Evan Sawdey has become a key member of the Filmthusiast team by helping us get our podcast off the ground and providing us with advisorial (and emotional) support.
We think he’s great and we would love for you to get to know him too. So we interviewed him.
- What is your most treasured movie memory?
Back in high school, me and my theatre friends Tony and Stephanie wanted to see a movie some night. We were bored high schoolers, so thought hey, let’s be snarky. We want to see whatever we thought was a bad movie, and, indeed, we watched … JASON X. At first we’re just sharing little quips to ourselves, but the film, so terribly made, just got FUNNIER as it went on, the audience in the theater getting into it. At one point, a character is knocked of a ledge onto a giant screw (for some reason), spinning slowly to their death. An audience member loudly shouted “He got screwed!” and everyone laughed. Everyone was into it. By the time the ridiculous final 15 minutes occured, I literally was on the floor of the theater, paralyzed with laughter. We all walked back to the car STILL unable to stop laughing. I unashamedly consider the film one of the greatest comedies ever made, and that “so-bad-it’s-good” dictum has remained a constant throughout my life.
I’ve also traumatized people showing them DAS EXPERIMENT, had a buddy almost choke on an inhaled movie ticket after a scary moment in THE DESCENT, and actually sat with my buddy Tony on the top of a parking structure holding his goddamn hand after seeing THE PIANST ‘cos it had such a profound emotional impact on me. This and many, many more moments come up in my arts-filled life.
- What is one movie you love that everyone else doesn’t? What’s one movie you hate that everyone else loves?
I have only met one other person in my life who has ever seen KONTROLL without me showing it to them first (more on that in a bit), but that Hungarian action/fantasy/romance/horror/techno-comedy-thriller is a hybrid of so many different things that I can barely even describe its power, to say nothing of the soundtrack. It is only not loved ‘cos it’s Hungarian and no one knows about it, but I keep coming back to that motherfucker time and time again.
Me and my buddy saw THE SOCIAL NETWORK in theaters and left unimpressed, the power of the filmmaking fluid and unique even as the script remained remarkably inert when it comes to dramatic propulsion. Sorry motherfuckers: THE KING’S SPEECH was genuinely the better film that year, and left more of an impact. It’d be wrong to say that I hated THE SOCIAL NETWORK ‘cos I don’t, but I don’t particularly like it and don’t particularly need to watch it again. Sorkin’s done way better scripts, and Fincher went on to do way better movies. (way)
- Your life is a movie. What is the genre? The title? Your role?
First off, any one how knows me knows that the Evan Sawdey movie will not be good. So clearly, TANTRIC SOMETHINGS: THE EVAN SAWDEY STORY will be one for the ages, a European-styled erotic thriller with equal parts action and seduction. I will play a bon vivant whos notorious exterior hides a warm heart that feels empty, seeking only the purest of lover to fill that need (again, this is not going to be good).
- Aliens come to this world, knock on your door, and demand that you show them one movie that will either prevent or guarantee the Earth’s destruction… What would that movie be?
My gut instinct is to show one of humanity’s greatest-ever works, NETWORK, but no, that’d kill us. In all honesty, I have to defer to my favorite movie ever made, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH. It is equal parts comedy, drama, and tragedy, so clearly defined but so clearly unlike any other film ever made, even by Kaufman since then. It’s sad, but humane in unspeakable ways, and I think shows real insight into the modern human condition. It’d be a hard sell, but rarely have humans been so good at articulating our own strangeness and weirdness than on BJM.
- You can bring one filmmaker back from the dead to collaborate on a movie. Who is that filmmaker and what do you work on?
Paddy Chayefsky. Not a director, but my favorite screenwriter ever after Kaufman, responsible not only for NETWORK but also MARTY and THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY and THE HOSPITAL, to say nothing of his incredible stage plays. While a film adaptation of THE LATENT HETEROSEXUAL will no doubt provide taboo-ready discussions for a modern day and age, no one did kitchen-sink dramas better than him, and his own wry take on it in this day and age? I’d love to star in whatever the fuck is the end result of that.
- What is your favorite movie soundtrack?
REALLY tough call but I’m gonna have to go with KONTROLL again. It’s a mix of European techno beats by one guy named Neo but it’s moody and atmopsheric at times, jazzy and romantic at others, and catchy and thrilling when it needs to be. I spent $100 ordering the CD from Amazon.de after seeing the movie, and it was the best cash I ever spent.
(And, for the record, my favorite score is Alexandre Desplat’s treatment to the Nicole Kidman/Johnathan Glazer film BIRTH, but, except for maybe FANTASTIC MR FOX, he never bettered himself.)