Todd Miro – Critical Juncture Interview

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Our guest this week on Critical Juncture–a segment dedicated to interviews with movie critics and film bloggers–is Todd Miro, the creator of the blog entitled Into the Abyss. If you want to get a feel for what his site is all about, just take a gander at the two quotes that grace the top of the screen. The first is from German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, while the second belongs to Nigel Tufnel, the somewhat addled guitarist from Spinal Tap. Not only will you get Todd’s thoughts on movies and horror, but he also adds his two cents about digital technology, indie filmmaking, and whatever random weird stuff pops into his head.

And did I mention that Todd is also a filmmaker? Into the Abyss keeps you updated on all his latest projects, and you may even get a chance to help him name one.

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Here’s a bio on Todd from the man himself:

Todd Miró has been making movies since he was just a strapping lad, running around with his buddies and his Super-8 film gear. After graduating with a film degree from San Francisco State University, Todd pursued his passion as a professional editor and motion graphics designer, working on numerous broadcast documentaries that have aired on PBS, Animal Planet and the BBC.  More recently, he delved back into the world of Independent Filmmaking, editing and producing the acclaimed horror/thriller The Commune and is currently finishing his first horror short as writer/director, Spook Hunt. His love of cinema, horror and media in general can be experienced on his widely-read blog Into The Abyss, which recently garnered a firestorm of attention for Todd’s blistering rant of Hollywood’s penchant for bathing their movies in a hyper-saturated sheen of orange and teal.

Now onto the questions…

Only Good Movies: What’s the first movie that you remember seeing?
Todd Miro: Probably The Red Balloon as a child. I was captivated by the amazing visuals and the last sequence of multitudes of balloons coming to the child’s aid and lifting him up into the sky.

OGM: What’s the most recent movie you’ve seen?
TM: Since I’m a father of two young boys, that would be Toy Story 3. I loved the cranky old clown. Although I liked the movie (and of course got teary-eyed at the end) I wasn’t as bowled away as others. I’d put it firmly behind the other two Toy Story films as well as some of the better recent animated movies: Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Wall-E.

OGM: Is there a particular film that you feel is criminally underrated?
TM: Well, it’s not currently underrated, but when it first came out, Blade Runner was absolutely misunderstood. I remember my buddy and I riding our bikes out to the biggest theater in our hometown to see the premiere. The theater was practically empty except for us and one other group of viewers that we soon realized had worked on the movie. Needless to say, I was blown away by the unbelievable visuals Ridley had painted on the screen, and the brilliant noir touches and was shocked when so many others seemed to miss the essence of the movie.

OGM: Which director do you feel has turned out the best overall body of work?
TM: Stanley Kubrick–hands down.  He consistently produced works of art that pushed the boundaries.He never got lazy with his source of material, choosing to wait until he found something inspiring, rather than producing work for work’s sake. He created high-water mark movies across many genres and over three decades.Scorsese a close 2nd place.

OGM: From an artistic standpoint, which film do you think is most important?
TM: I hate to be all film-school-geeky here, but it’s still Citizen Kane. Go to film school if you want to know why.

OGM: All artsy considerations aside, which movie is your personal favorite?
TM: Alien. A perfect horror movie machine wrapped up in amazing art direction. Oops, I guess that is an “artsy consideration”.

OGM: In your opinion, which film is entirely overrated?
TM: Avatar. An incredible technological achievement balanced on a dime-store story.

OGM: Have you ever walked out of the theatre during a film? If so, what movie was playing?
TM: Nope. Although I was close with The Happening. I was holding out hope that M. Night was going to do a big “gotcha” at the end that I am still waiting for. I’m still not convinced he’s not intentionally committing professional suicide.

OGM: In your mind, what’s the ultimate goal of a movie critic?
TM: All you can be is true to your opinion. Of course, it helps if that opinion is informed by a knowledge of film history, theory, and a love of the cinematic art form.

OGM: Time to look into the future. Do you predict any major changes for the movie industry over the next 25 years?
TM: It’s a very scary place right now for the industry. The studios continue to roll the dice on Tent-pole films to the neglect of more interesting, original works. Combine this with an atmosphere where it has never before been easier to make a movie (as an independent producer), but never been harder to actually make money as an independent and you have an industry ready to self-implode. I don’t know, in 25 years we’ll all probably just be wired directly into the net and be able to have visual stories downloaded directly into our cortexes.

Pass the virtual popcorn please.

OGM: Here’s another chance to predict the future. Name a relatively unknown actor or actress who’ll be a huge star within five years.
TM: I’m not so good at picking who the Hollywood machine will dress up as the next star, but I can say that Lance Reddick and Amy Ryan (both from The Wire) are criminally underused in movies and need to be seen on the big screen.

OGM: Who’s your favorite movie critic to read?
TM: I hate to be really boring and obvious but it’s still Roger Ebert–even though he completely missed the mark on Blade Runner. If he wrote for movies instead of television, it would be Tim Goodman. He was the first to bring to my attention The Wire, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad. He does an amazing job deconstructing each episode.

Big thanks to Todd Miro for taking part in Critical Juncture. Be sure to support all his upcoming projects by checking them out at his blog, Into the Abyss. Next week, we’ll have an all-new guest, but until then here are a few interviews from the past:

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 at 11:31 pm and is filed under Movie Critic Interviews, Thoughts on Film. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Todd Miro – Critical Juncture Interview”

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August 25, 2010

Bob

coolness

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