Thu July 4, 2013
Director's Cut Radio: 'Into The Wake' Reveals The Dark, Violent Underbelly — Of Baraboo?
Baraboo native John Mossman is the writer and director of “Into the Wake,” a drama about a man on the south side of Chicago drawn back into an age-old family feud in south-central Wisconsin.
Terry Bell: This is a movie that really defies labels and genres, doesn’t it?
John Mossman: Yeah, it seems to be one that does do that.
TB: You’ve heard a few interesting ones.
JM: Yeah, it varies between “psychological thriller” or “dark action film”. The one I like best is “existential action film.” Some reviewer called it that, and I think that’s the best one I’ve heard.
TB: I like it quite a bit. The setting for this movie is split between the south side of Chicago and the Baraboo area. There’s a real juxtaposition – the protagonist is having a really happy life in what many people might consider gritty surroundings. Meanwhile in pastoral, lovely Sauk County, there are a lot of skeletons in the closet – a lot of ugliness!
JM: One of the reasons we wanted to do that was that there’s beauty in ugly places, and I feel that. It’s a relative term. When you get to this beautiful place, all these ugly things happen. I didn’t think I really needed to emphasize the ugliness of what was going on under the surface any more than just playing that out. To watch it play out in a beautiful place is what makes the movie what it is, partly.
TB: I wanted to ask you about something that, people who enjoy movies like myself ... don’t get to see, and that’s the way a film is changed and tweaked as it goes through different screenings at different festivals. How different is the final version compared to what you first finished?
JM: When I first submitted it about a year ago to fests, it’s about six minutes shorter, five minutes shorter, which is a lot. It’s only 75 or 76 minutes now. You realize that you don’t need everything you thought you need when you first start making it. And then you start going to festivals, and you realize there are places where you can cut, or that it drags and you can feel the audience shift in their seats, and it’s probably something you can fix. Thank God for festivals and audiences that give you question-and-answer feedback afterward. It’s just so helpful.
See more of John Mossman and “Into the Wake”, Friday night, July 5 at 10:00 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television.