Director Carter and actress Fallon Goodson of Maladies. Photo: Lansia Wann
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From the Stateside Theater at SXSW in Austin, join Film Society’s Eugene Hernandez on the Daily Buzz podcast as he chats with director Carter and actress Fallon Goodson about their new feature Maladies.
Maladies takes place in the 1960s and stars James Franco as James, an actor who has retired young due to a perceived mental illness and is living with his sister, Patricia (Goodson), and best friend Catherine (Catherine Keener). He struggles to reevaluate his creative process and maintain a healthy mental state while keeping his relationships intact.
In breaking down her understanding of Maladies, Goodson shared this metaphor: “It’s like if you take the roof off of a doll house then you can actually see the slice of life of these people interacting,” she explained. “A lot of mental health movies focus on characters being in a hospital, but this is showing people with maladies in their actual environment. Everyone can relate to a malady in this movie and … it’s up to the audience to diagnose.”
Goodson was drawn to the unique story Carter wanted to tell as well as his unique point of view as a sculptor and painter. Carter’s first film, Erased James Franco, feels more like an art piece with Franco re-interpreting Julianne Moore’s role in Todd Haynes’s Safe. This time around, Carter’s film is more mainstream storytelling, but he sees the “direct connection between sculpting, painting… and my work on set with the actors. Film is the best way to tell a story because there is talking and people and a common language whereas with painting you might need more time with (the painting) to let the story seep in.”
“The film started out as a long stack of notes and poetry, … but there is a disconnect that occurs at some point between what you’re trying to do and actually doing it,” explains Carter on the difficulties of expressing ideas through other people. “The main thing is to try and make those two things jive.”
Hear more from Carter on sculpting, painting and filmmaking, and from Goodson on working as an actress in Hollywood, in our sixth episode of the Daily Buzz. You'll also hear from social media expert Jon Burkhart on Twitter's influence at SXSW and Tim League from the Alamo Drafthouse.
Brian Brooks, Deadline
Peter DeBruge, Variety
Jon Burkhart, Author
Jarod Neece, SXSW
Rebecca Feferman, SXSW
Maladies (Carter & actress Fallon Goodson)
The Retrieval (Chris Eska)
Good Ol' Freda (Ryan White)
Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse