Cinephellas Podcast – Episode 21 (Interview with Brian O’ Malley)

The Freedom of Escape: A Conversation with Brian O’ Malley

by Christopher M. Rzigalinski

On this edition of the Cinephellas Podcast I chat with director Brian O’Malley about The Lodgers, which premiers at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 8th, 2017 at 7:15PM. The film is a gothic ghost story about orphaned twins Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) who share a crumbling manor in 1920’s rural Ireland. But a sinister secret threatens their residence. They share the house with unseen entities who control them with three absolute rules. As separate fates draw them apart, the twins must face the terrible truth about their family’s ghostly tormentors.

Brian offers insight into collaborating with the Irish Film Board on the making of the movie and how concentrating solely on directorial responsibilities changed his artistic approach. We also discuss the unique storytelling devices in The Lodgers, including references to the work of Edgar Allan Poe and struggling with how to represent the taboo subject of incest in a thought-provoking manner. We close out with some thoughts on the jaw-dropping performance of Charlotte Vega in the lead role of Rachel. Her spectrum of emotions fluctuates throughout The Lodgers, giving the film a depth and mysterious excitement that necessitates multiple viewings. Brian reveals the deep symbolism behind the character of Rachel and how her fight to escape past demons is a metaphor for contentious Ireland’s history.

Additional TIFF screenings of The Lodgers will run for the public on September 9th at 4:15PM and September 15, 2017 at 3:00PM. As mentioned above, it stars Charlotte Vega ([REC] 3: Genesis) and Bill Milner (X:Men: First Class), along with David Bradley (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and Eugene Simon (“Game of Thrones”).  The wide theatrical release of the film is forthcoming.


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