Recent years have shown us that when it comes to Sci-Fi and horror flicks we cannot over look our brothers (and sisters!) to the south of the border. Mexico City seems to be giving us some of the most creative and daring film makers the genre has ever seen and I’m not just talking about Guillermo del Toro. Adrian Garcia Bogliano and Jorge Michel Grau have delivered some next level flicks and Isaac Ezban is name we can add to this ever growing list. Ezban kicked us in the ass with his feature film ‘The Incident’ a couple years ago and now he’s back with his next twisted stroll into the world of weird science fiction with The Similars. A crazy mind fuck of a wild flick that is hard to explain without spoiling too much. With The Similars hitting cable VOD today, Issac took some time to answer a few questions for us. Check out what the man had to say about the flick below and do yourself and be sure to check The Similars out. You don’t want to miss this one.
Slack Jaw Punks: I gotta say, I loved The Similars! In Sci-Fi or genre flicks we like to think that everything has been done, but that’s not the case with The Similars. You’ve created something that is unique, fun, scary and off the wall crazy. My hat is off to you sir!
Isaac Ezban: Thank you so much! Really, wow!
SJP: I don’t know much about you. Do you mind if we start with a bit of cliché question: Where are you from? Can you tell us a bit about your background?
IE: Yes, of course. I am from Mexico City. I was born in mexico. My parents are from Mexico. I’m a fourth generation Jewish immigrant to Mexico. So I’m Jewish, but I don’t follow it religiously. I am a storyteller. I started as a storyteller at 6 years old. I would do oral story telling then got into acting. Ever since I was 6 I knew I wanted to tell stories. I always wanted to be a film maker. I started making short films. I would do a “short of the week” Which was one short film a week. They were really bad. But that changed to short of the month, which became movie of the year. And that’s how I did The Incident and The Similars.. [Laughing]
SJP: I know now Mexico City has a pretty cool film culture going on down there, especially some really cool genre flicks, but that wasn’t always the case. I can imagine when you were younger and Mexico wasn’t really known for films. Was you going into films something your parents encourage or did they try to steer you in a different direction?
IE: No, my parents total supported me. I think in this industry it’s very import to have some support from family and friends because it’s not a job, it’s a way of living. Lucky enough, my parents support me to make my dreams come true. Supported me in many ways: Emotional, economically, all that stuff. I was very lucky to have them.
SJP: The first thing I loved about The Similars was it’s Black and White. I wish more films did this. Was it difficult to convince investors about going black and white or was this a no negotiation type of situation?
IE: First of all, I don’t consider it black and white. It’s desaturated. There are colors in the film. We calculated the colors to go with what is happening in the story and to the characters. I don’t believe it is completely black and white, but I will tell you it’s been difficult with distribution because they go “Oh it’s black and white. It’s an art movie!” It’s not an art movie. I mean it’s art, it’s original, it’s high concept, but we worked very hard on the look and I’m very happy with how it came out.
SJP: Another aspect I dug about the movie is the initial set- up. It’s a very familiar set up: A group of strangers in an isolated setting, but then around the half way point the movie becomes anything but familiar. Is this something you strive for with your story telling?
IE: Yes. That is precisely what I aim to do. Start real common, but then take you somewhere you have never been before.
SJP: What movies inspired you to make The Similars?
IE: I always say this is my love letter to the Sci-Fi movies of the 60’s. I wanted it to feel like you are watching an episode of the Twilight Zone. So definitely the Twilight Zone was hugely inspiring. Also The Outer Limits. Writers like Rod Serling, Alfred Hitchcock, Richard , H.G. Wells, Stephen King. I like directors like George A. Romero and Terry Gilliam. Directors who aren’t afraid to try new and original things. Cause that’s what I want to do.
SJP: High concept is a term that is usually used in conjunction with low-budget or low-execution. With The Similiars that is not the case. Everything is top-notch. The acting, SFX and cinematography are fantastic! What is it that motivates you while making a movie like this?
IE: I like to think in terms of what I would like to see if I were in the audience. For me it’s all about telling stories. That’s my background storytelling. For some it’s the technical aspects, but I want to tell stories. So for me it’s about how do you tell this story in the most purist and basic and interesting way. Sometimes it’s playing with the information. Sometimes the audience has the information ahead of the characters, sometimes the characters have the information ahead of the audience. It’s like a great magic trick. Getting the audience to not know what’s coming or how we got there. That’s my inspiration.