Winner: Best Dark Comedy - June 2022 Edition
Mark S. Allen
Mark S. Allen p.g.a. is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning television producer/host
and producer, writer, or director of multiple feature films including APPARITION
with Mena Suvari, NOTORIOUS NICK with Kevin Pollak and Cody Christian,
the Jerry O’Connell sports comedy BALLBUSTER, the Eric Roberts thriller
616 WILFORD LANE, the teen slasher FAR PHARM franchise and
the 2022 Cannes World Film Festival BEST DARK COMEDY AMY’s FUCKET LIST.
AMY’S FUCKET LIST,
debuts 2-4-23 on
Thank you Mark Allen for an engaging, out-of-the-box film. Why did you want to become a filmmaker?
I think more than anything, to entertain. I love storytelling and I’m certain most filmmakers lean into storytelling but for me, I love being entertained and I love creating entertainment. If I can be responsible for giving people a couple hours of escape from their problems, worries and woes…then I’ve done my little part to make the World a better place.
The story is a great blend of drama and comedy, of realism and tale. What inspired it?
My producing partner Howard Burd and I always spitball our next feature as we are on the last days of production on our films, so that we roll onto the next thing. On a lunch, he shouts across the table ”FALLING DOWN.” I said “Michael Douglas?” He said yup. It’s that simple. We both loved that movie and inspired by it, brought it to a young millennial woman going through a tough time. We added a hint of Thelma and Louise and our own stories, amalgamated from stories compiled by our daughters and their friends.
Would you say your film is a feminist film and if so, what is feminism in your words, from your perspective?
It’s certainly a feminist film by virtue of both Amy, her newfound self-advocacy and by her sister Mary’s relentless provocative support. We never set out to make a feminist movie; however, I certainly has landed that way. At no point does Amy look to a man to save the day, quite the opposite she’s showing them the consequences of suppression, repression, and taking a woman’s parking spot (laughs).
The soundtrack is beautifully on point. How did you put it together and will it be commercially released?
The music is from a handful of artists and collaborators, Jeffery Alan Jones who has scored our other films and is brilliant, really got excited about this. He in fact was in so deep that he ordered harsh QC on all audio, just to make sure his excellent score wasn’t subject to a less than stellar mix.
In your Director's statement, you wrote: "Making movies that make the World a better place is our goal." Would you expand on that?
Again I think any movie that provides escape has in its way made the World a better place. Like the way a nice piece of art make a room a nicer space. Amy’s Fucket List has no real morality tale, but does remind people that life is fleeting. Days finite. Perhaps in its delightful over-the-top way reminds us all to stop taking shit from anyone!
What's the place of the Artist in today's society, in your view?
My movie company is named after Martin Scorsese’s rant in a Harvard class. Someone asked “What’s the most important thing to remember when making your first film?” He responded sharply: “MAKE THE MOVIE!” He went on: “So many people have a script, or an idea, or an actor, or someone that’s gonna give the money… But very few people cross the finish line, and actually make the movie, make the movie!”
So —Scorsese for sure, Steven Spielberg because he made me want to make movies. (Amy’s Fucket List is having its North America premiere in the FINE ARTS THEATER Beverly Hills, the first to follow Spielberg’s THE FABELMANS.) I also love Ryan Coogler. I think he’s inspiring a whole new generation of amazing filmmakers telling stories we’ve not heard before!
Short statement describing your vision of the post-covid cinema, do you think there will be notable changes?
People were enjoying movies on all kinds of devices on all sizes of screens long before the pandemic, but certainly the Covid world ramped that up beyond what any of us could have imagined. With that said, as I write, this studies have just been published the personal Screen Time is starting to drop off for the first time since the pandemic.
Sure, they may be out doing things, but I also believe that will mark a dramatic return to the cinema. Some people say it’s the world exclusivefor tent-pole franchise films, and superhero movies, but I disagree, they can be the most subtle understated performance, and if you don’t see it on the big screen, you’ll miss the nuances the facial message, the look in the eye.
Theatrical viewing is here to stay, if for no other reason: popcorn doesn’t taste the same at home.