Book Review “The Incal: Classic Collection”

Author: Alexandro Jodorowsky
Illustrator: Moebius
Hardcover: 308 pages
Publisher: Humanoids Publishing
Release Date: June 29, 2011

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

After watching “Jodorowsky’s Dune”, which is an outstanding documentary on Alejandro’s failed film adapation of Frank Herbert’s novel “Dune” back in to the 70’s. What I did learn from that film was that Alejandro Jodorowsky was still able to bring some of his vision from his work on that film to life in the medium of comic books. “The Incal” is the first in a series of science fiction comic books written by Alejandro Jodorowsky and illustrated by Moebius. Jodorowsky’s work was so powerful and immense that his world created in these books we referred to as, a fictional universe, “Jodoverse”. These comics were originally written in French only, so thanks to Humanoids for bringing them to the US and keeping Jodorowsky’s vision alive and going strong. This is a must buy for any sci-fi fan.

Official Premise: John Difool, a low-class detective in a degenerate dystopian world, finds his life turned upside down when he discovers an ancient, mystical artifact called “The Incal.” Difool’s adventures will bring him into conflict with the galaxy’s greatest warrior, the Metabaron, and will pit him against the awesome powers of the Technopope. These encounters and many more make up a tale of comic and cosmic proportions that has Difool fighting for not only his very survival, but also the survival of the entire universe.

If you are unfamiliar with Alexandro Jodorowsky, you will most likely recongnize this work including cult films like “El Topo”, “Santa Sangre” and “The Holy Mountain”. Moebius is an internationally acclaimed illustrator endless amounts of graphic novels. He is also a film designer for films like “Alien” and “The Fifth Element”. Obviously you can see why the collaboration worked so well between these two. This project was spawned after a seven-year collaboration by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius dating back to between 1981 and 1988. The collection includes all six stories including “The Black Incal”, “The Luminous Incal”, “What Lies Beneath”, “What Is Above”, “The Fifth Essence Part One: The Dreaming Galaxy” and “The Fifth Essence Part Two: Planet DiFool”

“The Incal” is a strange and crazy French space opera mixed up with metaphysics and satire. The new Humanoids release came as a very sharp hardcover. It restored the original colouring and removed the censorship on the nudity. Humanoids also restored Jodorowsky’s “The Metabarons”, “After the Incal” and the last “Final Incal” comes out later this year in English. What I really enjoyed about this work is that you can’t just read this comic and look at the colorful pictures. It requires intelligence to be able to understand and really appreciate it. You have to experience each word of his very influential text. It is extremely cinematic and nothing like any other comic developed during its time.

Interview with Giselle Fraga

Giselle Fraga is an up and coming Brazilian actress, who is making her American film debut in the upcoming “The River Sorrow”. The film also stars Ray Liotta, Ving Rhames & Christian Slater and will be released this June. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Giselle about her role in the film and what is upcoming in her career.

Mike Gencarelli: What made you come back to doing feature films?
Giselle Fraga: First of all, I always wanted to live in the USA and work there. I keep saying that, I have an American soul. When I was 18 years old and I was working as a model, I lived for two years in NYC. Unfortunately, I had to return back to Brazil cause my father was sick. By that time I was starting with my acting career. I obtained my first movie role in Brazil and never stopped working there.  So I had to give up of my dream to act in the US.  Now after ‘’The River Sorrow’’ experience I found a manager in LA., Bob McGowan. I believe in him and I want to work in the U.S. but I have a life back here in Brazil.  So I have to try and juggle both my career and personal life. When I have a chance to go there for auditions he will call me here and I’ll jump on the plane and go. I know it’s not easy but I have a lot faith in my heart that I still will do more films there and have a lot of experiences in my acting life. Also, it’s always a big challenge while acting to speak English, but I learn a lot as a human being.

MG: Tell us about your role in the film “The River Sorrow”
GF: Ana is a beautiful character. The writer Steve Anderson told me that she’s the heart of the movie. There’s a lot of violence and in the middle of all those killings, she symbolizes the love. If you see the movie you’ll notice that’s she’s also the light in the end of the tunnel. I had a wonderful experience playing Ana. I think it’s the kind of character that I wanted to portray. I learned a lot with her and I will take this forever with my soul.

MG: What was your biggest challenge while working on the film?
GF: When I read the script, I knew that she was a challenge to go through. Speaking good and understandable English was my biggest challenge. Also to be able to play with my heart and don’t be shy of working with the giants actors from Hollywood. In my humble experience, it was the first time for me as an actress. I left my whole life behind to live this character for real.

MG: How was it working with such a great cast, Ray Liotta, Ving Rhames & Christian Slater?
GF: It was the best experience off my life as an actress. All the cast was amazing to work with. They are all very professional people and it was amazing to see how dedicated they are to their  characters. I learned a lot by watching them everyday.

MG: Tell us about your role in the TV Series “Uma Rosa com Amor”?
GF: It was a great experience. I played a bipolar character. It took me a lot to learn about this subject and how painful it is for someone to leave everyday with no balance in life and taking strong medicines to take control of their own lives. To portray it was really hard and a it is a great experience that helped me to opened my mind and heart to share my love with all those who need a lot of love to keep alive and surviving with this sickness. I love being an actress and having the chance to pretend that I am someone else and to do things that I would have never experienced in my life.

MG: What do you having planned next?
GF: Well for now, I’m waiting for the movie to come out and them I can send my scenes to casting directors. I’ll possible stay in Brazil and act in another soup opera that’s coming up next July.  That is what is amazing about being an actress, is that you never know what comes next.

Interview with Gary Daniels

When you think of actions movies, you should be thinking about Gary Daniels.  He recently co-starred along side Sylvester Stallone in “The Expendables” and Wesley Snipes in “Game of Death”.  Gary took a few minutes to chat with Movie Mikes about working on his films and what he has planned upcoming.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how it working with Sylvester Stallone both acting and directing in “The Expendables”?
Gary Daniels: As you can imagine I was kinda excited at the prospect of working with the writer/creator of “Rocky” and the star of “Rambo” and I have to say working with Stallone didn’t disappoint . The man has an incredible energy, whether working out in the gym with him or working on set…the man is full of energy. He is constantly in motion but is very focused.  He knows what he wants, has a clear vision and knows how to get it. As an actor it instills confidence in you when your director is clear about what h e wants and how to go about achieving that result. He is a very intense director but I found him to be very open minded when I had any kind of suggestions about the blocking or the character. I found him to be very inspirational.

MG: What was the most difficult task of working on “The Expendables”?
GD: There wasn’t too much that was difficult about working on “The Expendables”, I have done quite a few action movies now. For me, as someone that has done leads and is used to having a lot of say in the choreography and direction of my fights, I would say the most difficult thing was not having any input in those areas.

MG: Tell us about working on the film “Game of Death”, does Wesley Snipes still have game?
GD: I was hired on “Game of Death” kinda last minute and the script was being re-written as we were shooting…which presented its own challenges. I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity to work with Wesley Snipes, but I didn’t get to play the character of Zander the way I would have liked to.  But part of being an actor is being mailable and being able to accept direction, so I always give 100% regardless. It’s always fun playing the bad guy, especially one as ruthless as Zander. Plus its always educational when you have a chance to work with such experienced actors as Robert Davi and Wesley Snipes. Wesley was obviously going through turmoil in his life at the time we were shooting, so whether he bought his A game to the film or not I will let the viewers judge for themselves. He is obviously a talented individual or he wouldn’t have reached such heights in his career.

MG: You reunited with “Expendables” cast Eric Roberts and Steve Austin, in “Hunt to Kill”, tell us about working working on that film and with them again?
GD: Most of my scenes in “The Expendables” were with Steve and Eric, so we spent a lot of time together.  They are both very down to earth and funny guys, so we had a blast together. It was Steve that called me and asked me to work on “Hunt to Kill”, so it was an easy choice to say “Yes”. I didn’t have any scenes with Eric in “Hunt to Kill” but was with Steve most of the time. For a bloke that looks so big and intimidating he is one of the nicest guys you can hope to work with on and off the set. On this film I got to choreograph and shoot a fight between us. It is always a challenge to choreograph for the different kinds of athletes, actors, martial artists that you work with in films and this was no different trying to highlight both of our strengths as we are obviously from very different backgrounds.

MG: How was it working with Steven Seagal in “Submerged”, any cool set stories?
GD: ‘Submerged’ was not one of my favourite experiences, my character was originally very pivotal , but Mr Seagal had other ideas and in the end.  They might as well of hired a stuntman to play the role as all the dialogue and relationship between his and my character was cut. Well every actor has their own vision for their films and being the star of the film you will usually get your way so for me I just get on with it and do the best I can under the given circumstances. Actually most of the cast and crew were from England,  so we all had a blast on and off the set. Nuff said!

MG: Tell us about playing Kenshirô in “Fist of the North Star” and working with Tony Randel?
GD: I was a fan of the anime before I was asked to do the film. So I knew it was gonna be very difficult to translate the anime to live action, especially back in 94 before CGI had been so developed. But I loved the character that I wasn’t about to turn it down. The first challenge for me was the physical one, Kenshiro (like most anime characters) has an awsome, huge physique. So I began a regime of training lifting heavier weights than I had worked with before and went from 180 to 192 lbs. Trouble is we were working such long hours during the summer in a sweltering sound stage with no air conditioning, that as the shoot progressed I slowly lost all that weight as I couldnt get in the gym to maintain. I think Tony had a good vision for the film but he certainly wasn’t into martial arts and didn’t like to shoot the fights. He felt the heart of the story was the love triangle between Kenshiro, Shin and Julia and that by focusing on that it would elevate the film above being a mere ‘martial arts’ film. Personally I think the fans wanted to see Kenshiro kicking ass. Again different visions, but overall I like the film and the way it turned out. The trouble when making an adaptation of an anime or video game is that you have to try to make a film that appeases the hardcore fans but also makes sense to viewers that have no idea about the original source material…not easy.

MG: What has been the most difficult film that you have work on to date?
GD: Every film presents its own challenges. Coming from a martial arts background my hardest challenge is trying to convince producers/directors to take me seriously as an actor so sometimes I end up trying too hard. Then when I choreograph action its tough getting the powers that be to let me control how it is shot and edited. When I do the lead in smaller films, I  wish I could work on bigger films that get more exposure. When you get on bigger films but playing smaller roles,  I miss being involved in the film making process.  The grass is always greener on the other side. Some films you get along with everybody but some there is a clash with other cast members, as I say every film presents their own challenges.

MG: Tell us about some of your upcoming projects?
GD: I just spent three months in Thailand working on the 1st two parts of a trilogy , “The Mark – Light 777” and “The Mark – Bangkok Rising” with Craig Scheffer and Eric Roberts…yes Eric again. The 3rd part will be shot in Europe this summer. Next up will be the lead in a MMA project called “Forced to Fight”. I am also waiting to hear on a bigger project that goes this summer but its not locked so I don’t wanna say too much right now. I am training hard and reading scripts ,so as always in this business the future is never easy to plan.