indieWIRE hosted a series of Q&As at TIFF’s Filmmakers’ Lounge. Here’s the highlights from critic Eric Kohn’s conversation with director Bobcat Goldthwait on his feature “God Bless America.”
Comedian-turned filmmaker Bobcat Goldthwait claims age has brought him a newfound maturity. Looking back on his early standup career, he says, “was sort of like watching home videos of yourself as a teenager puking up at party.”
And he’s humble in his current role as a TIFF 2011 filmmaker, which also saw “God Bless America” acquired by Magnet Releasing. He calls the festival a ‘fantasy camp’ that’s allowed him pretend to be on the same plateau as his filmmaking influences and idols.
However, he’s lost little of his trademark edge in his new career. His new film features “Mad Men” player Joel Murray as a man so outraged by American society that he starts killing those he deems as its dumbest, cruelest and most repellent members.
Similarly, while others may blame the media, Goldthwait doesn’t bother with killing the messengers; he prefers to head straight for the source.
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“I don’t blame the media, I blame the people,” he says. “I mean, I have nothing against Kim Kardashian, but I just shouldn’t have to hear about that dumb whore.”
He maintained a similar disregard for the 2008 TIFF title “Juno:” “I guess I don’t like the fact that it makes teenage pregnancy out as some cool, edgy thing… Diablo Cody is the only stripper with too high of a self-esteem.”
As for the (ir)responsibility of his own film, which features homicides, Goldthwait had a creative if bizarre justification: While “Juno” features all the consequences of its subject, “God Bless America” does not and is therefore beyond the normal realm of cinematic rules. His film, Goldthwait says, is “the only movie that takes place now and is important.”