Josh Mond believes in the collective approach to filmmaking. As co-founder of Borderline Films, he and partners Antonio Campos and Sean Durkin produce each other’s films, which include Campos’ SIMON KILLER andDurkin’s MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE. With JAMES WHITE, Mond takes his turn behind the camera, and, when I spoke with him and WHITE’s co-star, Christopher Abbott on November 4, 2015, director and actor talked about the collaborative process on the set, creating a flawed character that is not alienating, and the logistics of getting those incredible tracking shots that are also such tight close-ups of Abbott’s face, the process of male bonding, and exploring the dark shadows of a person’s nature.
JAMES WHITE is a story that examines anger, grief, and the space between good and bad. Abbot stars as the eponymous James, a twenty-something New Yorker who hasn’t quite made the transition to adulthood. Still sleeping on his mother’s couch, still not settled down in a job, he spends his nights partying and his days marking time. As the film begins, his mother is recovering from cancer, and he’s just lost his estranged father and met his father’s new wife for the first time. His already volatile emotional state is exacerbated when his mother’s condition worsens, and he becomes the caretaker with nothing to guide him but his resolve and his love. The film co-stars Cynthia Nixon, Scott Mescudi and Rob Livingston, Mond directed from his own script and his previous work includes producing Antonio Campos’ SIMON KILLER and Sean Durkin’s MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE for Borderline Films, which the three of them founded. Abbott’s previous work includes MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, and the HBO series GIRLS.