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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Milwaukee Film Friend

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There is something particularly unique about John Roberts' four-minute film, Mary’s Friend, despite its shortcomings ("And there are quite a few of those," chuckles Middleton-born Roberts, looking at his flat checkbook and recalling his trial-and-error initial filmmaking experience).

 

However, Mary’s Friend caught the approving eye of jurors of the 2009 edition of Milwaukee Film Festival. They voted it "Best" of the Shorts. His prize, however, would have taken him east for film study but Roberts' is fond of the ambiance of the filmmaking community here in Milwaukee. He will attempt another shot for entry of his latest creation, The Wheel, in the 2010 edition of MFF. Wheel, like Mary, employs the "compositing" technique, namely, live actors in animated settings, "But not like Roger Rabbit," he cautions.

 

As for influences: Robert's particularly wry vision of Mother Nature may have been colored by absorbing the complete works of Edward Gorey ("No," he objects, "not just one or two book; all of them," numbering approximately 100), plus Gorey's New Yorker cartoons, of course. Gorey would be abetted with some of Tim Burton's films and definitely Terry Gilliam's Brazil. However, Roberts appears to have his own acerbic vision, thank you very much, along with being just a nice guy. ("I lost a few friends shooting MARY." Ah, yes.)