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August 26 - August 30, 2022

Interview | The Beast of Love – Terry Mills

fdiff April 04, 2022 7 min read

The Beast of Love

 

Tell us about the importance of stories today. Why do you think stories need to exist in a world plagued by indifference and boredom?

Stories will always play an important part in our world today as it did in yesteryears and in the future as a way to teach, inform and/or entertain, whether you tune into a podcast, read a book, watch a movie or whatever form the story is presented in; people crave being told a story. I don’t think of the world existing in indifference or boredom; some stories have been told over too many times and there is a desire for something different.

 

How do you see the magnificent world of the bioscope? What according to you makes a good movie? Do you have a preferred genre?

I love film, always have, I have been able to watch thousands of films in my lifetime and to me a good film has an interesting story, it has visual appeal and good sound. Sound is key above all else. I’ve stopped watching movies because the sound quality of the dialogue wasn’t there. The audience will forgive a filmmaker for bad visuals but bad sound is hard on the ears of the audience.

A preferred genre? That is so hard for me to pinpoint. Can I say Three? I love Film Noir for the dialogue… The way they spoke back then I find it very cool and the lighting. I love Surrealism for the imagery and I love Horror for the story and the imagery.

Do you have an interesting story to tell about your journey in the industry? It would be nice if you shared even a fragment of your wisdom with us?

So many interesting stories…
There was that time very early on, I was acting in an Indie movie doing what you would call guerrilla filming and we were downtown Toronto in the busy financial district. I had to walk down in a suit carrying a briefcase, approach another actor that was sitting there painting and in that briefcase was a bone. I set down the briefcase, opened it up, and attacked the painter with the bone. The people around us had no clue that it was fake and some of them tried to jump in to stop me, thankfully the filmmaker stopped the bystanders. So glad there were no cell phones back then or the cops would have been there for sure. Still makes me laugh when I think of it.

The moral of the story is don’t be afraid to take chances, just be smart about it.

Could you suggest us a few movies? Movies that you have watched and re-watched and you believe everyone must watch it at least once in their life.

My top ten movies every filmmaker should watch at least once and I have seen them more than five, Jim Henson’s The Cube, Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus Trilogy, Hellraiser, The Big Sleep, Logan’s Run, Alice in Wonderland, La Jetee, The Seventh Seal, A Scanner Darkly and Demon Seed

On a lighter note, what is your opinion of finding love online? As you have claimed that the profiles are not real, that most of the occurrences online are pretentious and exaggerated to an extent.

Haha! I thought you said a lighter note. That wasn’t meant to be the original opening but schedule conflicts arose and I had to make the best of it.
I know a few people that have had great success finding love online but there are circumstances that make you wonder when you are reading the person’s bio and looking at their picture; are they real? They suddenly stop sending you messages when you pay for your subscription and then there are the marketing tricks dating sites do.
In real life, we are all fairly deceitful when we first meet someone we desire. We hide that dirty habit we have or concoct some story about our lives. It’s a sales pitch, a marketing scam. It’s a question – Are you honest enough that even if your honesty rewards you with loneliness, you will still be honest about yourself, and your life?

What would be the reason behind using the trope of good and bad angels? The trope innocent angel and her evil sister.

The reason I used a black and white dress for the characters was that it was meant to show the two opposites. I never really meant to allude to good and evil it just happened. Stephen’s perception of the Black Angel was that she was evil as he is in love with the White Angel and the Black Angel was trying to thwart Stephen’s quest. Like Chess pieces in the life of Stephen

The story is dexterously told using the trope of pantomime. Tell us about your intent behind using this popular trope. Was it your desire to make the narrative more dramatic?

My intent was that I wanted to make a film to salute the Silent films from the past and if you sit down and watch these actors from the very early 1900s, their gestures are more pronounced to show the viewer the feeling of the character at that moment. I really feel, that both Anne and Linda did such an amazing job of doing that without going overboard with it.

The love of the protagonist liberates the white angel. Do you think love can break the shackles that tie mankind inside a prison? Do you believe love liberates the soul?

There are people that are afraid to reach out and because of this fear they have a tendency to create their own prison. It is the love they receive from a friend, a lover or family that can help them find a way out but they have to want to be free of their shackles. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink it. Love may liberate the soul only temporarily. To want to be alive is what liberates a soul, it really has to come from within the prisoner to want to escape from the prison they have created.

A number of classical tropes have been used in your story. The trope of the good and bad angel, two people fighting for love, a talisman (the amulet), a task given to the lovers if they desire to liberate themselves. Talk us through the various aspects briefly further establishing the significance of each and every trope used in the movie.

It really is hard to get away from the classical tropes in a fantasy story. The White and Black Angel beside the usual representation of good and evil was kind of a salute to the Mad Magazine’s Spy vs. Spy. The talismans and the task came from the original locker room story about needing a cross to ward off the succubus from taking your soul and then you would need something to imprison her in while you made your escape. Two people fighting for the love of one person actually happened to me on both sides of the coin.

The proverbial beast of love eventually triumphs as the protagonist fails to do the task given to him. Did you initially plan a climax like this? By this time many would be forced to believe that it is another movie with a happy ending.

I did plan the ending so the beast of love would triumph and I would agree with you that yes, people wouldn’t think the ending would happen the way it did.

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