Fessenden interviewed by the always compelling Martha Frankel on the fabulous Woodstock Writers Radio, a fantastic forum for authors of all stripes. Episode haunted by Prince’s demise, as it was aired the Sunday after he died.
Fessenden shares the bill with Prince biographer Alan Light, author of Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain.
Also on the bill: Bob Mehr’s in-depth portrait, Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements.
Followed by Fessenden, speaking about Sudden Storm; a Wendigo Reader.
“How does myth shape our understanding of the world?
Such is the question hiding in the heart of Larry Fessenden’s Wendigo,
a film that screened in gorgeously grainy 35mm on Thursday
as part of the Boston Underground Film Festival. An artful examination of mythical storytelling,
Wendigo succeeded both as a horror film and a character-driven indie drama
about a young boy dealing with trauma.
… All in all, Wendigo is a great film, one that displays the power of expressionist horror
to tackle grand themes and do so with emotional sensitivity and masterfully-executed atmosphere.”
—Valleriy Kolyaych, PopMattaers
By Robert Rice
The following is an account of an interview, not a transcript nor even a very coherent paraphrasing. It couldn’t have been, because what took place was too sprawling and fractal, because that’s the nature of a long conversation, because he is a non-discriminating student of the horrific and the convivial, because I got lucky. I got lucky because I was slated for fifteen minutes and he gave me an hour and fifteen. I got lucky because, via some serendipitous allowance of mutual and overlapping interest, we both felt like talking about neuroscience, frailty, nature, fathers, and fear with another person who knows about the killing of Tim McLean. Or, more likely, I felt like it, and he wasn’t actively opposed to indulging me.
WENDIGO on 35mm at Boston’s Brattle TONIGHT! Fessenden attends! Boston Underground Film Festival
Larry Fessenden (Tales From Beyond The Pale, I Sell The Dead) will hit the fest’s main home, the venerable arthouse Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA, for a special 15-year anniversary screening of his film Wendigo on 35mm.
Fessenden will have copies of his new book Sudden Storm: A Wendigo Reader at the event, as well as copies of his Wendigo-themedcomic books Wendigo, The Last Winter, and The wendigo of Manitou Valley.
More from the press release:
The comic book adaptation of WENDIGO (now reprinted digitally on Comixology) by Fessenden, Brahm Revel, and Peter Chung, makes The Creators Project’s list of the best comics of the week.
Story by Larry Fessenden, art by Brahm Revel, letters by Peter Chung.
Based on the Glass Eye Pix film Wendigo (2001) written and directed by Larry Fessenden, this comic adaptation originally hit shelves almost 15 years ago. Now, thanks to Comixology, the frenetic work is available again digitally. The story follows a family taking a weekend off in the woods, and follows a tenuous relationship between a father, a son, a mother, a hunter, and a Wendigo—an Algonquian cryptozoological spirit of the forest. Full of tense moments and complicated family dynamics, and illustrated in stark black-and-white by Revel that invoke everything from early American woodcuts to Chick tracts, Wendigo is a 70-page love letter to folkloric horror.
The Wendigo has some way to go before it joins the likes of Dracula and Frankenstein in the Monster Hall of Fame. But horror director Larry Fessenden clearly feels there is plenty of terror to be mined from this terrifying creature, which derives from Native American mythology and has been depicted in a variety of ways over the years. The filmmaker has directed two movies directly inspired by the beast (2001’s Wendigo and 2006’s The Last Winter) as well as an episode of the NBC horror anthology show Fear Itself starring Doug Jones as a man who develops a taste for human flesh — a recurring theme in tales about the creature.
Fessenden’s latest project to concern the legend is a collection of essays and other materials called Sudden Storm: A Wendigo Reader, which the filmmaker has curated and will be published by Fiddleblack on Feb. 16 (the book is now available to preorder from the publisher’s website). Deliberately broad in scope, the chapters range from one penned by President Theodore Roosevelt, in which he recounts a “goblin story” he was once told by an old hunter, to a consideration of the creature’s appearances on the small screen by horror expert Samuel Zimmerman. Sudden Storm also boast illustrations from Gary Pullin, Isabel Samaris, and renowned poster artist Graham Humphries. “We discuss it in terms of folkloria, in terms of crypto-zoology, but then we talk about it in movies and TV,” reveals Fessenden. “There’s a lot to chew on, if I can use the expression.”
Above, you can exclusively see artist Hugo Silva’s depiction of the Wendigo — which decorates the cover of Sudden Storm — while, below, you can see Isabel Samaras’ illustration of the creature.
Firstly, WOW – what a set! We get the features on four separate dual-layeredBlu-ray discs loaded with extras. Shamefully, all I knew about Larry Fessenden was that he wrote the booklet available with the Kelly Reichardt Collection citing him as a collaborator. And it was excellent. Kudos to my buddy Colin for alerting me to this as a worthy purchase. Was he ever right!
What makes me recommended this so strongly are the films – criminally under-rated – Mr. Fessenden is a force and I love his style. These are cool, if totally imperfect, flics – Wendigo (always had a thing for Clarkson) especially made my day, but Habit is remarkably chilling. I was a shade uncomfortable with No Telling but was swept right up in The Last Winter. I LOVE being introduced to new auteurs like this wayward genius, styles and signatures. The films are weak in some areas but offer strength in visuals. Fessenden’s works here thrilled me. I wish I had a set like this every week to cover. Our highest recommendation to those with an open mind and who appreciate the lower-budgeted horror genre! I’m a fan of Larry Fessenden!