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Early treat, GWTW returns

by Mark Burger

Although filmed in Los Angeles, the independent horror thriller The Complex has ties to the Piedmont Triad. Filmmaker Josh Spiegel spent summers in Greensboro as a kid, and his love of scary movies runs in this family; his uncle is Kenneth Comito, the local filmmaker who made the shocker In the Devil’s Courthouse (covered in last week’s column).

The Complex, which marks Spiegel’s feature debut, will make its North Carolina premiere this week when it  opens at the Carousel Grande Cinema 15 (1305 Battleground Ave., Greensboro). He describes the film as “a dark comedy with a touch of horror.” In addition to writing and directing the film, he is also one of its producers and leading men.

Having recently relocated to Los Angeles, two friends lease an apartment in a large apartment complex and, almost immediately, notice that something is very wrong. The other residents behave strangely, duplicates and doppelgangers lurk around every corner, and it also appears that someone is enacting a unique form of rent control — by murdering the tenants. Is it a collective psychosis, an extreme form of paranormal activity, or something even more horrifying!

Rather than move out — an absolute no-no in the realm of haunted-house movies — our heroes decide to get to the bottom of the mystery, regardless of the peril facing them.

Filmed on location, the production shot about three days a week for approximately six weeks. The cast includes Clay Webb, James Huffman, Melanie Camp (who recently guest-starred on HBO’s “True Blood”), Howard McNair, Dan Trabulus and JR Nutt (whose TV credits include “Runaway Stars” and “Connected”).

“I’m extremely happy with the way [The Complex] turned out,” said Spiegel. “I’m very pleased with the performances, and the cinematography [by Manuel Coronado] turned out to be gorgeous.”

Casting himself as one of the leads made sense “mostly for budget reasons,” he said. “I knew if I cast myself then it was one less person to pay. Several even… [and] that will make sense after seeing the film.”

One regret Spiegel does express is that he won’t be able to attend the screenings here in his old Greensboro stomping grounds. “Unfortunately, my schedule is too locked up right now.”

Spiegel has entered the film in several film festivals and it has been screened in Hollywood and Pittsburgh, with an upcoming run in Philadelphia scheduled. Distribution for the film is pending. Currently he’s toiling away on the script for a film to be titled The Breach. “It’s a straight-up horror story,” he said.

For more information, e-mail joshspiegel007@ gmail.com. The film’s official Facebook page is: www. facebook.com/pages/The-Complex/113751625369052

Tickets for The Complex are available in advance from the theater’s official website: www.carouselbattleground.com/ movies/the-complex/.

In addition to being one of the biggest box-office hits of the 20th century, Gone With the Wind (1939) is perhaps the most beloved film in Hollywood history (with apologies to the Casablanca contingent).

To commemorate its production of Alfred Uhry’s The Last Night of Ballyhoo, which runs Oct. 19-Nov. 4, Festival Stage of Winston-Salem will present a special screening of the Oscar-winning classic on Monday, Oct. 22 in the Hanesbrands Theatre, located in the Milton Rhodes Art Center, 209 N. Spruce St., Winston- Salem.

This is a rare opportunity to see producer David O. Selznick’s grand extravaganza on the big screen. The stories about the making of Gone With the Wind are as plentiful and as compelling as the story told in the film. Adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller, this epic tale of the Old South stars Clark Gable as the dashing Rhett Butler and launched Vivien Leigh to stardom as Scarlett O’Hara. The film won a thenrecord 10 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Victor Fleming), Best Actress (Leigh), Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography (color), Best Editing, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, an Honorary Award for William Cameron Menzies and a special Technical Achievement Award. In addition, Selznick took home the Irving Thalberg Award that year.

When people say they don’t make ‘em like this anymore, they’re not kidding!

The film will start at 6:30 p.m. and run until 10:30 p.m. (with a 15-minute intermission). Tickets are $10. For advance tickets or more information, see www. hanesbrandstheatre.org..

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