david mullen

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Mad to be Normal - Behind the scenes

The Love Witch director Anna Biller: ‘I’m in conversation with the pornography all around us’
Biller’s latest film is a stylish feminist fantasy of witchcraft in the modern era – and, she says, Trump has made it more relevant than ever.
By John Patterson

“…a feminist, style-drenched fantasy of witchcraft in the modern era, rendered in self-consciously stilted and melodramatic dialogue against a mise-en-scene of eye-popping coordinated colours and costumes…

The film took seven-and-a-half years to complete, and Biller handled nearly every task. She wrote, directed and edited, storyboarded every shot and worked closely with her cinematographer, M David Mullen, an expert in reproducing classical camera styles. She designed (and sometimes built) the lavishly detailed sets and the many vibrant costumes (many of which she stitched herself). Her own paintings adorn the sets, and she wrote special music and songs and commissioned musicians to perform them. Hers is a deeply artisanal, handmade, hands-on, highly controlled species of independent film-making that one is surprised and gratified to find still exists.”

Revolting Children
Matilda the Musical Cast
Revolting Children

Revolting Children from the 03/04/15 evening performance of Matilda the Musical. David Rosenthal’s second performance, Jack Mullen, GiaNina Paolantonio, Noah Baird, Grace Matwijec, Beada Briglia, and Cole Alex Edelstein’s third performance.

good news/bad news. 

good news: got audio.

bad news: got good video, then got ratted out and had to delete everything.  i figured the odds of that were a good 95% minimum, since i was front row on the aisle, but since a lot of people asked me to try, i figured yolo, etc.  especially since brooklyn was on.  that kid is so amazing.  i really do hope someone (more competent than myself!) gets a video of her. 

worse news: got so sick of the weather i took a gypsy cab home.  nothing gives you the feeling of “i am going to be murdered and dumped in a sewer pipe” like getting into a gypsy cab driven by a middle-aged guy with ariana grande blaring through the speakers.  luckily i’m still alive, but that was on the disturbing side.

anyway, i’ll get audio up tomorrow, or maybe later tonight, depending, because i’m really worn out and haven’t had the chance to eat in days, so i’m kind of, you know, hungry, and i’d like to do something about that.

but briefly gonna comment on the new kids.  overall, i’m impressed.  like always they’re going to need a little time to settle into the show, but they all made a decent impression for the most part.

- david rosenthal is seriously just like i would imagine bruce from the book to be if he came to life.  someone - @aslipofabolt, i think? - described oona laurence as having a “roald dahl quality” and that kept coming to my mind watching david.  he has a lot of character, and did a great job with his speech.  he could maybe use a little more work on the technical aspects of his performance - his singing is powerful but not very controlled, and he’s not the most agile dancer - but honestly that all fits the character really well.  i miss mitchell, but this kid is really good.

- jack mullen is the one kid i didn’t care for.  he plays nigel as a whiny nerd, with a nasal voice and a lateral lisp - and honest to god if that’s just how his voice sounds i’m going to feel so bad, but he kept slipping in and out of it, so i think it’s meant to be a character thing.  honestly, i found it annoying.  i hate to use the word “amateurish” to describe a kid, but…it seemed like something that would be well-received in a school play, but on broadway, it was just grating. 

- gianina paolantonio is so.  freaking.  adorable.  she’s about the same size as brooklyn, and she’s just too dang cute.  she nailed all her steps, did the amanda toss like a pro, and had some really great facial expressions.  her dancing is pretty good.  not as strong as bea’s or sofia’s, but every bit as good as every other kid in the company.  (as an aside, she’s another one who would really look better with a brown or black amanda wig.  i don’t know why they insist on putting blonde wigs on everyone but erica.)

- noah baird, speaking of adorable, is too cute to be believed.  he’s very good with physical comedy, which is fortunate, since eric spends a lot of time running/crawling around, being knocked around by the trunchbull, etc.  i especially got a good laugh out of him trying to get away from nigel during his classroom meltdown - he bolted back against matilda’s desk and kind of lifted himself up a little bit with his hands so it was like he was trying to keep running and just trying to scramble right through the desk.  think the characters on scooby doo when they’re trying to get a running start.  i can’t describe it.  but it was hilarious.

- grace matwijec mostly blended into the background for me during the dance numbers.  to be fair to her, there were a lot of performers i was trying to take in all at once.  she played alice as kind of geeky and excitable, which was cute.  

- beada briglia is probably the best dancer of the new kids, imo.  she has a strong presence as well.  i was surprised by how tall she is, though.  also, poor thing didn’t grab a balloon during miracle and basically ended up miming blowing one up.  she handled it well though.

- cole alex edelstein was another one i didn’t notice too much, but tommy doesn’t have a ton to do, either.  he reminds me a fair bit of sawyer for some reason. 

overall, the new cast is pretty damn impressive.  i hope i get to see the swings in their other roles at some point, though i think i’m taking a break from matilda for a while.  even i have my limits.  i plan on trying to catch brooklyn and eliza’s last shows, but until then, unless something super crazy happens, i’m going into hibernation. 

also, just found out that lesli’s throwing a little tantrum over my attempting to film.  i swear i actually delight in pissing her off at this point.  well, no, delighting in it would mean i give it more energy than i do.  but knowing that i made her day a little worse makes me smile.