With upcoming screenings on both coasts, filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, the innovative (and often hilarious) duo behind the genre-bending TFF 2012 hit “Resolution,” checked in with us on a mélange of things. Read on!
Chances are, if you follow the festival circuit or are a fan of genre filmmaking, you’ve heard of Resolution. Tribeca Film recently purchased the quirky crowd pleaser from TFF 2012 for an early 2013 release. With upcoming screenings at the New York Comic Conon October 14 (did we mention it’s free?) and the famous Los Angeles Screamfest on October 16, we thought it was just the right time to check in with the fearlessly inventive team of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, the co-directors of Resolution.
The LA-based filmmakers candidly answered seven burning questions, displaying, as always, their unique sense of humor.
Tribeca: How have your lives changed, if at all, since Resolution premiered at TFF 2012?
Justin Benson: Wildly. Basically, we are now full-time directors, which is wonderful. We have a manager now and a lot of doors have been opened to us. [laughs] We feel really genuinely satisfied with the accomplishment of Resolution.
Aaron Moorhead: We spend 50% of our lives now touring the world and showing our movie to people in different countries. Our general happiness level has skyrocketed.
Tribeca: Craziest Festival experience? Go.
Justin Benson: I’ll let Aaron tell this one.
Aaron Moorhead: Which one?
Justin Benson: I just assumed you were going to talk about that time in Paris.
Aaron Moorhead: This didn’t happen at an actual festival per se, but during our stay in Paris... We met this girl from Paris in Montreal while we were at the Fantasia Fest, so we got in touch with her when we were at L’Entrage. After our French premiere, she snuck with us illegally through the catacombs five stories beneath the streets of the city, where we spent the whole night just drinking and having a great time. We ran into five other people who were just randomly down there as well and we all stayed together the whole night in total darkness.
Tribeca: Resolution is screening almost simultaneously on opposite coasts: at Screamfest in LA and NYCC in NY. Which coast reigns supreme and why?
Justin Benson: Oh no, we can’t answer that!
Aaron Moorhead: No way!
Justin Benson: We don’t want to alienate anyone!
Aaron Moorhead: Let’s just put in this way: We left half of our hearts in New York, but the other half remains in LA.
Tribeca: In honor of Screamfest, what is your favorite movie scream?
Justin Benson: It’s not a horror movie or anything, but my favorite hilarious scream in movies would be Darth Vader’s famous “NOOOOOO” at the end of Star Wars Episode III. That’s really fun. You can just watch the scene over and over and get a good giggle out of that cry every time.
Aaron Moorhead: I have one. At the end of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, there’s that sequence where Sally escapes from the family’s home. The scene predates all the horror movie tropes of running, twisting your ankle and all those women-in-distress-type stuff. It predates all that. As soon as she gets out of their clutches, she runs, jumps through a window, falls two stories and keeps running, screaming the whole time. That’s my favorite movie scream.
Justin Benson: Yeah, it’s also totally logical! As you’re watching it, you’re like, “Yeah, that’s exactly what I would have done.”
Tribeca: In honor of NYCC, who is your favorite superhero?
Justin Benson: I know this is going to sound really typical, but in my heart of hearts, my favorite superhero is Batman.
Aaron Moorhead: I was going to say Batman!
Justin Benson: I was reading the Frank Miller Batman books when I was seven, okay? So I just couldn’t tell you anyone else but Batman.
Aaron Moorhead: I have a different experience, but it’s still Batman. I didn’t read the books when I was growing up. I did see Batman Forever a bunch of times, but I now realize the folly of that decision. I just love Batman because The Dark Knight is so awesome. I’ll admit it: I’m a bandwagon jumper!
Tribeca: In honor of October, I have to ask you to name your favorite horror movie of the past ten years?
Justin Benson: Cabin in the Woods. We’ve said this before, but we think Resolution and Cabin in the Woods would make a great double feature. They are wildly different movies, but they both make a comment about genre films. Cabin in the Woods follows that old horror movie formula but also completely destroys it. It’s just wonderful.
Aaron Moorhead: I also think it’s hard to name a favorite horror movie of the past ten years because some of the best horror films of all time have been released this past decade. There are so many different types of horror movies now, and the genre is so vibrant and exciting. The reason for that obviously is that so many extremely talented genre filmmakers are working right now—it’s almost impossible to hone in directly on one film.
Justin Benson: But what he means to say is that The Descent is the best horror movie of the past ten years. [laughs]
Tribeca: Resolution is getting such great buzz on the festival and genre circuit… is all that praise and success going straight to your heads?
Justin Benson: Well, the success goes straight to Aaron’s head. Unfortunately, the crazy thing is that girls still don’t like us. So it hasn’t really benefited us in any tangible way yet.
Aaron Moorhead: You know, he says “us,” but I’m doing just great with the ladies.
Justin Benson: Girls don’t like me yet, but they’ve always liked Aaron. [laughs] I’ve seen no effect as of yet.