Wednesday

My interview with Michael Joy and John L Simpson


Last week I interviewed Men's Group director Michael Joy (pictured above) and producer John L Simpson. The film is compelling, emotionally explorative and one of the best acted Aussie flicks I've seen in yonks.

The full Q & A is available at In Film. Here's a taste:

LB: Men’s Group is essentially about a bunch of blokes talking, and the title of the film exemplifies the simplistic premise on which it is based. Where did the idea come from to make Men’s Group and how did the project originate?

MJ: John and I were working on another project and we were really looking at the men in that story. We found that much of the ‘trouble’ stemmed from their difficulties in communicating in a healthy way. At the same time, I was feeling pretty depressed and went along to a men’s group one night on the advice of a telephone counsellor and found the entire evening fascinating. Here was a bunch of about five blokes sitting around a cramped lounge room and each one was grappling with a completely different situation. Some of these guys had been going to this group for several years and were still looking at their lives from the outside. I was struck by the immense pain and conflict that was alive in the room, in the thick air of that room, as well as the sense of caring and safety in which that could be expressed. The experience sort of shook me, and it inspired me. The following morning John and I were talking and we realized that here was a story that not only we felt we needed to tell, but that it was also feasible for us to do so with very little money. We began making the film pretty much that day.

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