Daily updates from the first annual AFI DALLAS International Film Festival presented by Target, founding sponsor Victory Park, March 22 to April 1, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

Director of Pop Foul Tells His Truths

A boy accidentally sees his father take a beating in Moon Molson's short film, Pop Foul

Moon Molson’s short film, POP FOUL begins innocently enough with a life lesson being handed down from father to son after a bad showing at a baseball game. However, the series of events that follow take you inside the journey that hurt and frustrations and flat out anger take from one family member to another until its heartbreaking ending. Molson manages in very precise strokes to show us the devastating lasting effects that not being able to speak the truth - even if it is simply an emotional truth - can have.

What is the story with your name?

It's a nickname my Great Uncle Aaron gave me when I was a toddler. He was basically making fun of me because I had an enormous head and a tiny body. All I can say is: thank god he didn't call me Lollipop. It is a little funny though, that before meeting me, everyone thinks I'm a Korean girl.

Who or what inspired you to want to make films?

When I was kid I studied creative writing, painting and illustration because I wanted to be a graphic novelist. As a high school insomniac I kept stumbling across these weird films with subtitles on some late night art-house cable show. Eventually my penchant for channel surfing gave way to my natural curiosity and I ended up watching the entirety of Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night. The host of the show described Bergman as an artistic genius and right there I had an epiphany: film could be art. I began to watch the show religiously, seeing such films as Bergman's Wild Strawberries, Kobayashi's Kwaidan, and Woody Allen's Stardust Memories. One summer, while I was living in Detroit, my Uncle John took me to see Do the Right Thing and it all came together for me. The strength of Spike Lee's cinematic voice showed me that film combined all the arts that I loved: storytelling, painting and music. Most importantly, I came to the realization that people made films. Not gods, not magicians, but people. Black people.

Is film school worth it?

No. I’m starting to realize that due to the sheer monetary expense of it, it may be the biggest mistake I have ever made in my entire life! At least with law or business school you are kind of guaranteed a return on your investment.

Did you love Old Yeller or hate it?

Loved it. I saw it a bazillion years ago on TV, but I remember being moved by the ending.

Do you have a lucky item, a shirt, baseball cap, charm that you always bring with you to the set?

My shirts and baseball caps from film labs, rental houses and various other movie-related companies have all gained mystical powers over the years. During a shoot, I eventually wear all of my "film clothes" for good luck.

Location film permits or just steal the shot?

I do what I have to do. Period. It's really easy to get permits to shoot in New York, but some towns outside The City (in New Jersey, for instance) want a bunch of money to simply shoot on the sidewalk. That's when I get gangsta.