I spoke with Gary Wiesen by phone on March 24, 2017, the day his film, ALL NIGHTER, opened in San Francisco. It’s his first comedy, but briskly executed with a true feel for not just the humor, but also the underlying pathos of a father seeking out his estranged daughter with the help of her ex-boyfriend. The boyfriend who is still pining for her.
The father, Mr. Gallo, is played by JK Simmons, and one of the things we talked about was what it was like to be in talks with Simmons during his awards run for WHIPLASH. We went on to talk about the chemistry between Simmons and co-star Emile Hirsh, who plays Martin, the ex-boyfriend bullied into spending a momentous night on the trail of Ginny, his ex.
Wiesen mused on the themes of mid-life crises without age restrictions felt by both characters in the course of the film; the authenticity of the banjo; and the proper use of music in a film.
NB: The name of the sound mixer mentioned is Reece Miller.
ALL NIGHTER is a film about love, family, and the magic of the banjo. Emile Hirsch plays Martin, a musician who suffers a terrifying dinner with his girlfriend’s father, Mr Gallo, played by JK Simmons. When the girlfriend goes missing months after breaking up with Martin, he finds himself coerced by Mr Gallo into spending a very, very long night searching for her through the hipster enclaves of Los Angeles. The unlikely pair form an unexpectedly effective team, though that doesn’t spare them unfortunate interludes with projectile vomiting, a bickering couple with formidable passive-aggressive skills, and a run-in with the police. The film co-stars Annaleigh Tipton, Kristen Schaal, Taran Killam, Xosha Roquemore, Jon Daly, and Hunter Parrish. Weisen directed from a script by Seth W. Olsen.