Thursday, July 16, 2009

Article About Dark Mirror in Fangoria Magazine

An excellent article by Samuel Zimmerman in this month's issue.

Some highlights:
"The saying goes, 'Behind every great man is a great woman.' And that's certainly the case when it comes to writer/director Pablo Proenza and his wife/producer, Erin Ploss-Campoamor, who with that phrase and the plight of overlooked 'great women' in mind crafted Dark Mirror, a haunted-house chiller that also manages to thought-provokingly examine women's roles in the modern world. The movie (currently airing via IFC video-on-demand and debuting on DVD later this year) was inspired by the couple's ideas, worries and one great location: their own home."

"'Pablo came up with the concept soon after we moved into this cool old house, which was filled with beautiful cut glass windows,' Ploss-Campoamor says. 'At first it was really nice, but after a while, it started to feel more like we were living in a giant fishbowl.'

"'You'd see movement and not know where it came from,' adds Proenza. 'Or at night, you might see a figure out of the corner of your eye and your heart would skip a beat... 'While all of this was happening, we were trying to get a couple of different movies made,' Ploss-Campoamor says. 'It was starting to look like it might never happen for us. We were reaching an age where we wanted to have a kid, and we just felt trapped. How to be parents and still have a film career? How to be artists and still make money?... All this stuff just started percolating,' she continues, 'and Pablo began writing about a woman trapped inside this supernatural glass house.'"

"Their diligent casting agents led them to audition Lisa Vidal, who puts in a strong performance as Deborah Martin, the film's protagonist...'We saw a lot of women, but Lisa blew us away,' Proenza says, and Ploss-Campoamor interjects, 'Then she showed up on set and continued to blow us away."

"Proenza adds, 'I believe she saw this as a great opportunity. There are so few good roles for women.' Which, as the film contemplates, rings true in life as well as in the movie biz.

"Ploss-Campoamor explains, 'We wanted Dark Mirror to have something to say, a commentary on how hard it still is for women to be moms and have careers. We found it crazy how in some ways, things haven't changed that much in the past 40 years, and women are still struggling with a lot of the same issues.' The film explores this lack of progression through the house's backstory - a supernatural murder mystery involving a famous painter, his neglected spouse and the gateways between the worlds the house's mirrors and other glass surfaces represent."

"In employing these horrific elements, Proenza was able to convince his wife that scary movies don't just prompt chills in your spine. 'Horror is more in tune with core feelings than other genres,' he says. 'It gives a way into our basest, most animalistic feelings. Jeckell and Hyde, Dracula, Frankenstein - these aren't just characters; they represent us and the world we live in. Horror is absolutely the way to explore these ideas. The truth is, even without trying to imbue your film with 'meaning,' if you make a horror movie, it's already there. You're working through something.'"

To read more of Samuel Zimmerman's article "DARK MIRROR: Dying in Glass Houses," buy a copy of Fangoria Magazine, issue #285, dated Aug 2009.

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