Sunday, April 4, 2010

Indy Film as Bushido (The Way of the Warrior): Q & A with Prince of Swine’s Julian Starks

Mark Toma: Over the long course of Prince of Swine’s production, you were on a similar quest, making your own movie, Journey to Sundance (

Julian Starks: Yes, that movie is complete now, and making its way around the globe. It picked up representation, it’s going to live, and Journey to Sundance will be coming soon to a big or small screen near you.

MT: Tell us about it.

JS: It's like the line says, “They’re Off to See the Wizard”, three neophytes from Kansas (well, we may as well have been from Kansas) get swept up in the tornado that is Hollywood, and set out on a quest to see the wizard to find our way –

MT: The wizard being Robert Redford at the Sundance Film Festival?

JS: Yes, Redford is the wizard.

MT: Redford is the wizard! What did the wizard tell you?

JS: You have to see the movie for that! What do I look like, a wide-eyed girl from Kansas, lost in Oz? I’m not just gonna give something like that away after what I’ve been through. Learned a thing or two on the Journey to Sundance!

MT: I can see.

JS: What can you see?

MT: I can see you’re crazy!

JS: You step behind that camera and you better be crazy! If you’re not crazy you’ve got no business being an indy filmmaker.

MT: The only question is –

JS: Are you crazy enough?

MT: Yes!

JS: Yes! (high fives)

MT: That is the only question.
JS: Somehow I knew you would understand.

MT: Now you start the movie, and here I must confess, that, like a lost little girl from Kansas, Julian violated the first law of indy film and actually did let me see the movie for free –

JS: I feel so used. You smooth talked me into it. So did that damn Redford at Sundance, that’s the main thing I learned off that guy, never show your movie for free, or for someone who can’t help it.

MT: You start Journey to Sundance with a quote from Joseph Campbell, making the metaphor that the indy filmmaker is like the hero on this spiritual quest –

JS: Yes.

MT: That’s always been my view of indy film –

JS: Yes, we all know you think you’re a hero, everyone on the cast and crew knows that – I’m sure when you’re done with your PR campaign, everyone in Hollywood will know it.

MT: Totally, you have got to have such big balls to even attempt this –

JS: And the insanity and megalomania, don’t forget that, you need that to –

MT: Dude, I am so covered like that! That’s like breathing to me –

JS: But it’s more than that –

MT: I’m getting there, I’m getting there, let me say it –

JS: But this is my interview –

MT: Can I ask the question?

JS: You’re not asking a question, you’re just talking about your own movie again, this is supposed to be about Journey to Sundance, not Prince of Swine

MT: Are you going to deny that the main theme of Journey to Sundance, is that the journey is the thing?

JS: Yes, I deny it, that’s just your view, which is fine –

MT: It is very fine, thank you – but that’s what I took from Journey to Sundance, the life of an indy filmmaker, it’s like Bushido, the way of the warrior, and just to live this way, close to the bone, all out, like a warrior, doing what you believe, your art is its own meaning and way of life, relentless and strong, come what may, come success, come failure, to the death, the way is the same and beautiful, meaningful, it's own meaning, the only way for guys like us to find satisfaction and meaning, this is what it’s about –

JS: That’s what you got from the movie? Wow, you’re not as shallow and self-absorbed as I thought. But that’s not what Prince of Swine is about –

MT: You haven’t even seen Prince of Swine.

JS: You haven’t let me see it.

MT: Well, you’re not the only little girl from Kansas whose learned a trick or two about Hollywood.

JS: I’m not paying to see Prince of Swine, good God how cheap can a man be? Even an indy producer, even you, I was in the goddamn movie, you’re comping me and a date, opening night –

MT: We can discuss that later, work something out. Now I actually do have some Prince of Swine questions. Are you a feminist?

JS: Do I look like a girl?

MT: I believe we’ve already established, that you’re Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, as are all indy filmmakers –

JS: No, I am not a feminist.

MT: Do men or women rule Hollywood?

JS: Unfortunately, men rule Hollywood. If it was women, maybe I could sleep my way to the top.

MT: On that note, I will reveal one indy film secret here –

JS: You slept with a rich woman for your budget? How old was she and how much did you get?

MT: It’s not so cheap and sleazy as you’re making it sound, Ruth was a lovely woman, well under a hundred, and “slept with” is really not accurate, she was more interested in a spiritual connection, not so much sex, but we’re out of time here anyway, so that story will have to wait. See Prince of Swine at the Laemmle Sunset 5 on the Sunset Strip, starting Memorial Day Weekend –

JS: And look for Journey to Sundance (, coming soon to a screen near you.

Prince of Swine opens at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip at Crescent Heights, Memorial Day Weekend, for a limited engagement, May 28th to June 3rd.

Get tickets for Prince of Swine online at the Laemmle Sunset 5 or the Prince of Swine website (discounts available for advance and group purchasers).

Join the Prince of Swine revolution on Twitter and Facebook.

Visit Prince of Swine at http//

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