Ted Geoghegan He’s one of those filmmakers to whom buzzwords like “oeuvre” really apply, and it’s not that he’s arrogant himself. No, Geoghegan has a kind of consistency and commitment (or obsession) with certain subjects that results in a unified body of work; Think Buñuel, Bergmann, Argento, Schrader. In a very small way, they all make the same movie over and over again, just in different contexts, and yet these variations on a theme end up being diverse, unique, and ingenious.
Geoghegan theme? American history as a tapestry of paranoia, a strain of trauma, a chronology of scapegoats. His three films so far take place during different time periods and reflect different eras of American history, with different skepticism and unique tribalism. his new movie Brooklyn 45 It is a little lighter than Mohawk And We are still herebut perhaps more paranoid than ever.
The film follows a group of military veterans after their first Christmas after World War II. They get together at Colonel Hochstatter’s (the great Larry Fessenden) house for drinks and sad memories, but don’t expect the colonel to be in dire straits, a serious wreck that locks them in the room and asks them to perform a sit-down with him. His wife took her life, and he at first thought her crazy (she thought the neighbors were Nazi spies), but now Hockstatter doesn’t know what to think. He is in the midst of an existential crisis, desperately seeking access to the spirit world for knowledge and help. He and his friends get more than they bargained for.
Every time the public expects it Brooklyn 45 Driving straight through the plot, it curves and introduces new interesting dimensions. Part historical chamber drama, part supernatural horror thriller, part murder thriller, Brooklyn 45 is one of the most unique and enjoyable movies of the year so far, and most audiences should be looking for it (it streams on Shudder and AMC+). Geoghegan spoke with MovieWeb about the themes and style of the film.
45- Trapped in a theater like Brooklyn
Brooklyn 45 It has a deliberately staged feel to it—the characters arrive, there are some introductions, an epic monologue and a harrowing moment that signal a major narrative shift, and the remaining time is spent with these characters interacting with them in increasingly tribal and desperate ways. In a sense, the locked-down and graded form and content of Brooklyn 45 They seem to mirror each other. It feels like a 1945 stage play, an Agatha Christie production directed by a horror fan with a great cast. There is a method to this madness.
Geoghegan explained: “It was always thought of as the peace of a room in real time. I thought of it as an escape room, like you walk into it, and 80 minutes later it’ll ring the bell, and you’ll be there for the ride.” “It was very important to me that the audience be trapped in this room along with the characters. So the moment the characters enter the room, so does the camera, and it never leaves that room until the characters leave that room. It was also important that The audience feels as trapped as the characters, because I feel like that adds a new sense of urgency to the scenes, where they go, ‘I want to get out of this room. I’m afraid to be here.”
“I’ve had several people say, ‘Well, why don’t we see some flashbacks?'” Why don’t we show what happened during the war? And I said, He’s getting the audience out of the room. The characters are still in the room, but the audience will have fled, even if it’s only for a split second, they’ve left the room, and I don’t ever want that to happen,” Geoghegan continued. “I never wanted to even shoot through windows. The camera is in the room with them the whole time. We’re trapped in there. It sure looks like a staged drama shot.”
Brooklyn 45 He has this nostalgic feeling for a stage play, and Geoghegan might even want to expand his presence in that area. “I mean, God willing, maybe one day we can even do it as a stage drama. I’d like to adapt it for the stage,” said the director, “There’s really nothing that needs to change for it to be adapted for the stage. It was very important that it happen.” Every beat in them happens in theatre, right down to the spectral appearances and everything like that. Everything is practical.”
Larry Fessenden, The Killer Monologue
Adding to the theatre-like atmosphere are some excellent monologues, including an epic from Larry Fessenden as Colonel Hockstatter. Essentially begging his war comrades to join him for a hearing, Hockstatter is unhinged and deeply emotional, yet empathetic and still self-aware. Fessenden, best known as the director of indie horror classics such as Habit, Wendigo, And corruptHe gives an amazing performance here in one of the movie’s best scenes.
“I wrote the role of Clive specifically for Larry, he’s a dear friend of mine,” said Geoghegan. “He’s a mentor, he’s someone I’ve known for nearly 20 years, and I’ve always been a fan and hero of him. He’s a great filmmaker and a great actor. I’ve always felt like Larry is underutilized in cinema. And I know that sounds silly because he shows nearly six To ten movies a year, but he has such little sequences. He only appears for a moment and then I’m like, ‘That’s it.’ And I’m always like, ‘Oh my God, it’s so good.’ Let him dock a film. He’s a great actor, and I put him in We are still here For this reason alone, he killed her […] And I was just like, I want to do that again. I want to bring Larry back, and I want him to just anchor this movie.”
The monologue you were referring to, it’s a really powerful moment very early in the movie and it’s kind of what triggers everything. It’s seven pages in the script, and we shot it over the course of one day. I think we called it eight times. And by the time Larry gets to his end, every time he just breaks. As an actor, there’s a lot to go through, and talking about your wife’s suicide, talking about your failures as a human being, ending that sequence and then saying, “Okay, let’s do it again,” and coming back to one, is a testament to what a powerful performer he is.
“I think this is definitely one of the real crowning moments in the movie,” Geogheghan added. “But like any real ensemble, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. And I’m so lucky to have six great actors in this movie. So they all get to play to each other’s strengths.”
Ted Geoghegan dating american paranoia
Geoghegan’s great staff is tight and efficient; In addition to Fessenden, there’s also Anne Ramsay, Ezra Buzzington, Jeremy Holm, Ron E. Rains, and finally Christina Klepp, the German-American neighbor accused of being a Nazi spy. While every character is an American veteran of World War II (with the exception of the neighbor), they are on an ideological spectrum of American values. Not quite animals farm, but each character works toward Geoghegan’s aforementioned thematic goals, continuing his path as the Howard Zinn of horror-thrillers. He explained this with a remarkable degree of clarity.
“I’m a very objective filmmaker. I’ve directed three films. I’ve been a writer and producer for almost 20 years, and I have a lot of films under my belt as a writer and producer, but I only have three under my belt as a director.”
We are still here It is a movie that takes place in the seventies. It is about the family dealing with the sins of the fathers, how they haunt them and how they ultimately destroy and redeem them. Mohawk It is a movie about parents. It’s a movie about white people trying to make America great the first time by getting rid of all people of color and people of different sexual orientations and religions and beliefs, and how we can see ourselves in so much of today. And Brooklyn 45 It is a continuation of that, which are the sins of our ancestors.
“You know, it’s a movie about a generation that has only been removed from us once or twice, and how the choices they made — good or bad — not only haunt us today, but are reflected today,” Geoghegan continued. “The fact that these men and women gave their lives trying to overcome fascism and Nazism and hate – and we now find ourselves in a world where those beliefs are coming back and gaining a foothold not only socially but politically. And you know, there and by God’s grace they go.”
Ethics of War and Hell
“I think from an objective standpoint, the movie is about paranoia. It’s about blind patriotism. It’s about blind hate, and why we do this as a gender, like, what drives us toward this hate, what drives us toward all this chaos that’s in our lives.” “I’m very liberal, anti-peace war. But I was making a movie about veterans and what they did in order for me to have the freedoms that I have. My dad is a U.S. Air Force veteran, my namesake grandfather fought in World War II, and I wanted to I’m making a film that not only speaks to people like me, but also to people like them.”
“The movie doesn’t condone or hate what anyone does in it. It leaves it up to the audience to make their own decisions about these people. Are these good people? Are these bad people? Are they just people? Because I really believe that, just like wars when people say That war exists in shades of grey, I think all of humanity exists in shades of grey; there is no black and white. And that’s really what this movie is about. If you walk away from this movie, you like certain characters and you hate certain characters, and you find yourself contradicting someone who thinks differently , which is great, because it opens up a dialogue about why you feel the way you do about these people.”
I like to believe that liberals and conservatives, while they may not agree on many things, the one thing I would like to believe most of them agree on is that war is hell. They destroy people, whether you have served or whether you are against war as much as possible. I think you can meet in the middle and say, whatever war is, whatever functions it serves, it destroys people. And that’s what this movie is really about – the ghosts that people carry with them long after the war is over. And the fact that for some people war never ends. There is a line repeated half a dozen times in the movie where the character says the war is over. And the response from a different character each time is, “Who says?”
just like war, Brooklyn 45 lingers long after it’s over, like the ghost of a troubled memory, silent but saying so much.
From Shudder, Produced by Divide/Conquer, Raven Banner Entertainment, Hangar 18 Media, and The Line Film Company, Brooklyn 45 Streaming on Shudder and AMC+.