With “The Icarus Line Must Die,” Joe Cardomone and Michel Grodner teamed up to create an awesome biopic and homage to the L.A. music scene. Joe Cardamone is the frontman of the cult reveled band “The Icarus Line” and the film closely follows Joe, as he makes his way through a day-in-the-life in Los Angeles.
CineVino met up with both Michael and Joe, at Joe’s studio for a conversation about film and music in Los Angeles. It was the same studio where much of the film, “The Icarus Line Must Die” was shot.
CineVino With The Filmmakers
Michael Grodner: I’m Michael Grodner, Director of The Icarus Line Must Die. Joe Cardamone. (points to Joe)
Joe Cardamone: “Howdy”
Michael Grodner: We are in Joe’s studio right now, where we actually shot a good portion of the film and I’ve known Joe for a few years, prior to making the film and, we had talked about working together and I always thought Joe would be such a great center for this movie.
The whole script, and script is a loose term.. ( Joe replies “For Sure” in assurance )
Michael Grodner continues “Is something that Joe and I worked on and everything is based on experiences that Joe has had throughout the years.”
Joe Cardamone: Either my experiences or experiences that other people that could be brought into the fold. It’s probably interesting because it was just a volatile time, and sort of an aimless period. Any artist that does this for a long time and they commit their life to the journey of making art, you know , shit’s gonna go up and down and you have to learn to navigate that no matter what. And at that point, yeah it was just chaos in certain aspects of life. There were a lot of changes in my life and I was kind of just trying to figure out what it was.
Michael Grodner: Right. I think we hit and started doing this at a great time in Joe’s career. It’s an interesting time. I think it’s an interesting time, when an artists who perhaps has had success in their early 20’s and then their becoming an adult now. Especially someone doing the type of music Joe is doing. They are an adult now and how do you kind of reconcile that with who you are now and the responsibilities and things like that.
Joe: Yeah, it’s evolving in life. It’s one of those points where you just evolve.
No Wave Film’s Influence on the Movie
Michael: My thought behind it was, how do you make a movie on very little money but make that work for the movie. Make that part of the esthetic of the movie, that it doesnt look like you are stretching a dollar. Or you are not making an epic Civil War movie on $5,000.00. So, this type of a movie is inspired from these films from this No Wave period of filmmaking from the late 70’s, early 80’s in the lower east side of New York and they made films on the street with their friends, with musicians, artists and other directors as actors and they had a real authenticity to them, and they had real authenticity to thenselves, these films. And I thought, why don’t we make that type of movie here.
I wanted the film to have a sense of place and it was important for me to shoot at certain touchstones that would give, say an outside who is not from Los Angeles, or where ever they are from, a sense of this is the environment that we are, say dealing with day in and day out, if it’s York or future music or if you are in Echo Park and you are t The Echo. I spend a great deal of time at the Echo, that’s where we would go. Even down to Burrito King, it’s intrinsically Los Angeles and in a sense, where you may go after a show. ”
The Icarus Line Must Die is currently playing at the Laemmle’s Royal Theatre through Thursday, June 28th.