something we’ll think long and hard about how it could best be published, and over the course of it production we will consider every tiny detail. The editor and the art directors will likely have a vision of the final book quite early on, but it will always change through various stages of creative intervention – from the typographer, from the commissioned artist, from the author or introducer. We’re trying to match the form with the content and often that can involve restraint as much as it can involve a lavish design. So long as the aesthetics match those of the book and interplay in interesting ways, we have done our job well. We’re hugely fortunate to have an in-house team which loves creative collaboration and makes such a process possible.

DC: The Folio Society doesn’t discriminate by genre, offering anything from comedy to tragedy with everything in between. For horror fans, that means a great deal as the genre often gets looked down upon. What responsibility do you feel The Folio Society has in showcasing the validity and importance of all styles of writing?

TW: Often the very best writing is to be found in non-traditional genres, as I’m sure your readers will have noticed. Writers – particularly those with something genuinely new to say – don’t always like being confined to the expectations of a conventional genre. Horror, science fiction and other genres have undoubtedly been a refuge for some of the finest writers over the years. Folio is also in a unique position for a publisher in being able to showcase a wide range of genres – most publishers will tend to specialise in certain areas where we range quite freely. A lot of our readers will buy whole libraries from us, and no good private library will ever contain one genre. It’s thrilling too to be able to introduce readers to new authors they wouldn’t otherwise have considered except through us.

DC: Getting into specific titles, what can you tell me about the creation of your release of The Call of Cthulhu & Other Weird Stories? Was there anything that stands out about that particular release?

TW: That was an unusual project in a number of ways, not least because we produced two editions at the same time – a limited edition alongside our collector’s edition – and I must say the collector’s edition is in itself quite an extraordinary thing. Two elements stand out most for me with this edition. The first is the introduction by Alan Moore. It’s one of the finest I’ve commissioned in a decade of working at Folio, and makes the case for Lovecraft in a hugely compelling fashion. Secondly the vision at work here is very much that of the artist, Dan Hillier, who was involved in every level, from the artwork to the slipcase and solander-box box design to the decision to blacken the foredges of the book. It’s one of those projects where everything came together in a serendipitous and very fun way, and I think it stands up to Lovecraft’s extraordinary tales.

DC: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist is obviously a huge title for horror fans across generations. How do you go about honoring such a title?

TW: When we decided to publish this novel –an easy decision! – we were looking at artists to commission and came across the Lonely Road edition which had been illustrated by Caniglia. We knew of his work already and were so impressed by it that we asked Lonely Road if they would allow us to re-use it for our edition. They were graciousness itself, and through working with Caniglia we were able to include some material from him unique to our edition and what we ultimately produced is, I think, quite stunning.

DC: You have a glorious edition of The Shining from Stephen King. Will we see any more offerings from The Folio Society for King’s work?

TW: I do hope so. Watch this space!

DC: It seemed over the past several years that physical media was going to slowly disappear as electronic options became more and more popular. However, we’re seeing a resurgence of love for being able to have something tangible. What is your stance on physical versus digital, especially in your field where Kindles and Nooks and tablets are obviously very convenient?

TW: I’ve always felt that the rise of digital media has been Folio’s greatest opportunity. We all read so much online and on tablets but the pull of the physical isn’t going away, and I think Folio is part of a resurgence in crafted and thought-through objects – and writing – which people appreciate all the more as so much of our media is so ephemeral.

DC: What is coming up that you’re excited for at The Folio Society?

TW: It takes somewhere between eighteen months and three years to create a Folio Society edition, and I am always most excited about the books we have in the programme that far ahead. But I can’t tell you about any of them! A couple which have just been released I’m particularly proud of are Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, and Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf – both amazing novels, and both now in Folio formats which are utterly addictive.

DC: To end things, I’d love to know what is your dream book that you would love to be able to bring into The Folio Society’s catalogue?

TW: My dream book is always the next book I add to the catalogue, so luckily for me I don’t have to choose – you do!


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Bob & Mews Return in STRANGER THINGS 3 Promo



One of the best surprises held within this past season’s Stranger Things 2 was Sean Astin as Bob. Another great addition was Dustin’s kitty Mews. But alas these two things were not meant to be.

And so it is utterly delightful to see them together for the first time in this new promo trailer for the upcoming Stranger Things 3.

You can check out the promo below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

The show stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer, and Charlie Heaton.


A love letter to the supernatural classics of the 80’s, Stranger Things is the story of a young boy who vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces, and one very strange little girl.


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