Exclusive Video: ROBIN HARDY IN CONVERSATION WITH RICHARD STANLEY

The 15th annual Fantasia Film Festival enveloped the city of Montreal in July of 2011. Among its 114-film lineup were gala world premieres of Robin Hardy’s long-awaited THE WICKER TREE – a darkly humorous followup to his seminal 1974 Pagan masterwork THE WICKER MAN – and the Grand Guignol omnibus horror film THE THEATRE BIZARRE, featuring segments by Douglas Buck, Buddy Giovinazzo, David Gregory, Karim Hussain, Tom Savini and Richard Stanley, with flamboyant wraparound material directed by Jeremy Kasten.

As with Robin Hardy and THE WICKER TREE, Richard Stanley’s segment in THE THEATRE BIZARRE, entitled MOTHER OF TOADS, marked the filmmaker’s return to fiction filmmaking after a years-long absence – in his case, 15 years, in Robin’s, a full 22.

While decades apart in age, both filmmakers share numerous distinctive qualities. An astute understanding of the occult, an encyclopedic knowledge of history and religion and a profoundly biting ability for dark satire and ironic poetry. Both are also master raconteurs, captivating speakers who can have any crowd hanging on their every word. Their films, usually made years apart from one to the other, are wholly singular visions, unique, unconventional and uncompromising works that challenge, amuse and startle. A conversation with either is no different, let alone one held *between* them.

To celebrate the dual return to filmmaking from two of Great Britain’s most inspired genre minds, Fantasia held a one-hour event that saw Hardy and Stanley sit down for a fascinating discussion of faith, filmmaking and the occult. The event was held on the 20th of July, 2011.

What you will see here is the first 30-minutes of this conversation. Note: the event was shot with a 2-camera setup, but has yet to be fully edited. As we wanted to get this video online in time for the US theatrical releases of both THE WICKER TREE and THE THEATRE BIZARRE (which, as fate would have it, are opening against each other on the same forthcoming weekend!), we are presenting the raw footage from Camera One (Eric S. Boisvert), which framed the entire event in a master shot. In other words, expect to see a later version of this with close-ups. :)

Enjoy, and blessed be.

Mitch Davis
Co-Director, Fantasia Film Festival

About the author:

Kier-La Janisse

Kier-La Janisse is a film writer and programmer, founder of Spectacular Optical Publications and The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies. She has been a programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, co-founded Montreal microcinema Blue Sunshine, founded the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival (1999-2005) in Vancouver, was the Festival Director of Monster Fest in Melbourne, Australia and was the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror (2005). She is the author of A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi (FAB Press, 2007) and House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films (FAB Press, 2012) and contributed to Destroy All Movies!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film (Fantagraphics, 2011), Recovering 1940s Horror: Traces of a Lost Decade (Lexington, 2014) The Canadian Horror Film: Terror of the Soul (University of Toronto Press, 2015) and We Are the Martians: The Legacy of Nigel Kneale (PS Press, 2017). She co-edited (with Paul Corupe) and published the anthology books KID POWER! (2014), Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s (2015), Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin (2017) and Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television (2017). She edited the book Warped & Faded: Weird Wednesday and the Birth of the American Genre Film Archive (forthcoming), and is currently co-authoring (with Amy Searles) the book ‘Unhealthy and Aberrant’: Depictions of Horror Fandom in Film and Television and co-curating (with Clint Enns) an anthology book on the films of Robert Downey, Sr., as well as writing a monograph about Monte Hellman’s Cockfighter. She was a producer on Mike Malloy’s Eurocrime: the Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the ’70s and Sean Hogan’s We Always Find Ourselves in the Sea and her first film as director/producer, Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror is due out from Severin Films in 2020.

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